* Welcome back Marc .... He seems to be gradually
recovering and in somewhat good spirits. As you may
already know, Marc recently relocated
and experienced some bad misfortune with
a pond scum moving company ..... read
the latest updates at his Zombie Pirates Blog
Instant Animator .... Do you remember that Stop Motion
software? Well, it no longer exists.
When it originally premiered some years ago, I gave it a
favorable thumbs up. They have a new
program Xipster FreeStyle and it appears to be a replacement
to Instant Animator? This different or new
version seems to be a graphics animation program
with optional plug-ins to expand its
features. Hmmmm .... I see that Xipster company
is not offering a trial download of FreeStyle for
people to test it. I obviously cannot comment on
Xipster FreeStyle because there is no
online documentation or help files, and potential
customers cannnot "shop it", browse, and
familiarize themselves with it. In the past, Xipster
staff kept me informed about their products but I
have not heard from them lately. I am not
being critical of Xipster ... just my
straight observations here! Edit: Slight correction ... just noticed
that Xipster has another site. It's under the
name of Xow.com. IMO, the Xow site is more
informative than Xipster.com. At Xow
they have a program called Xipster FullStop.
I am not sure if it is an updated version of Instant
Animator? FullStop and Xow
site does not seem to be promoted as much as their
new FreeStyle. If I am wrong about any
or some of this .... please let me know!
* Moral Orel
.... I "think", I know what it's about
... well ... sort of. I do know from the blogs, that this
cable TV Stop Mo project for Adult Swim Network, was somewhat on a fast track,
rush, very tight production schedule. It appears
to be some sort of parody of Davey & Goliath?
I am not sure. Maybe Moral Orel
for the more "mature thinking audiences". It
kind of has that South Park flavor but
all presented in Stop Motion. Here is a teaser Orel's First Promo ... courtesy of Tennessee, the creator behind an inprogress
production of a Stop Mo Adult serial,
"Richard Private: The Private Dick"
Bride countdown ....You have noticed the above new addition
& banner? I have no idea what kind of impact Corpse
Bride or Wallace & Gromit
will have, or if mainstream movie biz will pursue Stop
Motion. In my fantasy .... I would like Stop
Motion to be a choice more
frequently considered by the "Suits"
as a different, unique aesthetic or style to offer variety
for the audiences, but I just do not know. It does not
matter to me. I do not look to
mainstream to keep Stop Motion going. I am most
satiated having a life long hobby
avocation for creative expression and will
keep my brain cells active until I am pushing up daisies. Slight subject change .... a few good
links ..... Corpse Bride
Co-Director Mike Johnson Interview. Also, a hot little article giving an overview
peek about Corpse Bride Puppet Making.
* Ranting to
(which I said I was kind-of, going to stop), I
think, I can entertain myself more than at the message
board! Also, I am guaranteed an audience
here.... ME! I posted something that
was suppose to be humorous, but there was a deathly silence.
Also posted other replies but it seems like a black
hole there. Hey, I am almost ranting again! STOP
Lionel! Since I am almost ranting ....
something that puts air holes in my foam rubber latex.
I read all comments, questions, inquiries, etc.,
that are sent through me via contact link. This is regarding people who
initially visit Stop Motion Works. I
have a resource informational website here.
Many do not make an effort to first look through
the website. It is not a big site. What really mills
my sockets though, is when I do offer help
and a somewhat detail reply ..... many times I
get absolutely NO thanks or acknowledgment from these
information mongers & leechers, and they just vanish.
What a waste of my time I am going to try and
use more discretion now, who I reply to! I added this to FAQ
Bride Site fully completed .... I have been periodically checking
and the site was still under construction, however it
seems, sometime this past week, all of the site
is now functional and ready to receive visitors.
Very atmospheric & visually grabbing but in
an understated way. CB site
uses the free interactive Macromedia Flash Player 7 plug-in. Most computers usually
have the Flash plug-in, so try the site first. Here is Corpse Bride Website Also, soon to be available in
September .... model collectable figures
of some of the Corpse Bride characters McFarlane Toys
* Joe Ranft Gone Storyboard artist in professional
animation field, died in a vehicle accident, last
mostly worked in the other animation mediums, 2D then CGI
at Pixar Studio. I think it was only Nightmare
Before Christmas, which was Joe's work in Stop
Motion area, helping Henry Selick. I
remember seeing that big man Joe when I
made my delivery rounds & hung out briefly in the
production offices upstairs in the old Skellington
Studios. I did not actually know him but I recall, a
happy, gregarious and "animated"
kind of fellow. Memorial services took place today. Links
1 -2 -3
got news from Marc Spess' Blog that some dung head Robbed some of Marc's animation
equipment during his move to
another state. I guess, those special reports on 20/20,
Dateline NBC, etc., of corrupt Moving companies,
are true. I'm posting this for everyone. Be
cautious! Movingscam.com & Never trust a Mover Keep us updated Marc.
& Gromit Hit the Big Time soon .... As you know, they will be
debuting in a major Stop Mo Flick, The
Curse of the Were-Rabbit. Here is a nice little article giving you a
bit more insight Ay up, chuck Article posted movie premiere
date, September 15. I am not sure if
that is for Euro or Australian audiences. At their movie
website it says October 7, which I think
is for USA - North America? Also, here is the Aardman
MotionMaker Plus (for PCs) There are some good Stop
Motion programs which you may already know, I
have a special overview page here. I try to be objective
about them and do not necessarily
recommend one brand over the other. They all have
different combination of features and prices to suit
everyone. I report here when new
products are available. Recently, Stop
MotionMaker was a "new kid on the
block". In testing their affordable basic
SMM some months ago; I found it most user
friendly for solid & reliable frame capturing. The basic SMM
especially easy for beginners & kids, however, the
software is also very full featured for
"pro use" and includes rotoscoping,
instant playback-preview, basic chromakeying, onionskin
& toggling, time lapse, crash fail-safe, etc...
and useful as video preview assist with your digital
still cam. Well, the SMM people just
came out with a New higher level
version, Stop MotionMaker Plus. So far, I only quickly looked at
it. Not only does SMMplus have all the
tools of basic SMM, but it is
jam packed with added features; background &
foreground chroma-keying, import digital still images,
rip individual images from movie AVI files, can import
sound files for synchronizing with the animation .... has
"frame averaging" which
significantly reduces video noise & sharpens image
quality. I used a cheap webcam
and with "averaging frames", the improved
& cleaner video resolution was
very obvious. SMMplus .... free trial download. It might require a little more of
learning curve than basic SMM, however,
the support staff seem very responsive to
* Well, I am
not alone ... but I feel
like it ....
A Lone Wolf crying in the Wilderness. I feel stupid
sometimes making this constant noise. I saw it way back
then; the first Jurassic Park. Phil
Tippett saw it too but he had to give in
to the CGI force, to economically
survive. Hopefully by now you are seeing the
general saturation of CGI-digital excess orgasmic
eye-candy imagery. Mainstream suits will run this into
the ground until public yawn & tire of the same ol'
CGI-digital retreads. Nothing fresh; no original
stories, no variety of visual aesthetics or
cinematic styles. Mainstream biz
are cowards and addicted
themselves to formulas and homogenization. They
should invest in smaller projects and take
more chances instead of blowing their
$WAD$ on wannabie blockbusters that often fail.
Anyway, this is a welcome trend here; more in
news media seeing what you and I already know Special FX ....New Movie Monsters
* No more
Stop Mo Matt Drudge? The
above might be my last tirade for awhile and
maybe less commenting (except for giving
technical advice) at the message board in which I am hearing the sound of chirping crickets, more frequently I
mentioned it before; will be working on my own stuff.
Sorry, I am not fast enough for all of you! Hey, but I do
appreciate the periodic flame under the
butt! Do not stop! We all need
it, as it is so easy to get into the rut
cycle of life and all the daily mundane crap that
interferes. We are a micro-small
community and we should not
hestitate to help our fellow Stop Mo
brothers/sisters. Once I get going, I will recede
into the background and simply enjoy the hobby
and blog about it. I got many years ahead and
will continue it way into my senior years of 70
& beyond . Quick subject shift .... we
should give Ethan Marak "The Patience of Jobe
posted here before; he has been insisting
I do this Stop Motion Armature for him for soooo
long! It is the other major character for his Stop Mo project. I am doing that now and
when finished with it, around beginning of September,
there abouts; my own stuff will start happening .
Stay tuned for upcoming announcements.
* 50 Year
Gumby Celebration .... Friday night
(08.05.05) I attended in San Francisco. Whew ....
what a bash! Live bands/music, food, cake, and a
big crowd! Art Clokey was present and enjoying himself! Joe (his son) and other family take good care of
him. Art always surrounded by Positiveness &
LUV. Harry Walton, Pete
Kleinow was there and a whole bunch of Gumby
alumini, some I have not seen in about 17 years . Anthony "Corpse Bride"
Scott was there
too! He just returned from England a few of days before the Gumby event. Anthony
is a resident of SF Bay Area Much talent was born from Gumby and they
have worked on many mainstream & big projects. Too
many to mention here. There were 3 generations of Gumby series
.... the '50s, '60s, and then the 80's
which was my involvement with the green dude.
For the fans of the IDshot, I took the cam with me for still photo
shooting .... worked a few times then got "System
Error". I think, it will stay "in the
studio" & better suited for animation
.... not the best cam for quick
spontaneous picture taking, it's a bit slow. At
the party they showed selected brief clips of the
different Gumby eras and also Premavision's (home of Gumby) recent work on a promo
trailer for the video game, Gumby vs. Astrobots. Trailer also available online, QT small, QT large, WMP large. At first, I thought they
used post digital tweaking, bluescreen, etc.
but then, I was amazed to find out much
of it was done using traditional methods,
real miniature sets, ingenious & creative rigging,
and great, lighting, photography by the highly
knowledgable & experienced Ron "Obie-Wan" Dexter (who I just met at bash). They did
shoot Astrobots trailer, "digitally"
using DSLR's, so Premavision is embracing the "technology",
combining traditional with hi-tech. Check out Behind Scenes pics of their Astrobots work. BTW, I found online, a Bring Back Gumby petition
Bride ... article mistake? Sharp eyed Animate Clay's Mark Spess
noticed, perhaps a publicity blunder or maybe
unintentional error by the writer, Robin
Rowe of a Corpse Bride article
(previously posted here 08.02.05) ..."Jonathan
Lucas unveils his editing secrets on Corpse Bride, the
First Stop-Motion Animation Feature". First Stop Motion feature???
Look for yourself here. Obviously wrong. Quite a
number of Stop Motion features before Corpse
Bride. This is full article 'Bride' Stripped Bare
* Going Ape
at Christmas ....
Appears to be lots of gorilla rumblings
as December 14 approaches, when Peter
Jackson's version of King Kong premieres. Some new releases
of the original 1933 King
Kong Stop Motion Classic, as a DVD
set, and also a special DVD
release of the "making of" original
Kong and other goodies and it
seems like there will be Collector's DVD set, of
original Kong which will include ol'
time retro reproduction Kong items Jackson going Ape on DVD
Presents Co. ....** Ray Harryhausen explores world of Poe.
During their Q&A session at Montreal's
Fantasia festival , special FX wizard Ray
Harryhausen & his producing partner Arnold
R. Kunert revealed that the Ray
Harryhausen Presents Company currently working
on a series of shorts adapted from the works of
Edgar Allan Poe. Harryhausen will
executive-produce and oversee
the minimovies, which will feature
traditionally stop-motion-animated characters
"performing" against computer-generated
backdrops. Kunert told Fango that the first of
the shorts, based on Poe's Pit & Pendulum, is already
in the works (Fangoria Mag) ** Dread Central: Ray H. Interview
* 24 Digital Canon Cams @ $8000. each? Damn! Each one of
these delicate hi-techy still cams
costs as much as a good ol'
35mm Mitchell film cam!?
Already, we are getting early behind the scenes
teasers about Corpse Bride.
Looks like Peter Jackson (King Kong)
started a trend with advanced publicity which
includes storyline spoilers? Also with
Corpse Bride, spoilers about
story are being leaked out. Anyway, someone at message board posted an article which gives some behind
the scenes overview of the digital
workflow used on Corpse Bride. They credit
much to the Digital SLR's imaging
capability but they do not yet mention or reveal
specifics about the airbrushy CGI look.
Only taking a guess: Since it is all digital
workflow (no film), this presents many options
in post production to do tweaking, adding
cgi/special effects and also, what is known as digital grading. This is now often done with live
action movies shot on film in which the entire movie is
transferred to digital, for editing and post work, then
later scanned back to film. Maybe later, we will get more
CB detailed technical info about this.
Here you go, the article 'Bride' Stripped Bare. I still have not had time
to do the follow-up to Go ahead....spend $8000.! , about possible lower
cost hi-res alternatives to "SLR digital still
cams". I did not intend to post-blog today
but I thought this was a hot piece of Stop Mo
News. I was averaging about one blog per
week in July but way too lengthy and also maybe
too much ranting. It can take time & effort (researching,
thinking, re-edits, thinking, more re-edits., etc.).
"Writing" does not come easy
for me, however IF I was offered $$$ for doing it? ). I may
need an ocassional break from this or just keep the
news/blog postings, short.