Stop Motion Animation Suggestions?

snegron

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I'm thinking of using my G5 for stop motion animation (clay animation). Any suggestions on easy to use animation programs that let me import JPEGs into the time line? I don't want to spend a fortune on a new animation program, nor do I want to spend the next 3 years of my life trying to figure out how to use it. I have found vector based animation programs to be more difficult to decipher than Quantum Mechanics.

I would like to do this the "old fashioned way"; creating a clay scene, photographing each frame, move subjects by hand, then photograph again. Yes, I know, very time consuming. This is for a 10 minute animation project I have in mind and I don't want to spend the time or money on a complex, feature-filled animation program.
 

barry13

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Hi,

I don't know how much pre-processing is needed (hopefully little if you're using fixed WB and exposure), but the simplest job might be to use ImageMagick or similar to convert the JPEGs into a video file; then you could use a video editor to do more processing.

Barry
 

snegron

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Thanks Barry! Looks like a powerful program, but I'm not too experienced using command-line interface. I was hoping for something with a bit more GUI.I agree with you regarding using a simple JPEG to video conversion program though. I tried Windows Movie Maker, but the transition time from frame to frame was way too slow even at the fastest setting (probably better suited for a slide show more than an actual smooth-running movie).

Ideally, I would like to drop the JPEG's into a time line-type box and convert them to MPEG or other video files. The average frame rate is 24 frames per second, so it would mean capturing hundreds of still images and converting them to a useable movie.
 

kevinparis

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there are a whole bunch of stop motion apps for the mac/iphone... can't imagine that equivalents don't exist on other platforms

istopmotion seems a good choice if you are on a mac. Sadly most apps have support for live view/capture for canon and nikon and not much else

generally stop motion will be shot at 15 frames a second.. higher is better but the trade off in terms of shots taken is debatable

Adobe premiere/premiere elements might be worth exploring

K
 

manzoid

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Try monkeyjam. I haven't used it, but was looking for something similar a while ago.
 

OzRay

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A while back I used Photoshop to convert a series of still images into GIFs and then Microsoft GIF animator to make them into a longer, animated, GIF and then (I think) Windows Movie Maker to convert them into a WMV.
 

snegron

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A while back I used Photoshop to convert a series of still images into GIFs and then Microsoft GIF animator to make them into a longer, animated, GIF and then (I think) Windows Movie Maker to convert them into a WMV.
I read somewhere that one of the newer versions of Photoshop has this option. I don't know if it was CS4 or CS5. I currently have access to CS4.
 

snegron

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there are a whole bunch of stop motion apps for the mac/iphone... can't imagine that equivalents don't exist on other platforms

istopmotion seems a good choice if you are on a mac. Sadly most apps have support for live view/capture for canon and nikon and not much else

generally stop motion will be shot at 15 frames a second.. higher is better but the trade off in terms of shots taken is debatable

Adobe premiere/premiere elements might be worth exploring

K


Stopmotion Pro seems like a nice program. You are right about the compatibility with Nikon/Canon (newer models). Unfortunately they bundle their higher resolution feature with the more expensive version that is compatible with Nikon/Canon.
 

OzRay

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I read somewhere that one of the newer versions of Photoshop has this option. I don't know if it was CS4 or CS5. I currently have access to CS4.
I think CS4 has the ability to do this, but as I just wanted a quick and dirty, I used MS GIF animator. There are programs that you can buy that do much better at this, but unless you're doing it regularly, I can't see the point.
 

kevinparis

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a feature thats important to look for is 'onion skinning' ... its a feature that allows you to see the previous shot overlayed on the current shot, so you can work out how far to move the subject... most stop motion apps should have this

K
 

svenkarma

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The GX7 has a built-in stop motion feature which works very well. Not that I'm encouraging you to spend money on hardware rather than software :wink:
 

barry13

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