Trials of animation

10 replies [Last post]
davideo0
Offline
Joined: Aug 18 1999

Hi
Inspired by the likes of Nick Park but without the benefit of his talent, I'm trying my first steps into animation of a solid figure.

I'm using the manual stop motion facility within Prem 5.1c with my DV300 card.

Patience seems to be the byword in this business. At 25 frames a second a days work doesn't produce more than a few seconds of end result. However I find it fascinating.

One of the problems I find is that although the help file states that using the delete key will remove the last frame captured it doesn't do so. So unwanted frames have to be removed on the timeline.

The whole business seems fraught with system crashes most of which can be avoided by ensuring that camcorder is connected and switched on before going into Prem. Also after each capture session I find it necessary to exit Prem5 before switching off the camcorder and then reload Prem5 to import the captured avi.

I know that Adobe's website doesn't give much encouragement to would be animators but I would be very interested to hear from any experienced animators who have suceeded in producing a useful result despite the limitations of Premiere5.

Anyone know of any useful workarounds I could benefit from? Or am I all alone in this area?

Thanks in advance

David Allerton-Austin

ChrisBitz
Offline
Joined: Jun 8 1999

Cant be certain, as it was a while ago, but I have a vague memory of a freeware program for animators that connects to your card itself....

Try looking at www.winfiles.com - it might be of some use.....

Chris.

davideo0
Offline
Joined: Aug 18 1999

Thanks Chris.

I've had a quick look at the site but can't find anything specific but an interesting site.

Davideo0

RayL
Offline
Joined: Mar 31 1999

I recently did a 16 second animation for the opening of a wedding video. This took about 30 mins of capture using the AV Master, which has a one-click (or one key-press) feature for grabbing still frames. The 'characters' were two small teddy bears who bring on cards with the name of the bride and groom etc.

With 200 frames grabbed, they were imported into Premiere in one move. Then, with the still count set at 2, they were loaded on to the timeline (400 frames) and rendered. Rendering time was a few minutes, so I suppose the total operation took about an hour.

Ray Liffen

davideo0
Offline
Joined: Aug 18 1999

Hi Ray!
I,ve never used AV master. I wonder if it does the same as Prem with dv300. i.e. single press still capture to a BMP file.

Doing this with my system entails saving each bmp file one at a time and then creating an avi from them in some way.

Manual stop motion, as you know, allows one to collect any number of frames as a single avi file. This is then saved in one click.

It's draw back as I say is that if a frame is captured in error, easy delete is not available with my system.

I like the idea of the teddy bear intro to a wedding video.

Off thread:
Incidentally, Ray, you may remember me, I used to be treasurer of the Milton Keynes Camcorder Club which you were kind enough to visit a few years back. We all remember the visit you arranged for us to the Beeb.
regards
David Allerton-Austin

RayL
Offline
Joined: Mar 31 1999

David

Yes, indeed, I remember the talk at Milton Keynes and your subsequent visit to TC very well.

The AV Master single frame capture automatically names the .bmp files as they are captured so animation is simply a matter of Click-Move-Click-Move etc. As they are individual files, deleting one frame is no problem.

My best wishes to you and all the club members.

Ray

cresby
Offline
Joined: Oct 5 2000

Ho
Has anyone considered using Photoshop (etc) n GIF or TARGA sequences of files.
I use ULEAD Morph studio to get movement(free on a magazine and no longer supported but reputedly available as a feature in their Photo Express/Impact also reckoned to be in Main Actor).
Also part of Morph Studio and the frebeie Photo Impact with my video card is the distort s/w - Power Goo is probably the same thing. It allows you to compress/expand in sections.
With morphing it would allow you to make a Teddy Bear talk. Perhaps it would tell us what it does in the woods!
Ulead COOL 3D can do some of what you ask but is essentially object/text oriented.
If you make use of Premieres distorts and oversize shots and save as AVI you could (with chroma key/alpha channel) get movement of sorts relative to a static (or AVI) background.
Cartoon illustrators always had a still artist (accurate) and a movement artist (quick on the draw). So getting every frame crystal clear is not essential. Hence Mpeg!

[This message has been edited by cresby (edited 17 October 2000).]

[This message has been edited by cresby (edited 17 October 2000).]

Mr Red

Daniel
Offline
Joined: Aug 10 1999

For those of you on a Mac, check out http://www.framethief.com

NNSW
Offline
Joined: Oct 8 2000

I don't know if this is relevant but I'm trying out a little programme called WinTLV which sells itself as a time lapse device... but it also does animation. I downloaded the demo from DaveCentral and it seems great.

It's just like how I used to do simple Super 8 animation. Set up your scene - near the computer of course - take a couple of shots, move something, take a couple of shots etc etc. Maybe you are thinking of something far more sophisticated but I had a daft little animation going in minutes.Unlike Super 8 you can fiddle around with the AVI clips as much as you like.

davideo0
Offline
Joined: Aug 18 1999

Hi! NNSW
I downloaded WinTLV and gave it a try.
Unfortunately, it failed to recognise my DV300 DV card for some reason. It did look quite promising. As far as I can see it does more or less what premiere can do in the realm of stop motion capture without the editing facilities. As I said in my initial entry, the problem I found with Prem 5.1c is that it is not possible to delete a frame shot in error during manual stop motion despite the help file indicating it can be done by using "delete" to take back a frame or series of frames. I was rather hoping that this little prog might do just that.
Looking at the facilities I don't think it can either. Can you confirm NNWS?

By the way what type of capture device do you have?

Has anyone used WinTLV for animation with a DV300? If so I'd be pleased to know how get them to work together.

David

NNSW
Offline
Joined: Oct 8 2000

David

I'm a complete beginner with the simplest set up - an Evesham Pentium with a DC10+.(The cheapest setup I could find which is marketed as a system for NLE.)

WinTLV immediately recognised the card. It's there under Setup-Select Video Source. I plugged in my camcorder and got a picture without further ado.

There's another little program (another! and this one's free) called VirtualDub. You'd easily find it. You put an AVI file in and get an AVI file out.

So you open your clip of animation in VirtualDub, find the start where your hand got in the way or someone walked in, and mark it. Then find the outpoint, mark it, and press delete. Then save the new file. (Strangely, WinTLV didn't seem to like the DC10+ codec - but it liked other codecs.)

That's as far as I've got. I'd have thought - but who knows? -that there'd be no problem opening up and editing these AVIs in Premiere.