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JANUARY 2004

01.26.04
* I found this other animation capturing program that is primarily designed for drawn animation called Tapptoons Animation Linetester for PC's. From reading Tapptoon's description, it is not at all, like Xipster which makes it very easy for beginners to jump into animation, however, if you play around with Tapptoons' menus and make adjustments, I think it could be adapted for Stop Motion frame capture. If this works for Stop Motion, I might classify this as an intermediate frame capture tool. They have 2 versions ....Tapptoons LineTester Pro (only $72. USD) and Tapptoons Linetester which is free .... yes FREE! The program has many features, and if you like to play around with software, perhaps you can get it to work for Stop Motion! One of the minor limitations of the free version is the maximum output resolution of 512x288 pixels, but hey, it's free! Very generous of them to offer it. Tapptoons LineTester has detailed online documentation & instructions. I URGE you to download it and experiment with it! Please let me know if it works for you or give us any tips or advice. Tell Tapptoons, "thank you" for the free version and also that Stop Motion Works sent you there!

* Looking for Funny Animations ..... this was posted last week on a clay animation discussion group. No pay but you get credit. They seem to be looking for animation that is already finished, or perhaps something you can produce quickly .....maybe good exercise & discipline to create something on a deadline schedule? Here is the posted message ....
"MyGameTV.com a new syndicated video game review show, is looking for animators to
contribute 1-2 minute short funny bits to the show. There is no compensation, however there is screen credit. Also, we would like to work with comedic animators that would be interested in creating1-2 minute pieces from scratch about My Game TV. If this sounds interesting to you contact:
Jeff Rivera", Website: www.myGameTV.com" Anybody is welcomed to post this on their website, message board, etc.
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01.23.04
* In case you were at SMA board regarding this topic ....well another exclusive here ....I could have posted this link at the forum under that topic, but I used my personal time to search for this and I deserve & earned the site hits Here are some photos with text en Español ..... Stop Motion vs. Computer Animation. Hey, the internet is a game of survival .... everyone steals from ... ummmm ....I mean we borrow from each other! Actually I really did not steal anything. Okay .... you now have permission to Steal this and post the website address at the SMA board or anywhere else! Addendum 01.26.04 ....thanks to TeaBgs (Jason).... you can see the QuickTime movie HERE
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01.20.04
* I just received an email from someone on the message board and this member seems to have taken my 01.17.04 comments (see below) personally! I replied and said my commentary was not directed at anyone specifically. Many of you know about my little rants and preaching. Perhaps I am like the Matt Drudge of Stop Motion? Of course, I am not worthy to be in his class as master gossip-rumor monger. Hey, send me some! You know that I am always begging for buzz, rumors, etc.. Anyway, hopefully you realize that I do my little tirades with a good spirit and I am not angry. I am just trying to motivate and help some, to be more focused about Stop Motion and not go detouring all over the map, but everyone chooses their own path how they want to learn. I am not discouraging anyone to ask questions. The purpose of message boards/forums, is to communicate, learn, friendly debates, and so on! See .... I am happy!
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01.17.04
Special Weekend Edition
* On the SMA board ..... lots of talk ..... much of it consumed in the technical anal retentive minutia aspects of what type cameras, equipment, etc. and everyone seems to want the "perfect setup" to do their epics. Very minimal Stop Motion animation is being shown by the forum members. There is nothing wrong with discussing such technical things (that's the purpose of forums) but it seems that some of the members just get stuck in the planning of it and take a lifetime just to start shooting a single frame of animation! At the CGI-digital focused message forums, their members seem more active in doing actual animation .... even just simple tests and just to practice. These following links are not Stop Motion but a non-professional doing their amatuer variation-homage to Star Wars. Yeah ....I know the idea is not "original" and you can tell it has CGI effects but IMO, has reasonably good production values ....good cutting & pacing of the trailers. He basically used a Canon GL1 DV camcorder and extensive use of CGI and compositing-special effects with Adobe's After Effects. You can do the same incorporating Stop Motion and real models and enhance with post special effects/compositing. Here are some 15 second trailers .... first one, Dark Skies Trailer (Quicktime) ...the sequel, Storm Ahead Trailer (Windows Media Player). Here are their main websites Dark Skies and Storm Ahead. Other clips are available (even entire movie) but too large to download for dial-up connections. Okay ..... Stop Talking and get moving ..... put a welding torch under your buttocks and Start Animating!!

* As some of you might know, I did some past jobs for the old Will Vinton Studios and one of them was for FOX Sports ad spots as described in my About link. Well, that was done in 1999 and to my surprise ....just surfing the net, I found an archived article about it which I never new existed! Anyway for your edification here it is Shoot Mag/NFL Fox Stop Motion Promos
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01.14.04
* If any of you have contacted me or made inquiries about prices or were interested in some of my services, feel free to remind me again and maybe that will put a little fire under my ASS! Sometimes I get side-tracked with the mundane things of LIFE .... the bills, house chores, cooking, laundry, grocery shopping, unforseen things, vehicle problems, doing fricken year end tax & paperwork stuff, etc. (I do not have any help.... a partner) .....and of course my other "joe-job" that pays the rent. I would like to expand what I do here and offer services, on a more regular basis. Even just maintaining this small website (at no profit) can take some time. I want to get my STORE going (take a look at it....updated) but unfortunately that is still in progress. At least I have the courtesy to tell you, unlike other websites which are forever "under construction" (that sucks). Again, if you have contacted me and have not heard anything, you know where to reach me!
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01.12.04
* You know, IMO, one of the contributory reasons Stop Motion Animation as a whole field, might be a fragmented art/craft, is maybe because of this kind of Underground reputation and perhaps because many of the die-hard practioners of Stop Mo are mostly secluded in their garages & homes? We are maybe closet-types. In other arts,crafts, fields or hobbies, there seems to be more comraderie and Esprit d' Cor ....but Stop Motion ....Nooooooo! Jeff Taylor "walked the talk" and made his tremendous attempts with the Imagine Nation Expo that had some Stop Motion content .... but it eventually fizzled because the attendence was poor. Even the general Animation trade/industry magazines seem to make no attempt at researching or reporting news items about Stop Motion ..... most all the news is about fricken CGI / Digital FX ! Well at least, traditional 2D animation gets some attention but mainstream 2D work may be in a recession now. Back to Stop Motion .... I suppose there are still the secretive ones who are just quiet & introverted and do not want to participate and are not pro-active about Stop Motion. That is the nature of some people in general, I suppose. I have requested to have my Stop Motion Works link on many animation related sites and only a few have done it. There does not seem to be any co-operation amongst us ..... for the larger good. Some are just paranoid, I guess. As a positive example, Marc Spess and I might have competing or similar websites but we get along fine and even borrow news items from each other! We also exchange links. I really don't care who reports the news.....I only see one goal ..... to try and spread the word about Stop Motion as much as possible. Unfortunately, many of us just sit on our Rear Ends and let others do the work. Today, the news and world events seem kind of slow or somber and I had nothing else to post here, so you got another one of my mini-rants.
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01.08.04
* Stop Motion Animators are supposedly labeled with personalities having a high degree of patience to undertake this time consuming animation craft. Well .... that may be a misnomer! The book, Ray Harryhausen: An Animated Life, was released at Amazon in England a few months ago and many on the SMA message board were slobbering with anticipation and had their underwears in a bunch , to be FIRST to get the book .... and paid the higher price! I am not one to rush out and buy things immediately but the SMA board members put the peer pressure bug in me and I also got the book from England (I am guilty, too!) Well ....for those who have patience .... Amazon in USA will have Uncle Ray's book and it will be less expensive .... only $35. for USA customers and free shipping! The book jacket cover for USA edition is a shot from the Jason/Argonauts. I would have preferred a photo of Ray with some Stop Motion puppets.... but the content is what is most important. There are different categories of Stop Motion from Gumby to Trnka but Ray Harryhausen was one of pioneers of the more commercialized marketable types of Creature Character Stop Motion for mass public consumption.Unlike the mega-million dollar of movies of today, Ray worked with poor man's budget but yet, was able to achieve miraculous high production values. I like to use the phrase.... Before CGI was Cool .... Ray Harryhausen was already doing it! Even if you do not do any Stop Motion and you are a mouse clicking animator or do other 'puter work in CGI ..... you need to get this book to learn about Godfather Ray .... who trailblazed dimensional photo-real type character animation. Please, do not categorize Stop Motion as quaint, cute or old fashioned but learn to appreciate it as it's own unique animation art/craft that can still entertain the public (but no support from mainstream movie biz) Here is excerpt from book
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01.05.04
* PIXAR starts 2D animation division? I have been sitting on this news or rumor item for almost two weeks because I wanted to see if some of the major animation trades would report this ...... but zilch, nada, zero. What's up with Animation Magazine and Animation World Network? I could not find this on their sites.....
As you know, we sometimes bash & criticize the Corporate Suits/Studios because they seemed to be
consumed with CGI .... and they dare not be innovative or experiment with other kinds of animation. This is not directly related to Stop Motion but has to do with our 2D Traditional brothers & sisters. This is the Buzz: Under the PIXAR name, they might be breaking the mold and have the guts & courage to expand and diversify their animation market by producing 2D animation! YES you heard it here! Remember not too long ago, when Disney was getting rid of their traditional animation tables & related equipment? The story is, that PIXAR bought them! Huge kudos goes to Pixar and to John Lasseter who is the creative executive now. He has always said that CGI is only a tool and it's good characters & stories that are the foundation. By supporting other styles of animation, IMO, Pixar and John ....WALK THE TALK ! If this story is true, I am personally going to send John Lasseter a postcard showing my appreciation and support for this bold move.
Just in case, please do not spam Pixar with emails or clog their fax machine. Perhaps ..... Pixar & John will someday venture out and also support Stop Motion film projects or some Stop Mo shorts for festivals!? If you know of any online 2D Animation forums, maybe this Pixar Encouragment Campaign could be suggested to them! Disney perhaps blew it, by prematurely dumping 2D animation. Does Pixar really need Disney anymore? Here are some of my online sources where I got this story
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 Does anyone have more information about this? Also, please correct me if I am wrong. You can anonymously use my contact page
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01.01.04
* Ummmm ....another year. To me, it feels the same like 2003 (it's all media hype!) The reality is .... it is not a Happy New Year for everyone and I sometimes refrain from using that phrase too loosely and exercise judgement to who I might say that to. Your "life" is Now, in the present .... do not excessively dwell on the past but learn from life experiences (don't repeat mistakes) .....anger & resentment will make things worse and distort your feelings or perspective. Move on and try to better yourself .... do the best you can to treat everyone with kindness and respect throughout the entire year (not just on special days). Okay, end of Sermon.


 

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