Thank Goodness It's Friday edition - 03-25-05
trying to find its identity? CEO of Vinton Studios leaves The studio's CEO, Jeff
Farnath has immediately resigned.
Their press release says it's merely a contract
renewal issue. Farnath originally hired by Will
attempting to start his own projects), then Jeff
assisted in getting Will fired.
Supposedly, I have been hearing for awhile that the New
Vinton Studio will be changing its name. Has not
happened yet .... and I wonder if name is changed, what
will that do to the studio's future marketablity or name
recognition value? Hmmmm ....what would the new
name be .... Nike Studios or Knight Studios?
The New Vinton Studio hired Henry Selick some months ago in 2004, and we
will wait & see if any new in-house
Stop Motion projects will actually be done in
Portland, Oregon (USA). The New Vinton
Studio is involved with Tim
Burton's Stop Mo flick, "The Corpse
Bride", but only in a
production capacity. That Stop Mo gig not
being done in USA but far away overseas, in
England. I really hope for the best,
for New Vinton Studios or whateverer name it
will be in future. Just remember, there are plethora
of CGI Studios and you got overseas
outsourcing trend .... competition is
fierce. Stop Motion is so unique
in the over-crowded mass of digital generated animation.
IMO, a big mistake if Vinton Studio
diminishes Stop Motion's value. It should be at
the forefront of their marketing.
* Sci-fi Hall of Fame
inductees will be honored in Seattle and Ray Harryhausen
will be one of the honorees.
* 12 years after "The
Nightmare Before Christmas" and somebody
just reviewing it? Masterpiece Cinema -The Nightmare
Actually, it is a retrospective look at it. The
writer mistakenly calls it a Disney film. IMO,
the Mouse Suits only supplied funding &
distribution, and slapped their "Touchstone"
label onto Nightmare. Again, it's 12 years later
and Disney has shown no further interest in Stop
Motion .... nothing, zero, zilch, nada.
Weekend edition - 03.19.05
* Hey ..... am I in
the big time league with regards to
Stop Motion? I just discovered that Apple
in the UK has a link to Stop Motion Works! Of
course, a few months ago I also had the privilege
of interviewing Uncle Ray. I will not mention
names, but I do occassionally get emails through this
site from some well known people in or around the effects
biz. Okay ... I better chill-out ....
must control that ego. Sheeeeesh .... I see that Marc Spess also has a link at Apple. He is
all over the friggen internet! Oh I
forgot, here is Apple's-UK page, about Stop
Motion as an educational-creativity aid Animation Inspirations (that is where you will see my
* I updated the Stop
page .... slight re-editing of the second paragraph and
also added 3 more Stop Motion programs
..... TrikFilm Cam, FrameWorks, & eXposer.
See next news item below of other stop mo software that I
have not had a chance to include yet at the Stop Mo
Software review link.
* For Apple-Mac Luvers:
I found a new Stop Motion software StopMotioner beta 3. I do not know when it was
released. Their forum appears to have started about Nov '04 so
that might be when the software came out. This program
seems more user-friendly for general public use. It is
not only a frame grabber but includes built-in editing
features, titling, transitions, etc., to almost cut the
entire animation together without using another program.
Their site is not clear, but I assume you can download
trial version demo and you can also buy
full version. It is called beta 3
but I don't understand .... You are buying a
"beta" version? (with purchase perhaps they
offer support) I encourage you to give it a try,
give them feedback, post on their forum and also let me
know what you think of this program.
* Stop MotionMaker V1.2 just released .... supercedes
V1.1. My understanding is .... some touch-up refinement
of its Rotoscoping feature.
* Here at Animation World Network a soundbyte about Disaster. The group Motely Crue apparently
will be making appearance as re-incarnated puppets! If
you are not aware, we mentioned earlier here about Tennessee Reid Norton and that he has resurfaced and
returned to the sometimes insane world of Stop Mo ....
long hours, so much effort, but we dig
the suffering for that final high when the Stop Mo is
finally all put together! As mentioned in earlier news,
he is working on his own Stop Mo flick ....'Richard
Private: The Private Dick' (might possibly be
for the more mature audiences). The Private Dick Plog about his journey &
experiences. In addition to T-Reids, ongoing
people/personal adventures, I like the behind the scenes
production peek and also his Technical Mumbo
Jumbo section is way cool ....
a nice trick about mirrors to create long shadows on
miniature sets. T-Reid, if you are a Virgin in
the ways of webmastering, just remember this profound
thought .... Don't blow your wad too fast!
I know online audiences will hate me for
saying this, but you, the public out here, do get spoiled
real fast. Us webmasters have to keep internet
audiences thirsting for more One
can do Part 1, Part 2 or coming
soon teasers, especially with T-Reid's how-it-was
done revelations in his Tech Mumbo Jumbo. All
yous peoples should bookmark his plog page.
I should not need to remind you to visit his site
regularly. If you don't .... it's your loss.
He's got some more cool info there right now!
* Got this from my sources: "Cuppa Coffee Studios has taken on a 3rd series of 'JoJo's
Circus' for Disney, a new season of 'Little
People' for Mattel
and a pilot for VH1. All shows listed
are Stop-Mo! Cuppa
Coffee is also rumored to about to sign
on to do a new season of 'Celebrity
Death Match'. Cuppa is adding a further
16 studios to it current 34, rounding out their facility
to 50 studios. Another Stop Mo project is being developed
internally, loosely based on the Christmas Special 'A
Very Barry Christmas' ...dont know the
name of it but it is being developed as a theatrical
This is LIO .... not sure what my source means when he or
she says 'studios' .... I am guessing it
means production stages, miniature sets, or animation
stations for each of Stop Mo animators?
Weekend edition - 03.12.05
* Recently, a new Stop Motion capture
software called Stop MotionMaker (for
Windows) came onto the scene. The software developer
quickly responded to some suggestions at the Stop Motion
message board, they did some changes, and now Stop
MotionMaker V1.1 is making its debut today. I
got myself the new full version of it and checked-it out.
It has some strong features disguised in
a simple user interface package to assist you in refining
your Stop Motion skills or if you are a beginner, will
tremendously help you to learn Stop Motion. As follows:
* After you shoot off each frame, automatic
onionskinning of previous stored frame (you have
option to turn onionskin off or on)
* You can mouse-click left & right arrows in window
to toggle through all the stored frames
ending at the "live" image. Also, keyboard left
& right arrows can be used to toggle through frames
* This is pretty cool .... you can enable loop
last frame .... it will automatically toggle
back & forth between previous stored frame & live
*Another hot feature ..... rotoscoping
..... you can import reference movie clip which will be
superimposed over your live image for animation reference
* How about this ..... if you make mistake ..... you can undo
the last frame and reshoot it.
* You want more? At anytime during your animation
session, you can instantly preview the
entire movie at whatever FPS speed you
Putting Stop MotionMaker through its paces .....
as needed while I was animating, I was able to quickly
access any of the above features. The developer
originally designed this software for children-schools-educators
and they want to maintain this simple
user interface concept. IMO, if you are an
experienced animator, Stop MotionMaker seems to
be a solid & stable frame capture tool,
or if you are shooting with digital still cam,
I think it would serve as a functional &
efficient "video assist" frame grabber.
Another plus not mentioned at their site
..... each frames are immediately captured & saved as
single images. So if your computer crashes, do
not worry ..... just bring up Stop
MotionMaker window again, it will still have all
images-frames stored and you can continue with the
animation. At this time, I cannot see any negatives or
bugs yet about this software. If you do find an issue or
have a problem, it looks like Stop
MotionMaker customer service are
responsive, open to feedback & suggestions.
Since I get emails & comments about what I write
here, please do not whine & complain to me
that Stop MotionMaker does not have all the
features of Stop Motion Pro, AnimatorDV,
or FrameThief. Those serve different needs for a
more picky clientele. Stop
MotionMaker has other features and download
the trial free demo to tryout yourself. How much
for Stop MotionMaker ? $29. US Dollars.
Keep Stop Motion Alive .... purchase Stop MotionMaker
* I just got this news from
Slamdance Film Festival programming director.
Looks like they are looking for some animation
inclusion. Kind of prestigious,
Slamdance .... isn't it? Hey Eric Scott,
Mike Brent, Nick Hilligoss or anybody else at StopMoShorts ....Why don't you give it a shot? Yo
.... "represent" Stop-Mo for your homeys!
Here is the info:
Slamdance Anarchy Online Film Competition
"Every month from March to November
Slamdance picks three films under 9 minutes to play on
our website. People vote and the winner of each monthis
invited to Park City to compete for thecoveted Global
Anarchy Award. Anarchy isa great way to slip into one of
America's mostreputable festivals. Only $25 ($15 students
w/ i.d.)to enter. Go to Slamdance-Anarchy for entry details!"
* For awhile, I have had on my Store & Contact page, that I was working on a
cost-effective modular Stop Motion system or kits. For
now, I have temporarily taken that announcement
down.I have had various armaturing designs on
drawing board, but breaking down and analyzing the
material costs and labor, there is no way
that can I offer at the price point some of you have
inquired or expecting. Would you believe I got
inquiries asking if I offer armatures that would cost
less than $100. because that was
too much (sheeeesh) ? I will
not mention names, but I have had brief feedback from
others who were, or are currently trying to sell
low cost armatures at about $300. and some even at around
$100.. They tell me, that it is not really worth the time
& labor effort because the volume of
customers is not there. If there was volume,
then "maybe", but unfortunately, there is not.
Well, there are alternatives to the higher end
stop motion armatures, wires good ol' standby
and I have had links to Loc-Line hose type armatures but apparently no one
has had the creativity out here to convert them as test
armatures for "practicing". You do not
need fancy armatures if you are a newbie or just want to
practice. Since no one has actually done it or
shown me pics of Loc-Line armatures that they made,
I will personally demonstrate a Loc-Line hose based human
configured armature with modifications using
everday hardware items. Stay tuned. Addendum:
I cannot vouch for the quality of these but at least
there are some who are trying to offer Stop Motion
armatures at consumer level pricing ....
quality or performance may not be the same as custom
made armatures but perhaps sufficient for your
beginning needs Armaverse & Animation Supplies
* The return of Tennessee
Reid Norton ! Who is he .... you ask? He is an ol'
Puppet Pusher comrade, where our paths first
crossed on Nightmare Before Christmas
and thereafter, some other Stop Motion projects. T-Reid
as he is known by .... a one of a kind
personality with a unique and interesting creative style.
He is definitely not
mainstream. Way back, I also helped him on his
own little test short about a character called The Lizard Whomper. Again, maybe not mainstream but
for niche audiences with similar off-the-wall tastes as
T-Reid's For awhile, T-Reid
seemed to have dropped out of Stop Motion and I have not
heard from him for years until his recent contact with
me, letting me know that he is still alive &
kicking. Here is the announcement of his new
" We are
truly in a new Stop-Mo renaissance with materials and
digital production allowing a new breed of animation to
arrive on the scene. I am excited for the new Stop-Mo
features premiering this year and for all the new artists
creating fresh content! I also look forward to the
revolution that is coming to Broadcast distribution on
the web. I predict the same kind of shakeup that is
happening with the music industry will happen with
broadcast and features as the "suits" become
more and more antiquated just like their Nielson Ratings!
The public is already supporting content creators and
self-distributors like Homestar Runner, who have chosen
not to accept broadcast deals because of the creative
limitations."_ Welcome back T-Reid!
Check-out his website The Private Dick Plog .... a "unique" website
name, indeed. Perhaps for those with an "Open
Weekend edition - 02.26.05
* What the hell is
going on here? February is about over already?
I hate this .... "Time"
passing by toooooo fast. I blame this on
Computers, Internet stuff, all this Digital-Schimgital,
then you got the so-called Wireless panacea and
especially Cell Phones! I remembered it being a much
slower lifestyle pace and more relaxing during the good
ol' days. Something weird is happening
.... everything is accelerating.
Perhaps if I relocate move to some distant remote place in
the woods away from all this news media &
advertisemnet crap bombardment ..... "Time"
might slow down again, like it use to be??
* Remember my recent postings below
about the Stop Motion Software page?? I pretty much scoured the
internet to check if there were any more Stop Mo specific
programs ..... unfortuanately very little out there.
Always good to have a selection or choices. Well
....guess what? Someone suddenly posted at message board about a new Stop
Mo capture program .... Stop MotionMaker The software seems to have just
appeared out of nowhere. Apparently, this is
not a Beta version because they are selling
it as a finished piece of software. The
interface/appearance looks very user friendly and almost
for kids, but that is misleading in a good way. Stop
MotionMaker looks like it has some strong
features .... Onionskinning, Rotoscoping, delete/replace
frame .... connections choices of USB,
Firewire, Analog ..... has video
compression and de-interlacing. A free trial demo
download is available. It is for PC-Windows and program
file size is small. You might consider giving
this software "a test". Let me
know or post
your feedback at message board and of course contact them too and offer your comments.