Thursday, May 18, 2006

Too Cool

O.k., can I just say how freakin cool it is to watch this clip by Jeffery Roche (! It is his clever, charming, funny way of sending appreciation for his very own highly-collectible, limited-edition 1/2 L. Commemorative button! (I'm cracking up!)

There's something so wonderful about animating with eachother's gear! I've got Mike's camera and Sven's armature for a visit that I use to make clips, Jeffery made a clip with Halfland memorabilia/artifact...I hope we all can play more like this!!



  1. You got no idea how I wish I could do stuff like that: sharing stuff with each other and animating other people's stuff! God that would be totaly awesome!....but well, since I live down here in Argentina, it's kinda not possible

    Anyway, I'm glad you're making good use of all your shared stuff :D

    See ya!

  2. Hi Ale, I have things mailed to South America all the time. If you have a mailing address, I'd be happy to send you something to animate/play with (my email address is hidden in the button link at right). What might you like? Ideas?

  3. 'I hope we all can play more like this!!'
    Me too! Brings me back to the notion of collaboration, of artist's movements through history (and also to DGs idea of a travelling puppet or prop for us all to play with! Something for everyone to think more about.....)

    I leave you with a quote...
    (Renoir, on Monet)
    "Without him I would have given up."

  4. I couldn't agree more. We could name friendships and groups all day long that were responsible for tremendous things by virtue of collaboration.

    That's why I asked, if we weren't the web of the otts. As in people looking back on these heady days of total freedom of connection and first blush of self-distributing expression. I'm seeing more and more youngsters moving head long into the democratization of all media. Rock on.

    In any case, yes, by all means, let's play, it's just too dang fun not to.*

    (*my first blog comment without a single exclamation point! doh.)

  5. Hey Shelley I just emailed you ;)

    *Also I wanted to ask you what this meant (sorry if my english sucks :P)
    "but I sent you over a horizontal strip of the addy so it would take up less real estate."

    *And I just realized how many times I said 'stuff' in my previous answer :D hahaha

    See ya guys!

  6. Hey Ale....

    Don't worry, it's not English, that's Shellish! Addy means address, meaning the web address for halfland. It sounds like she emailed you a link of some kind that's a horizontal strip rather than a round button.

    And yeah, I ship stuff all over the world... no reason Argentina is out of bounds. Hell it's a Global Village these days thanks to the internet and Federal Express! We need to all exchange real world addresses and let the sharing and caring commence.

  7. 'exchange real world addresses'-I agree! Going to do a run of woodcut/prints of Jenny, maybe in postcard form, maybe larger, to send to everyone (thanks for the inspiration, Shell)...been a long while since I've done a woodcut and I used to love let the exchange begin! How would everyone feel about having a sort of community blogger account, where we could all have password access and upload 'community sharing' bits, and maybe eventually a running community stop-mo 'series'?...

  8. I'd be happy to set up the blogger account, have links to all of our individual blogs on the side, etc. I was just telling Shelley that I am a code-newbie too, never done any web design or anything, so someone else would probably be better at spiffing up the pages...We'd have to come up with a name, etc....I know everyone (including me) is busy with, y'know, life and stuff, but I'm pretty passionate about the idea and would be willing to do any 'leg work'...

  9. Hey guys!
    Mike: Oh, so that's what she meant! hahaha I wouldn't have guessed that in a thousand years :P

    My 'fear' of mailing not arriving began with animateclay banner contest...Remember it? (Click to see what I did). The thing is I won it, and Marc sent me a stikfas ( via US AirMail Parcel Post. After a month, it never arrived. So he nicely sent another one. Same thing. It's obviously not a delay 'cause it's been months since both deliveries, and I still haven't heard from the mail man!
    So it ended up being a waste of money and time for Marc...

    Maybe a delivery through Fedex or a private company would be different, but it's too expensive...and at least I can't afford that :(
    But yeah, internet has shrinked the world, and community work is much easier! :D

    Jeffrey: I was going to propose to do a group kind of series or shorts a while ago, but then I got really busy. It's quite a cool idea though, which obviously won't be easy to achieve, but I guess it'll be quite unique :D

    So write that idea right below the self sculptures thingy, in the 'Crazy stuff to do' list :P

    See ya

  10. Hey Jeffrey, just read your comment...I'm also a code newbie, but I was able organize my site pretty well in a blogger template, so I guess I could do that ;)
    You'll just have to give me a little time to do it, 'cause I'm a bit busy .
    (yeah, I'm supposed to be designing a shoe, and studying for my philosophy exam tomorrow, but what the hell :P)

  11. Once again I find myself in the party pooper seat....

    It's a cool idea Jeffrey, but lately I find myself spread so thin across so many fronts that I'm not getting any work done!

    I figure we already have a community thing going on, and I think we can share anything we want just through each other's blogs.

    In fact I've been thinking I need to reel myself in and concentrate only on my blog and my current film project, plus commenting on your blogs. The message board is turning into more urban geurilla warfare lately rather than a group of friends having a conversation about a subject they love. Too many hit and run pranksters and people who might be pranksters or might be linguistically challenged mentally challenged socially challenged rejects. It's getting to where you can't sort them out anymore.

    Alejo, that's awful dude!! Sounds like corrupt government officials who covet claymation artifacts LOL!!!

    Hey, shoe design animation and philosophy..... yes, you're a modern Argentinian renaissance man!!

  12. Hey Ale....

    Wasn't there a film you finished recently that you were going to post? I keep checking your site, but haven't seen anything about it.

  13. Ok, I just took a good look around you rsite, and it seems I was linked to the wrong page! My link went to your RSS feed from Marc's Animateclay site, and I thought that was your main page! I just found the link to your New Project and i changed my link for it on my blog. Sorry about that! That's why I thought your blog had dissappeared a while back.

    It doesn't look like you've updated it in a long time. I don't know if you've been blogging since going into school, but if you do, could you post a date next to the title of each entry? And be sure to let us know when you get that film posted!

  14. Hey Mike!
    "corrupt government officials who covet claymation artifacts!"
    Are they creating Stikfas soldiers? Who knows! But there's sure some corruption going on here...and no wonder that's one of the reasons why I'm not exaclty a patriot.

    "Hey, shoe design animation and philosophy..... yes, you're a modern Argentinian renaissance man!!"
    Add 'Rock n' Roller' to the list, and you pretty much got me figured out ;)

    About the film, called Pac-Guy (yep, you're the first ones to know the title), I finished animating it on Easter, and I haven't got the time to finish editing it yet. I hate to say this, but it'll most likely be done on july, when I start my winter holidays.
    And don't worry, you'll see signs all over the net telling you it's done :P

  15. Yeah, I couldn't remembe what you said Marc had sent you, I thought it was a clay puppet or something. Oops! Ok, then they crave Stickfas!

    Rock& roller... I noticed that in your email name. Do you play a guitar? I used to plunk around a little on an acoustic guitar many years ago... never got very good at it though. There were a few songs I could play.

    And don't feel bad about not having your film done yet.... I said weeks ago that I'd have Race the Wind finished by the end of the week... hey, I didn't say which week.....

  16. Hi Guys, Number one, I can't wait for Jeffery's woodcut/print postcard art. Things made by hand mean so much and gifts like that from brothers in arms become treasures to me.

    Here's what I think about Jeffery's suggestion for, "a community blogger account... password access and upload 'community sharing' bits... eventually a running community stop-mo 'series'?" and all of our genuine exuberance for sharing/playing in this vein;

    I agree with Mike that sharing individually and collectively seems handled by our blogs very well and SMShorts would seem to handle community clips, formally or casually really. Even though there's something interesting in the idea of flying under a group banner and cross pollenating props, etc., I'm not sure we need to create something new right now in order to accomplish that.

    But--there is SOMETHING in there. isn't there? There is something compelling about sharing more interactively, not just through these (brilliant) missives. There's something gripping to me about bringing real stuff into the mix. There's something dynamic that happens that explodsez the experience into five full dimensions, capeesh? I'm not thinking we need to add more time drain onto ourselves, I'm just seeing that there is something powerful and exciting about really sharing.

    I think we'll figure out what to do, in a way that works easily for all. It'll make sense, all at once.

    In the meantime... let's make something and post it.

    I'd research my psychological causes of procrastinating, but it would just be another form of it for me. I'm clever/stupid like that. :^)

  17. Ok, of course I did. And the first article up was actually kind of helpful. Much of the tricks/ideas I have heard before but the excerpt below really nailed my stuff with greater clarity about why I do it, or rather don't, than I've known before...I'm going to try it, I think. I can see how it would work but only hesitation is that scheduling all my naughty art play would ruin the delicious fun of doing it. I don't want to be a grown up. Blech. (Sad but true.) What do you all think?:

    "...Picturing an extended period of working long hours in solitude with no time for fun is a great way to guarantee procrastination. (S: which is how deadline work always builds up to be.)

    The solution to the deprivation mindset is to do the exact opposite. Guarantee the fun parts of your life first, and then schedule your work around them. This may sound counterproductive, but this reverse psychology works extremely well. Decide in advance what times you will allocate each week to family time, entertainment, exercise, social activities, and personal hobbies. Guarantee an abundance of all your favorite leisure activities. Then limit the amount of working hours each week to whatever is left. The peak performers in any field tend to take more vacation time and work shorter hours than the workaholics. By treating your working time as a scarce resource rather than an uncontrollable monster that can gobble up every other area of your life, you'll begin to feel much more balanced, and you'll be far more focused and effective in using your working time. It's been shown that the optimal work week for most people is 40-45 hours. Working longer hours than this actually has such an adverse effect on productivity and motivation that less real work is done in the long run. What would happen if you only allowed yourself a certain number of hours a week to work? What if I came to you and said, "You are only allowed to work 10 hours this week?" Your feeling of deprivation would be reversed, wouldn't it? Instead of feeling that work was depriving you of leisure time, you'd feel you were being deprived of work. You'd replace, "I want to play" with "I want to work," your motivation for work would skyrocket, and all traces of procrastination would vanish.

    I also strongly recommend that you take at least one full day off each week with no work whatsoever. This will really recharge you and make you eager to start the coming week. Having a guaranteed work-free day will increase your motivation for work and make you less likely to procrastinate. If you know that the next day is your day off, you'll be less likely to put off tasks, since you won't allow yourself the luxury of allowing them to spill over into your day off. When you think that every day is a work day, however, work seems never-ending, and you always tell yourself, "I should be working." Thus, your brain will use procrastination as a way to guarantee that you get some form of pleasure in your life."

    (Full article here, for those in my particular, um, row boat:

  18. Hey Mike,

    Yeah, I've been playing guitar for like 6 years now....I started when I was 12-13-14...can't remember.

    Now I've got my band, and I really enjoy getting together and becoming my crazy jumping squizofrenic alter ego :P
    (That reminds me when I was once asked at school if I had any 'strange' hobbies ...god I could make a book out of that :P )

    By the way, did you catch my 4000 visitor animation?(it's now at the bottom of my site)

    See ya

  19. well what can I say, I tend to get these grandiose ideas and run with them...I've said before that I loved being surrounded by artists at Tulane, and since then (the last five years) have been sort of working in isolation, which isn't good AT I get a little excited with the notion of collaboration, don't mind my eagerness (is that a word, eagerness? seems like theres a shorter version somewhere, don't know, just call me Faulkner)...again, just something to think about...and Shelley your right, 'I think we'll figure out what to do, in a way that works easily for all. It'll make sense, all at once.'

    ale--yeah that's horrible about your mail...send me your address anyway though and we'll test it out with a postcard instead of stickfas :)

    mike--i knew you were going to say that :D (party pooper)...and yes, you should DEFINITELY be focused more on your project than on SMA...of course its easy for me to say b/c I am still a forum virgin basically...haven't allowed myself to be sucked in (yet)...
    plus I'm dying to see what you have brewing in your brainpan...

    as per your discussion of procrastination, Shelley--I'm still stuck in daydreamland about working a 10 hour week....ahhhhh, so relaxing....what'll I do after I finish watching the LOTR extended trilogy in one sitting while eating steak and bonbons...oh yeah, there was that film I was working on....

  20. Shelley I got that exact same problem....

    I haven't read it all, but this seems useful so far

    (it's scary to enter a site called :P )

    We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about.
    -Charles Kingsley

  21. Anonymous6:29 PM

    Wow that clip by Jeffery is great! Wonderful fun to watch. Sorry to go all geek on you but I really love the rust stain on the side of that mail box and the way it moves around when it gets opened. I used to have a mail box with a loose post like that. Something very comforting about it, I can't explain.

    Hey Mike, you party pooper, I have been checking your site to see which week you were going to finish that animation. I guess technically you have an out. (you didn't numerically specify which week it was. I have to agree with you - spread toooo thiiinnn feeling like butter on hot toast myself some days. I honestly don't know how you get as much done as you do. Posting on SMA, blogging, commenting on other blogs, must be lightning fast fingers.

    Shelley... Ah the procrastination row boat, the one that is leaking water? I know it well. Don't worry about the leak, you can always fix it later - Ha
    Yes you need slack time and work time, keeping things in balance is not always easy.

    Mark F.

  22. I really do like the idea of a communal blog. But I've been through these great ideas a few times now, having been in this rowboat a bit longer than you younguns (stopmotionistically speaking, call me Faulknermeister!) with things like the creation of StopMoShorts, the Handbook, etc. Somehow each one has become a sort of timedrain, and Zi feel like I need to devote something to each. But since I started doing tutorials for SMS and the Handbook, I haven't sone any for my own site, so my Tech page now seems woefully out of date. I try to think of it all as one big interctive site, but still, I seem to keep getting farther and farther from my original goal, which was just to do some stopmotion.

    Heh, recently I've also been thinking I might want to change tack at some point and rather than doing these full-on "films" that seem to demand such detailed and realistic sets and puppets and tight scripts (not that I've come through yet in that department....) it would be fun to just do some goofy little animations like the kids are doing with clay. You know... just fun little things, set to completley copyrighted music and with no story at all. God, that sounds so refreshing!!!

    You guys are all at that early expreimentation stage where you can do that sort of stuff, like Jeffrey's fun little mailbox clip or Shelley's dance clip. I'm so tired of people telling me that it's neccesary to do complete films, that tests are a waste of time... dammit, I KNOW that tests are the way I need to go! I can feel it in my soul.... it all starts with learning how to make functional puppets and how to do basic animation, and from there you just mess around and try out effects, along the way learning "what works and what doesn't work". Things are suggested by what happens sometimes unexpectedly in the tests or the fun-imations. Also you're lerarning about the shot, which is the building block of a movie. Then you get trickier and string shots together to make scenes and sequences, and from there you're a step away from making films. I think it's a huge mistake to feel pressured to write a script before you know "what works and what doesn't work" for you in animation.

    Oh, and about productivity, I just read a long thread about it at the Sculptor's Forum. All of the best proffessional sculptors admitted they're horribly disorganized in their time management. Somebody posted something stating that people only get real productive work done about half of the time they're "at work", meaning 20 hours for a 40 hour work week.

    Why did we have to choose such a complicated hobby??!! Oh for the pure simplicity of being just a sculptor! We have to begin by dong sculptures, but with the restriction that they have to MOVE exactly the way we need them to, and from there it starts to get comp;licated.... scriptwriting, cinematography, comedic timing.... and somewhere along the way, no matter how good you are at some of it, you'll find your pitfall... that thing that laughs at you as it hinders your progress inescapably, and that can't be gotten around.

    Sorry, I'm venting here.

  23. lol, great post Mike...I don't think enough people understand the type of artist it takes to create stop-motion....I know that I find myself drawing on all of my past experience, painting, sculpting, photography, etc...Every day that I begin to animate, or pick up a tool to build a set, or a puppet, I pat myself on the back for never becoming content to be a 'painter' or a 'sculptor'....Gretchin says it better as usual (this was one of the first posts, on new years day '06, that I read at Scarlet Letters, instantly fell in love with the blog, and decided to start my own): " of our "problems" is that we're inspired to create in lots of different mediums, and sven & i create in entirely different modes. our breadth is unusual, and this is a "problem" for most art marketing, which wants you to be rarified in your niche. but writing about what we do lets us cross-pollinate to create strange and fascinating flowers."
    Stopmotion is an extremely complicated hobby, but in the end I think its all the more fulfilling because of its complexities.

  24. Great stuff, Mike, I think I hear you shouting that you're fixing to bust out and express your art/self through the art medium of stop motion? I say, right on to that. From my pov there's is specific division line between art expression as in producing a painting or a non-moving sculpture and the technical, movie-making prowess of the stop motion universe. I'm certain many stop motionists bridge the divide with their own art. They express, they innovate, they break the hard and fast rules of both worlds. And as Jeffery pointed out Gretchin's observation that some artists are interested in broad choices of playgrounds, is in itself a distinguished facility to possess. But I'll add in the idea that those of us who work in stop motion (even though I'm strictly beginning I've held tightly to this and only this art-form) aren't really able to cast it aside, even if we wanted. It's as if it has chosen us don't you think?

    And as to time management/responsibility, I spent a lot of that same precious time tonight hunting down a program that would apply the same kind of external social lovely pressure that this blog has done for my moving on Halfland. I wanted to find a free app that would send me email reminders about each step of my deadline graphic projects, kind of like a handler for a boxer, leading me around what needs to be done. I see that I don't have the strength of character to make myself do what's needed so I thought a scaffolding of software might make a real change. Husband Paul, a former world class procrastinator and now a paragon of responsibility and reliability, told me I was a walking cliché and that every human on earth is interested in doing what they want when they want. The only way he was able to overcome this was to remove all alternative options and remain seated literally until progress was made on said project/task. For those of you that are able to do this kind of thing on your own, I salute you and give you props. I'm interested in making my way through to this too because constantly feeling a pressure that I should ALWAYS be doing something else other than what I am is so last century. It's a complicated matter that makes stop motion look easy. Oh, dear Goodness, I'd like to get there, if it's for the best.

  25. Ale, Thank you very much for that procrastination link. It was very useful, really nailed my experience down to a tee. I never realized how common this pattern was/is. I learned I am a "tense-afraid type of procrastinator .. will get over-stressed and over-worked until he/she escapes the pressure temporarily by trying to relax but any enjoyment gives rise to guilt and more apprehension." and that only a powerful, sustained emotional force will motivate my Whim of Iron to change behavior. I liked one of the questions they posed to ask when staring down the barrel of a ug, job, "Where's the best place to start?" I'll use that. I'd like to add that I know full well that my problem is a luxurious one and that there are millions of people that would kill to have any job. I must keep in mind how privileged I am before I break out any further violins.

    Jeffery, Are you working so hard you can't have a bonbon?!

    Hi Mark, I stay away from the boards too, too rich for my blood. I read little snips when Mike kindly sends me one that's explaining exactly what I need to know but other than that I can't navigate it usefully. It feels a little like baking a cake through a keyhole. You going to post somewhere?

  26. Anonymous1:16 AM

    Mike sez:

    "it would be fun to just do some goofy little animations like the kids are doing with clay. You know... just fun little things, set to completley copyrighted music and with no story at all. God, that sounds so refreshing!!!"

    I hear ya, bro!

    I keep straining, trying to figure out how to get to the next level -- machined armatures, foam latex, platsil + slacker... And, um, where's the actual animation Sven?

    I have half a mind to just set up the camera and laptop in the middle of the room, and start animating whatever I can see through the viewfinder... Letting myself get pulled from one object to the next.

    That'd be some serious play, yo!

  27. Anonymous1:19 AM

    Mark F. = mefull?

    If so -- I've been reading your comments on the SMA "ball end mill plunge cuts" thread lately. Very useful! Thank you!

    I don't have a milling machine yet, but that thread's been helping me better wrap my mind around what the tool can be like when it's not working as it should. ;-)

  28. Anonymous1:32 AM

    OK, my segue here is that Ale & Mike were talking about playing guitar...

    I play piano.

    It seemed like potentially useful info to put out there, but I've no idea when this would naturally come up in conversation. I compose, notate, improvise... Slow sight-reader; adequate lyricist -- that's probably my weakest point.

    When I imagine my films in full bloom, I can hear the music in my head that I'd be playing to accompany the images.

    Without committing to anything, I'm open to recording original music for y'all. It's quick and easy to come up with tunes (I've done it for theatre)... And as long as we're not doing an orchestration of live instruments, I'm pretty comfortable throwing together a recording.

    Unfortunately I have little available digitally right now... But I do have a couple of electro clips I could share if anyone's interest just perked up.

    (Jeffrey, I guess I'm thinking most of you at this point.)

  29. Glad you get it Sven. Sometimes I slip into this existential slump and lament everything. It'll pass. I think a big part of the problem is that I'm not sure yet what kind of movies I want to make.

    And I feel like in some ways I'm stuck in an old fashioned mode of filmmaking... from the days when movies were projected in theaters. TV is built around the same concept, but with commercial breaks. In fact I guess it was TV that's responsible for the current idea that a film needs to be a certain length of time, to fit into the programming box. But music videos break the old fashioned mold, and even break the need for straightforward narrative. Of course that only works for short things (um... like music videos - duh!). Longer films would need a good narrative structure to hold the interest.

    Here's what i guess started me on this line of thinking. Now thanks to services like YouTube random people all over the world can create their own home movies and share them worldwide. Most of them of course are pure crap... for example how many poorly animated claymations do we need featuring gouts of blood and guts and random beheadings/disembowelings? Sometimes even something like that can be good though.... if the artist has a good sense of how to make a film.

    The other day somebody on the message board linked to a film they had posted at Youtube. I don't remember it now.... it was pretty forgettable, but I stumbled across these films made by a girl called Brookers. She's just a chick with a video camera and a creative nature, as well as a great sense of timing and movement. That's pretty much what filmmaking is about after all, right? She does what a lot of people these days do... take popular songs and make a little video to them... or in some cases she does her own comedy skits. But she's such a delight to watch.... spontaneous impromptu dance moves and facial expressions that just fill you with joy (well, me anyway, and a lot of other people according to her comments). Shelley, you might remember I told you about a girl at work named Michelle who used to do little impromptu dances and crazy stuff to make me smile... Brookers reminds me a lot of her.

    My favorite one is called Chips..... this is a little masterpiece of fun, funny creativity: Chips.

    After watching a few of her little flicks, I wished i could do something more spontaneous like that... of course it's easier when you're not doing stopmotion, and when you can move and dance the way she can. But at least even in stopmo you can break the straight narrative form.... edit together clips to music and not worry about straightforward storytelling.

    Her videos have the same kind of fascination for me that Yamakasi does... the sheer joy of unrestrained movement.

  30. hee! "baking a cake through a keyhole." that's a terrific image! i want to use it in a poem.

    ubatuber: thanks for the compliment! i wrote that in part because i was worried the stopmo people were going to freak out that the blog wasn't going to be all stopmo, all the time. i'm so glad you guys get it!

  31. D-OH!!
    Sven, you dog! You play piano? You know... I'm going to need some silent-movie type stuff at some point.... any chance you could whip up something to go with Race the Wind? I'm looking for total, full-on melodrmatic stuff, like you might hear in one of those olf cliffhangers... you know, girl tied to railroad tracks, train a'comin', hero galloping at full tilt to save the day... villain twirls his handlebar moustache... that kind of stuff.

    Oh, and something I meant to say in my last post but got neglected....

    The internet brings a new venue for filmmakers that changes not only our distribution possiblilties, but the possible formats for our films. Now it's possible to do anything... no need to stick with traditional. I'm not sure what it means to stopmoes, but it's something to ponder.

  32. Thank you for visiting and commenting on my blog Blogger for Dummies. Looking forward to your visits again. Just to let you know Blogger for Dummies may not be updated but all new posts for the time being will go to Blogger Tips and Tricks while I ponder what to do. This is because of trademark issues.

    BTW, very popular blog you have here. Such new blog, yet already so many comments.

  33. Hey guys!
    I just came back from my exam...I guess I did well...I'll have to wait a week or so to find it out... many comments...

    Sven: Glad to hear you play piano. I got an organ (electric piano...whatever it's called)at my house, and a year ago I started playing it, learning on my own, listening to songs and figuring them out (same way I learnt to play guitar)...but then I got bored I think...

    Mike: Last summer holidays (december, january, february, march) I started with stopmo and my site. And I had the same problem as you: I was so much time in the computer talking, reading, learning, etc, that I didn't spend that time on real stopmo!
    So one day I said: 'OK, today I won't turn my computer on (hard as hell, 'cause I'm sort of internet dependent'), and instead, I'll sculpt, animate, etc, etc.'
    And believe me: after you see how much you get done in a whole day of work, you won't spend so much time on the computer.
    I even made a list:
    'Things I achieved on a regular day vs things I achieved on THAT day' And it's scary how much time Internet drains...

    Also about that refreshing lil' animations you want to do, that's exactly why I 'celebrate' with a little stopmo each time the Freak Counter at the bottom of my site reaches a new 'thousand' number. :D
    I'm now making a page for my site with all those animations...

    See ya

  34. Well, the page with all the quickies is done if you want to check it.

    Also I forgot to say...
    Mike: about the forums being full of 'unpleasant' people to talk to: that's why I left animateclay's forum...And I don't have the time also to be checking any forum really :S

    As Shelley said (somewhere, sometime) it's too much info for me...

  35. Cool Sven, thanx...yeah, for Jenny I want something very similar to the score for TheRing (U.S. version), something that starts out kind of slow, nostalgic-creepy, then gets big, dramatic, scary (loudest, most drama when Jenny climbs onto the pier, then faster until the end, no letting up til Jenny wins the match)...will definitely think of you when it comes time for scoring, maybe even once the test clips start to become more professional-like? so I can stop blatantly using copyrighted stuff ;)...if you're ever bored with nothing to do (ha, yeah right), feel free to whip something up!...have another friend who plays viola, and another who plays bass, so I'm thinking I may throw some of that in too, but piano would be the main deal...hey, why haven't you posted any tunes on Scarlet Letters?
    About the electro-clips--may be a nice collaboration, working backwards! i.e. send me a clip and I'll animate something to go with it!
    I play trombone, actually havent for a long while but its like riding a bike...I hope...

  36. Hi, Brookers is adorable, what a cutie pie. And you're right, she does have a natural sense of storytelling through film! One to watch there, in this dawning day of New Media. The Self-Expression Age.

    I hope Sven can fiddle a tune for Buster, that would be so cool.

    Ale congratulations on your exam. You are 100% correct on the internet being a main drain of time. I was able to pinpoint (Ha, the gaping 16 hours a day wasn't hard to spot!) that as the cause of my days winding away. I even kept the browser off until six for a couple days, until my job required me to turn it on during the day and then I lost all power to stop reading. It's just too good. Shrug.

    The seat of pants technique got me to start and complete one leg of my graphic job that's due so that's good. More on it today. I intend to complete the job to the next level needed for a presentation Monday. This means it's ALL HALFLAND Tuesday!!!!! Woo Hoot! All fabbing, all ambassaturin', all trying to focus the Unibrain, all day. Ahhhh.

    I'm even going to try to shoot with my digital still camera and load the frames into iMovie to edit. You heard me.

    Best of good and courage to each of you this weekend too. And as a peace group in the 80's used to part company by saying; "May your missions be accomplished."

  37. Hi Peter, I went to your blogger expert site initially in hopes of finding an easy way to offer a feed to these comments. We are onto such great stuff in here I'd like everyone interested to get in on it!


  38. Anonymous1:34 PM

    sven said...
    Mark F. = mefull?

    Hi Sven, yes one and the same, glad you got some use from one of my posts.


    I hope I didn't give the impression that I don't stop by the SMA board, I try to get by once a week to see what's new. It's a great resource for solving specific problems, seems like pretty much everything has been discussed there at one time of another. I used to participate more, but I am trying to ween myself from so much time online to allow more time for creative endeavors. Still a great resource no matter how you slice it.


    How does that line from Shakespeare go? Methinks you doth protest too much. You may not feel like you are getting much done but come on!

    You are helping tons of people over at the SMA boards, (with more patience that I will ever have by the way) you are involved with StopMoShorts, doing animation and tutorials for your site and the SMA handbook and who knows what else. Give yourself a break buddy.

    Mark F.

  39. Hi Mark, I'm glad you mentioned that so I'd have a chance to be more explicit too, I agree that the SMA board is a monuMental achievement, especially the fabulous Handbook. It really does cover every possible aspect of creating a stop motion film. When I first realized what was there I was beside myself with glee that such a resource existed! Plus I've heard about some great people thanks to SMA's giant hub of interest as well. Like Mary Murphy from the UK. I was so impressed with her use of soft sculpture for stop motion I could could scream.

    I do understand what Mike is feeling for himself. He's growing and stretching, which can often be uncomfortable. The powerful sustained emotional forces are at work reshaping him. I grow the occasional caterpillar and obsessively marvel at how one type of creature can transform into another entirely.

  40. Anonymous4:44 PM

    Mike -- Mind if I give a whirl at adding sound to "Race the Wind"?

    Jeffrey -- Check the "music" category on the sidebar over at Scarlet Letters: there are three electro songs online there. Not really what I would choose to represent myself, but better than nothing.

    ...Here's the direct link:

  41. Sven, didn't even notice that music link on the blog, thanks for pointing it out! Will have to take a look, or listen :)

  42. Sven, you could call the album 'The Dark Side of the MoonBaby'...
    Oh wait...
    It sounds familiar...


  43. Anonymous10:25 PM

    Whoa. This is a busy thread...and a very good read. In high school and college I played drums in rock bands. I got bored after a while and started playing with samplers and noodling around with guitars. I'm putting together an online portfolio for my web site and will probably throw up a few of my sound sketches when it's done. Sven, I'm going to check out your music.

    Other topics in this thread: I check the "new" link in the SMA forums every now and then and subscribe to threads that are of interest. I think that our individual blogs and sites are sufficient for the moment - perhaps if we can find a way to utilize our comment threads better that would help. I've also suspended larger projects in favor of smaller animation projects for the purpose of getting work finished.

  44. Heh... yeah, this is a pretty popular blog, isn't it? Just a small handfull of commentors for the most part, but boy do we hit the board hard! Over here in Halfland I'm getting what I once got on the message board, a meeting of minds all interested in the same thing, only here we're all adults and all motivated, unlike most of the activity at SMA these days. And here I really do get a strong sense of being part of a small select group of up-and-coming artists. Who knows where this collaboration can take us?

    I seem to be over my Darkspell today. I just get pretty down sometimes for a few days and suddenly can't stand any projects I'm working on etc. Then it passes and the sun rises once again. My own version of the Mittlesmurch I guess.

    Sven, feel free to go to town on Race the Wind. I'd love to hear whatever you can whip up for it if you feel like it. At some point I do hope to finish it, though I'm not sure exactly how yet. Maybe hearing some appropriate music can get me over the hump and inspire me with ideas.

    Oh Alejo, I meant to say a while back, I did see the 4,000 animation, and it's really cool! And congrats on all the visitors! I'll check out your other animations pretty soon, promise.

  45. So much "Hidden Music" in this bunch! keyboards, several guitars, a trombone, drums, what a lovely surprize!

    Hmm;"Advance the Frame" "Move/Click" "Persistence of Vision"... Just sayin'

    Band names or a thread summary, you decide:

    "Short Works" "Gain Ground"

    "Moods in Boyz"

    "Sven Rocks the Garage"

    "Go ahead, boys"

  46. On the procrastination issue, my only real strategy:

    Prepare for whatever is next. Start by cleaning your work area if it needs it. There's nothing worse than getting struck by the muse only to have to do a massive cleanup job before you can begin the creative work. Once the area is clean, assemble whatever materials you'll need for the next job. Generally you know what you're gong to be doing next. If you're just veggin' out, maybe grab whatever materials you're going to need. Often just getting even the most rudimentary start like that will turn onto actually going ahead and doing the job b ysimple inertia. Or at the very least you've got yourself set up for next time. Maybe if your meterials are assembled and you haven't broken the hypnotic spell of the internet yet, just pick up whatever you're going to work on.... grab a roll of wire if you're going to twist up an armature. Grab some pliers and cut a length. Fiddle around with it a little, and pretty soon it's a puppet.

    I find just getting the materials actually in your hands goes a long way toward getting a start.

  47. Anonymous12:05 AM

    Say Shelley -- I mean this in the kindest way possible...

    You have a lovely salon going on here. ...But do you need us to kick your ass a little now? A little more of the "hey, show us a new clip!" variety of support...?

  48. Excellent key, Mike. Yes, starting in, that's the rubber meeting the road, the inhertia being overcome, etc. isn't it?

    What IS that!? I still wonder what causes that inhertia, even for fun things?! (stage direction: scratch head, furrow brow, squinch up nose.) Eh, cause schmaws, here's what works:

    "Begin Anywhere." --John Cage

    "Where's the best place to start?" --practical article advice

    "Starting is hard, I'm always scared that I'm not going to know what to do. And then when I start, I'm always amazed. Oh, that wasn't so bad." --Frank Gehry

    "Fiddle around with it a little, and pretty soon it's a puppet." --Mike Brent.

    I'm working tonight and taking small breaks to read your guys' comments for a fix.

  49. Ok, Sven, I'm clipping Tuesday as stated above. What are Y-O-U gonna do, eh? Eh?! EH!!!
    º º
    < !

  50. Ooops, I read you wrong, Sven, I thought you were ASKING ME for an ass kicking! lol! but you were kicking mine! Ha! And I've got the Abassature' anyway, what would you have used to make a clip with?!


  51. Anonymous8:58 AM


    You have heard the saying "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade"

    I have to steal that idea and say

    When life gives you armatures, make animation!

    great thread here, reminds me of the old days on SMA too Mike.

    Mark F

  52. Just thought I'd drop in here and mention, cause I don't know if everyone has seen yet, but DG has a premier set up at the Atlanta Film Fest, for "Man Drawing a Reclining Woman"....WOO-HOO!!

    And, yeah, Shelley...looks like you're the Den Mother of Blog Comments :D

  53. Patience, Brothers ;•)

  54. Hey guys,

    I invited you to become members of my blog, without knowing what that meant xD

    It is actually to let other people write on my blog (so it'd be an easy way to create the group blog).

    So sorry if you recieve a couple useless mails :P

    On other news: I've been contacted by a hospital in England that would like to show my animations to people with mental health problems, 'cause they're doing a sort of animation group there... I gotta go right now, so I'll tell you more details later...But I'm SOOOOOO happy to be helpful :D

    See ya!

  55. Great news, Alejo! Art that actually can help others, what a concept.

  56. Anonymous1:05 PM

    totally fun! Can't wait to see the encore!


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