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05.26.07
* 'Model Magic ®' from Crayola .... Some years ago brought up at message board. I thought it would inspire some thinking-out-of-the box Stop Motionists or beginners to experiment with, but mostly, as far as I know, NO ONE has exploited its use as a material medium to use for one-off, puppet build-ups fabrication. In past, I have only done some minimal sculpting & handling of Model Magic, to get the feel of it and not yet, for actual Stop Mo use. Most of message board inquiries usually about all clay puppets (as in, for Clay Animation), the standard build up puppet methods and then the foam latex casting methods. Not criticizing those, but one should sometimes, break tradition & trailblaze experiment with new or different methods & materials. At this time, I do not even want to TOUCH 'Silicone' for Stop Mo puppet skins-bodies. IMO, too much effort, time, labor & not user-friendly to repair/patch silicone. I want to 'animate' and not spend my LIFE pre-occupied with armatures/puppets (they do not need to be overkill built). Stop Motion should be; sort-of, kind-of .... 'Fun' ?

Model Magic 'air dries' to a lightweight styrofoam-like material but has a slight spongey flex (will not crack). Check-out Crayola Model Magic ®; ubiquitously available almost everywhere; especially online 1 & 2 and other sites-retailers-stores. Worth experimenting with or are 'you', a lazy slacker and just going to wait for me to show you? Get off your BUTTS and exercise your brain cells and creativity, and then share & reciprocate with us. Geeeez .... I just do not understand you closeted Stop Motion people! I know, there are 'exceptions' and I am not tar & feathering everyone; but just the many guilty ones

P.S. I take back only 'some' of what I just said: There is someone, Trevor Elliot who recently submitted to StopMoShorts Visual Haiku, and he used Model Magic on his Popeye puppet; in addition to other materials. Pop Lobster (animated short) & behind the scenes. IMO, this is only the beginning potential of Model Magic material and can possibly be used for more complex puppet build-ups in combination with other materials; liquid latex, fiberfill, bake-able polymer clays (also Superflex ), etc. etc.. Also, at this website , someone who creates some figure puppet models (photos too small) for his own Stop Motion (info details are minimal-sketchy) with Model Magic. Edit 05.26.07
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05.19.07
* Rápido (en Español) Takes: Rabaudi @ DreamWorks, Fast StopMo Flying shots, DIY Camera Crane .... An article spotlighting someone at Dreamworks who creates hard reference models for the CGI mouse-clickers. His background was also as a Stop Motion modelmaker. Years ago, our paths may have crossed on some projects, Cundo Rabaudi DreamWorks Animation employee; also at article, scroll down & read the 4th comment (by Baxter) about CGI.

Recent topic at message board about fast way to stop motion fly objects. SMM demonstrated one, then Eric did one and this one which sure has similar look to this test I did many years ago when Eric was maybe still in diapers? I guess, imitation is sincerest form of flattery?

Also, another topic there about camera cranes for Stop Motion. From an old CineMagic mag article I found an online article reprint of a DIY Camera Crane. Although, for Stop Motion, you need to modify the crane so it can be incrementally & accurately moved then locked down, for frame by frame animation of the crane. I should contact Miles & Jules for tips how they engineered their DIY Wombok Camera Crane Edit 05.20.07

* Experiment at Message board .... and you do not even know it! Proof to me, that in the past, only a few have taken on the Stop Motion conversating load. Recently, Strider not posting too much and also, Nick Hilligoss seems to be lessening his comments. As for myself, for now, I am lurking with many of you. Actually, 'interrupting stuff' in my 'Life' and hence, I am on an internet diet & not even checked my backed up email for a few weeks (only uploaded this news/blog and then going offline). I feel, kind of sleazy, lurking . How can you do it and not contribute just a little bit? You indirectly put the pressure on just the few contributors to entertain you? What a bunch of info sponges! IMO, it is a 'Community' to interact, reciprocrate, share, or just say 'hi', whassup, etc.. Perhaps, many need to get some fighting attitude spirit to help you come out of your closets and transform into die-hard 'Stop Motion Cheerleaders' Edit 05.20.07
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05.12.07
* Travis Knight, Robot Chicken/StarWars, Uncle Ray @ MySpace, NewRobocop DVD .... Looks like Ryan Ball (of Animation Magazine), is 'On the Ball', doing a little taste of Stop Mo focusing. He did a short interview with Travis Knight (son of Laika Studio owner, Phil Knight) Coraline Animator Travis Knight of LAIKA Travis seems kind of cool and no big ego. A creative artist that genuinely digs animation.

Last week, our cracker jack (or this one) SMW News team , reported about the Stop Mo Robo-Chicken StarWars trailer. Here are some already shot/aired episodes that looks like it will be included in that special Robot Chicken: Star Wars Details Revealed

Check out the MySpace Ray Harryhausen Museum by a die-hard fan. Many comments by posters there (new generation of young) that 'dig' Uncle Ray's classic works. Ahhh .... the power of Stop Motion. You usually do not hear similar praises about CGI (animation by committee).

Soon to be released: A Collectors Edition of the original Robocop directed by Paul Verhoeven, and cool traditional Special FX and also Stop Motion by the Tippett Meister & his crew, before Phil mainstreamed into the gray fog of CGI. 20th Anniversary Edition of Robocop (2 Dvd set), will be available in August Edit 05.13.07

* Secret New Beta Stop Motion Software? .... Shelley Noble recently posted at Mike Brent's site/blog, stating that she knows of a beta frame-grabber software but she did not provide the name of the product, a link, or if it's for Macs or PCs? No sharing of info? I waited to see if later, she would follow-up; but, nothing, nada, zero, zilch . In general, the more that people know about beta programs, the more feedback the software author will receive. That is the usual protocol for software developers. Anyway, just putting the word out here and hopefully we can persuade Shelley to reveal this mysterious new Stop Motion program that is in development. Your 'secret' will be safe with us Edit 05.13.07
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05.05.07
* George Lucas feels the Robot Chicken FORCE .... A special RC parody of Star Wars will be aired on June 17. Read this article and you will also see a teaser clip link there, Robot Chicken & Seth Green at Celebration IV . Or if you are in a hurry, see trailer here. Edit 05.06.07

* Meet 'Chad Vader' ....The following is not Stop Mo but sort-of staying with the Star Wars theme here. I bet you never knew about Darth Vader's much lesser known, younger brother? Check out Chad Vader: Day Shift Manager. For best enjoyment & storyline sense, watch the Episodes in order. After viewing, read this Sun Times article, about these upstart creative guerilla movie-maker artists. IMO, they have done equal to or better than pro comedy writers. Also, I like the Chad Vader website; good promoting & marketing and fun to visit, look at. Edit 05.06.07

* 'Chicks' who Skin Animals .... This too, is somewhat related to Stop Motion; the art & skill of Taxidermy, in which some methods can be crossed-over into Stop Motion puppet fabrication to produce the "realm of realism" (remember Kong & Joe Young puppets?). Well, if I was starving, I could probably take a knife to birds, furry things, snakes, etc, to survive (food), but I do not know about gutting & stuffing them , as a hobby or business. Here is a taxidermy gal, Serena who specializes in doing 'it' as kind of "Dark & Creepy Art".

Then, Tamu from FPS dropped me a note about a young Canadian woman by the name of Carla Coma. She is starting to learn the ropes of Stop Motion and combining her taxidermy creativity to animation. Tamu met Carla and says that she is "awesome, eclectic and frenetic". It looks like Carla also digs 'Bugs' (entomology).

Another of the feminine persuasion that are fearless and also applies her craft on small critters; mice mostly, it seems. She is Christy Canida. Would you be curious to see a demo, of gutting & stuffing a small mice? Here are few of her tutorials, Duck Mouse & Mouse Mouse. Not for squeamish but it's not that bad. Hmmm .... these lady practioners of taxidermy (& bug luvers too); verrrrry interesting . Addendum: If I research, probably more exploring the unique craft of Taxidermy; here, there and everywhere. Edit 05.06.07

* The Eyes have it: Stop Motion Puppets .... If you are "into" dark Euro Stop Mo or of the Brothers Quay'esque style, here is one, however, more slick & finessed and not grungy looking (as Quay's stuff) but still surreal & stylized. The eyes of the main puppet character use real human eyes. You do not understand? If you read their website and watch the interview clips, they give a hint, but do not fully reveal how. Okay for beginners, I willl tell you. In high probability, after the hands-on animation is completed, they used motion tracking software to composite the pair of human eyes (performed by actor or mime) onto the puppet heads. It is not a new concept. Cuppa Coffee does animated cgi mouths on some of their cartoon style Stop Motion. Back to the "eyes"; here is the website promoting Madame Tutli-Putli (thanks Tamu, for the info). Verry interesting & unique look what the Stop Motionist/Film-makers have done. Pay attention you "Suits" ....Think Out of the Box. CGI is not the supposed panacea. Perhaps getting homogenized and audiences maybe getting bored of the 'same'? Addendum: 'Eyes' on the Prize Edit 05.07.07
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