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February 2008

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02.23.08
* Madame Tutli-Putli and Peter and the Wolf ..... Both Stop Motion Works (Hey, that's my name ) are Oscar nominated for Best Short Animated Film, including 3 other animations. I am not sure why or how, but these are on YouTube in their entirety . Maybe because they are Nominated, to further promote or influence? Side Bar observation: Masses have unbelievably adapted themselves to watching all manner of moving images on these very small movie player windows on their computer screens (even smaller images on cell phone screens ). Obviously, image or sound quality is inferior compared to better quality, watching on more reasonably larger size TV screen from a DVD. Also, these YouTube things, are broken down into segments, so that also, sort of negatively impacts the full viewing experience. Anyway, here you go (Tutli-Putli, more for adults & discretion advised) ......

Madame Tutli-Putli (Part 1)
Click ___

This is PART TWO. Consider Buying the DVD so you do not strain your eyes and are able to watch in comfort and its full glory version. Also online, Tutli-Putli uncut (continuous).

Peter & the Wolf (Part 1)
Click ___

PART 2 & PART 3. Did you know Peter and the Wolf will be aired in the USA on the Public Broadcasting Service, March 26? The series is called Great Performances. PBS posted at YouTube, teaser clips of behind the scenes, Click 1 Click 2 Click 3. Aardman Studio, has recently acquired distribution rights. I do not know when & where you can purchase the DVD in USA. It is at Amazon in the UK but they are out of stock (they have the DVD, PAL version). Hmmm ..... kind of odd to me, the highbrow PBS, a member of YouTube. I guess, PBS sees possible $Marketing$ and will make some exceptions, and 'lower' their Highbrow-ness .EDIT: 02.23.08
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02.16.08
* Digital Still Cam Bandwagon .... I am seeing more topics at messageboard about Stop Motion newbies wanting to use Digital Still Cams. Perhaps, some may not have an understanding of the entire Hi-Res workflow requirements? The primary fact: High Resolution from DSCs is way overkill (for the end product) and you need to jump through some workflow hoops to downsize the Hyper high res images & then, the issue of editing/post-production with underpowered computer. Sure, there are some workarounds but makes the workflow more involved & not the most ideal. I am guessing, because DSCs are so ubiquitous at consumer market level, the Stop Motion wannabies think, "I will just use the DSC that I already have". The general public starting to look at standard DV Resolution as ghetto? A reflection of how advertising marketeers/pushers molding the minds of the masses. I am even seeing now, little cuts & jabs at messageboard about standard DV resolution. Some are subtle dissing comments, but this is a recent one that I recall which is a more blatant one liner stab "Sony DR-301 makes me vomit".

Well, I say to some of you Snot Nose Spoiled 'High Resolution Elitists', "Judge me by the content of my animation and not by the number of high resolution pixels!". High Resolution does not automatically mean that your product is supposedly 'superior'. I would rather see some Video/Film work done very well, even though it might not satisfy your Nirvanic High Resolution compulsion. Look, I know all the Pro arguments for Hi-Resolution and I do not need a lecture. If I ever go over to the Hi-Res side in the future, it will possibly not be Digital Still Cameras, but instead, I seem to be gravitating towards HD Video using HDMI interface for uncompressed HD video resolution capturing. Some Stop Motion Software are beginning to have HDMI compatibility. HDMI is like the new Firewire for High Definition Video.

For the not so technically inclined, have you considered the computer high horsepower & image storage capacity needed for High Definition Video processing & editing? Most likely, right now with your current computer, you cannot even playback the HD resolution in REAL TIME. How about doing other HD post production tasks? Very slow? At messageboard, I see minimal inquiries about HD video editing & post production workstation. Exercise your mouse clicking finger here and earn your research. That High Horsepower & Specialty HD editing software requires some extra $$$ investment. Of course, it is your choice if you want to get side-tracked in the miasma of High Resolution anal retentive technical details . I choose to sit on the fence and let you be the experimental lab subjects for me , while I will focus on the 'Animation' with my soooo inferior Digital Video resolution.

Addendum: The phrase, Digital Still Cams, I sometimes use as generic description which covers both consumer DSC & higher end DSLR. EDIT: 02.17.08
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02.09.08
* Uncle Ray In-Person, Animation Principles, The Transitory Net .... On February 20, Wednesday, 7:15 PM, an appearance by the master puppet pusher at the Rafael Film Center in San Rafael, California. Guests will include Craig Barron, Dennis Muren, & Phil Tippett and also Ray's friend & manager, Arnold Kunert.

Some recent forum topics on Key Framing (aka pose to pose)as applied to Stop Motion 1 & 2. Even better if you get yourself some foundational animation books (listed right on this news page). Here are some online articles by Keith Lango 1 & 2, on Animation principles. Some of it, maybe wordy, but if you are a heavy cerebal-type reader & absorber of massive amounts of text, then you may like it. There are also a few sample, freebie Video Tutorials Posing 1 Posing 2. Keith's articles & the sample Vid Tuts slanted towards CGI methods (borrowing heavily from 2D principles), however, to me, basically repeating what is already in books about classic animation principles, but perhaps, presented in a different style. Also, only my view, maybe getting very deep into breaking down & analyzing every minutiae of details about Animation, and then my eyes starts to glaze over! He has many links to other Animators of his kind, but no Stop Motion brothers/sisters . I do have to say though, that Keith is very generous & prolific with sharing his Animation knowledge. More links at SMW Library and past news-blog.

Just to remind you, that the Internet has ephemeral qualities. Plethora of websites end or terminate. If you do not actively support (contribute, talk, feedback. etc.) your favorite website hang-out, it can one day, just vanish. Here is an example of one website which is not Stop Motion but mostly CG & 2D animation. The website owner frustrated with non-involvment by people just lurk-sponging. Read his disappointment at AnimWatch. Hopefully, you do not want that to happen to StopMoShorts, Stop Motion Works, or other Stop Motion related websites? You know; we just disappear. Show a spirit of comaraderie. It is a community. Not fair to put the burden on the few. Do your share. Contribute .... say something ....anything. EDIT: 02.10.08
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02.02.08
* Front Projection Special Effects .... I'm kind of brain fried today. In addition to pressures & expectations from you. All this knowledge you are hoarding but what are you going to do with it!? Okay, I will do a minimal blog/news (like Marc Spess does ). For the ol' timers that appreciate traditional, sweat busting, you earned it Special Effects; let us momentarily pay our respects to Front Projection. A technique I got interested years ago and played around with it but got only to testing stages. Then, CGI invaded the planet earth with their attempts to take over all special effects . For us Mechanical-Gadgeteering Creatives, Front Projection was FUN (to me). Since front projection has practically disappeared, I guess my ol' mounted two 4 x 4 feet Scotchlite Screens may be a rare item. Try and find where to buy the specific # 7610 3M Scotchlite screen material. As far as I know, the 3M company no longer offers this specific Scotchlite material in roll form/sheets. I also have some small rolled up 3M Scotchlite (not mounted). The FP screens & other stuff taking up some minor space in my shop/studio, but I do not mind. I just dig the hands on, get in there elbow grease of ol' classic special effects. Similar feelings with my Bolex SBM 16mm cam. I do not feel like selling it. What a marvel of engineering. The damn thing will outlive me and a nuclear blast. How long will your planned obsolescent Digital Cams and anything Techy, last? Today, some stripped down form of Front Projection still exist, but it's only a propriertary method for Green/Blue screen chroma-keying. For us ol' timers some links to indulge in and escape from the computer technological sterility of today. 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 EDIT: 02.03.08
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