Self-Directed Study Progress Report #2

After a many blood, sweat, and tears…
I arrived at a successful puppet design. The simplest solution really was the best. I used a clay body and there are wires inside the arms to hold them in place. I made a few different mouth pieces to act as key poses and then I would make the in-betweens on site using claymation. My fear with claymation was that it would present too many variables and not hold a pose without skating all over the place. Placing thin wires throughout the interior helped the material hold its shape.

This was also my first attempt at green-screen color keying. I hadn’t considered the props on screen. So, had I not included them it might have worked. The puppet works fine with the color keying. The problem is that some of the finer details of the animation are lost after color keying. Once I’ve completed the entire piece I will include a version that features the color keying.

I edited down and rerecorded “Bottled Frustration”. After playing with some mastering settings and changing to a more consistent recording venue, I arrived at a much cleaner audio clip. I voice acted both parts in the final piece. The animation you see above is the first finished thirty seconds. The entire clip is over 50 seconds, which I will have completed by the end of this week. I’ll also upload a manual I’ve been writing that records my findings in working with stop-motion.


I assembled my workstation to allow me to easily access all of my materials without passing in front of the camera or having to change my seated position.


The star of my short film. His arms are a different tone of white than the paper base. I apologize for the picture quality on this one.


Here’s a detail shot of the key mouth positions. I kept them on a sheet of paper so the oil of the modeling clay would not stick to the table.


The Canon EOS Rebel XS DSLR is linked to a computer running Dragonframe3. This combination makes for one powerful stop-motion toolset.


The edge of the paper serves as a guide so I know how much table space I have that stays out of the view of the camera.

Complete Exposure Sheet – DopeSheet_Complete
Another great benefit to Dragonframe software is the ability to import audio into your capture timeline. This allows you preview your animation in realtime with the audio clip.

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