Tuesday, May 23, 2006

FYI: Clip Quality Finally Updated

Sorenson 3 Curtain Call on Vimeo
(This here is the higher quality Sorenson 3 clip as further converted by Flash. (Mike, fyi this IS the best I can focus the Uni.) At least you can see what I'm doing better.

PS: Did you all know that if you move the mouse away from the clip window after pressing play the slider and such will go away? I didn't.


  1. Wow that's much better...Not only the quality, but it's also much more fluid!

  2. Yes, I agree. Hmmm.... I guess the fuziness must be from compression. Sorenson3 isn't that clear if you compress is down a lot. The uncompressed file probably looks completely focused.

  3. Whoah, I just noticed... you have lights aimed directly into the camera! That's a huge no-no! You can burn out the sensor that way and trash the camera. Your focus woes might be from the light getting into the camera.... I have a lot of problems if I have a light aimed toward the lens, even if it's entirely outside of visibility. That can make rim lighting difficult.... I often have to rig a shield to block direct light from hitting the lens.

  4. ...Oh, but the clip shines now! Smooth and lovely. :-}

    It seems longer, too. Is there more applause at the end than before?

    (And now we can see the cat! Wuz da ket's neeeme?)

  5. ...Oh, but the clip shines now! Smooth and lovely. :-}

    It seems longer, too. Is there more applause at the end than before?

    (And now we can see the cat! Wuz da ket's neeeme?)

  6. For Goodness Sake, Mike!! I_Did_Not_Know_That about the lens sensor!!, Anything else I should know about her before I accidentaly KILL HER!!! Any other rules to live by?! Any other things I should watch out for to make sure we can have her turn other people's lives upside down with her ways? Hhmm?

    Boy, Fellers, have y'all got the keeness in your eye, yes, this clip is slightly longer. Way back when I tried to save it as a Sorenson 3 in a certain fashion as instructed per a tut on Vimeo, I took the fiddle op to twiddle a liddle. I re-worked the timing, added more finesse to the crowd reaction, added titles, etc. No big deal or reason, just trying out new things a bit.

    Kitty code name: Cloud
    Full name: Cloudy Cloud McCloudstein, The Amish Crime Fighter (she don't wear no buttons.)
    ^ ^
    Look for her in all clips from here, she's like that. > . . <

  7. "Any other rules to live by?!"

    Animals are a bit unpredictable, and Cloud might see the ambassador waving his arm and jump to 'play' with him...
    Not to mention climbing the tripod, eating the set, etc...

    Yeah, I know we're all like 'There's no way MY pet's gonna do that!' but I've heard some stories just like that...

    (btw is anyone getting my mails :S ? )

  8. Can't think of anything aside from what Ale said about cats... they're the mortal enemies of stomotion and most hobbies. I've heard so many tales of kitty woe on the message board about complex shots ruined by inquisitive felines.

    Also the sun is the enemy of stopmo. That window in the background of the shot is much brighter than the lamp, and should be avoided as much as possible. I do have windows in my basement sepulchre, and all they have over them is semi-opaque drapes, but it's enough to block out direct rays that would give the "timelapse sundial" effect, because the sun is in constant motion across it's arc in the sky. That will trash stopmo done outdoors or with an undraped window unless you time it so there's exactly the same duration between each frame, as in timelapse. You'd still get the lighting shift, but it will be in regular increments. If the interval isn't perfectly regular it will look really choppy. Someone on StopMoShorts actually did some outdoor stopmo intended to look like a timelapse with clouds visible (sort of blew out the lighting) and he had to race to take each frame in precise intervals. Best if you can avoid any natural lighting altogether. That's one advantage of being nocturnal. ; )

    Not a camera-killer of course, but a shot killer. Hmmm.... not sure if you're aware of reflected light either. This is why in all the behind the scenes features everybody is wearing black... it's not just to be cool. Light can reflect off any bright clothing onto your set and unless you stand in exactly the same spot for each frame it will result in flicker. Try a little 'speriment... next time you're setting up for a shot look at your live video feed and just slowly move your hand near the puppet and watch how it affects the lighting. Try it with something really reflective sometime... I had a soda can sitting too near the set once and each time I drank and set it back it reflected differently. Crazy flicker in different colors depending on which way it was turned! This is actually where I learned the importance of using a reflector laying on your animation table to fill dark shadows on the underside of the puppet. Manilla envelopes work nicely.

  9. Ale-mail? Do you mean the email that said "Ignore this email"? I ignored it :o

  10. -------
    If the only mail you've got from me was that idiot one inviting you to my blog, then there's something wrong...let me know please

    I tried timelapse once, as a test for a future project, and it's really fun, but you gotta hurry too much! I never thought clouds would move soooo fast that a 10 second interval was a bit too long!
    If you want to animate a puppet in that interval (like I did), then you're in trouble...

  11. I just checked my email, that invitation to join your blog is all I've got from you since the 21st, your response to "Community Collaboration".

  12. Oh OK, then that's OK...I think that's all I sent :D

    See ya later guys

  13. Great stuff, Mike, some of the tips I did know but others points were good to get. And glad to know I wasn't ever really a threat to Unistra.

    Here's some Shelley rules:

    Cats (all four here) have total free reign in the studio at all times, without restriction, even if they move the puppets, sit in on scenes in final film. (Everyone, just pretend they are from another dimension.) I live in an open space with no doors or walls.

    I also don't much mind flicker from clothes, cans, or sun shift for these tests. I do plan to animate at night for the Reals, if I can get the artificial lighting/atmos like I'd like.

    The only outdoor filming I plan is the Kyra rod puppet on the beach, and that won't be stop mo as far as I know now.

    I'd like to post you guys some of the reference images I have for the look/mood/feel I'm going for. There are dirty vintage lenses and obscured realities involved.

    Much like with me. :-)

  14. ...clip looks great, didn't even notice Cloud before! Cutie! (though she kind of has a freaky Jacob's Ladder thing going on with her little stop-mo head :P

    Ahhhhh, cat stories, have I got a few....stories I mean, and yeah a few cats too....theres Salvador Houdini aka Mamas Black Velvet, my wifes boy for 9 years, since before we met...I have to fight him STILL for my side of the bed, but he is the smartest, most human cat I have ever met (very serious too, we think he was a wall street broker in his last life)....then theres my two girls, twin sisters, the Bunny (she's a leaper) and the Biggie (a 20 pounder)...both dumb as a brick and totally man-handled by Salvie...Biggie eats everything in sight, literally...we have our cabinets child-proofed...she once ate a box of lipton dry noodle soup and a bag of chex mix (everything but the pretzels, woke up to find them scattered everywhere)...luckily they haven't yet attacked any of my props or puppets, though they do love to rub up against the legs of my tripod....but only when I'm working of course...what can I say, they own me...

    I didn't realize direct light could burn out the camera's sensor either, thanks Mike!

  15. Heh... even as I was typing that, I couldn't imagine you reigning in the cats or blacking out the windows in that great loft space ; )

    I hope they have the decency not to appear in final cuts... they don't animate very well. :7


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