Animation with any digital still camera
|It is possible to use any digital still camera with Stop Motion Pro. Make use of the editing and other functionality found in SMP.|
We used a compact camera to film the animation below. We imported the frames from the camera into Stop Motion Pro afterwards:
Shooting animation outside presents some interesting challenges. You may not have electricity to run a computer with Stop Motion Pro on it to check your animation as you film it for instance. There are some things you can do before and during filming to ensure you get the best results possible. These techniques can be used when filming indoors.
How we imported the stills, edited and fixed some issues:
1. Use manual mode on your Camera
If possible, take the camera off "Automatic" or snapshot mode. Putting the camera into Manual mode will give you better results by locking exposure and focus. Get to know the controls on your camera, and perhaps spend some quality time with the manual.
2. Lock Focus
This will stop the camera "hunting" for focus between each frame. Changes in focus between exposures can be distracting for your audience.
3. Lock Exposure
Set your aperture and shutter speed, take some test shots and lock them down. Again, your camera manual will be handy here. By manually setting the exposure you prevent the camera from changing the amount of light between the frames. This will reduce flickering in your film.
4. Lock White balance
Set the white blance to your lighting conditions. This will vary, and the way you lock white balance differs between cameras. It will stop the color cast changing between frames, making your animation easier to watch.
5. Use a tripod, or a very solid support.
This will firmly hold your camera down. You need a good support because a lot of cameras do not have external or remote shutter releases. This means you have to physically force the shutter button down on your camera, so a firm support is fantastic. Your audience will love a stable shot.
6. Check your animation in SMP
Import all your captured animation easily into SMP. Try different frame rates (playback speeds). See how your animation is working. The video above shows the process.
7. Edit frames
Cut, copy and hide frames with the SMP editor. You can try out different timing in a non destructive way, easily. Identify problem frames and hide them. Trim your film and make it slick.
8. Rig removal tool to clean up
Did anything appear in the background you didnt want? Was the grass disturbed when you were stepping into frame each time to make a change?
No problem, it is easy to fix with the rig removal tool - watch the video above to see how we removed an offending hairy knee!
To reduce flickering, choose to film on sunny or overcast days. Partially cloudy will play havoc with your exposures, but, that might be a creative decision to work with.
This is just a guide to help with ideas, if you have an automatic camera, or using manual modes is too complicated, don't let it stop you from creating your film!