Coo Coo Cachoo

Here is a stop motion short featuring that I made with features both hand drawn frames and object animation.

I started by drawing the actor, “Egg,” using a light table. I have a round plastic peg bar, made by Lightfoot.


I then photographed each drawing…


And I used Dragonframe to export all the images as video.


I’m learning a lot from this process, especially the need to pay attention to the lighting. This little clip took more hours to produce than I’d like to admit, but I can see ways to streamline the production. I was very interested to see how the line quality of Egg’s tie and jacket would present when animated. I then switched to a thicker marker as he approaches his “freeze” scene. At one point, I accidentally blew on the “Jimmies” coming from his head, which scattered them across the table. I laboriously recreated the original position of each piece. And I didn’t notice until after shooting the entire sequence that I am visible in the spoon. I left it, but that was a “mistake.”


Camera Test

layersFurther exploring stop motion, I made the following test, which is a reprise of an older Flash animation experiment.  This time, I moved all the layers by hand. The whole thing took a long Sunday afternoon, which entailed making the scene, boat and actor, exploring lighting and camera settings and then putting this together. Again, it’s just a test but shows great potential.

I am going to tell you the full story next.

Scene 441

For my 15 seconds of  Star Wars Uncut goodness, I was assigned scene 441, which takes place in the Death Star trench. Awesome.

As a kid, I saw Star Wars some 27 times in the theater. Yes, that’s right – 27 times. After the initial release, it came back to the theaters, and I went every chance I could.  It totally blew me away. It was an obsession, and I spent a great deal of time reliving it in my head. Especially in school. I couldn’t write anything without wanting to turn X’s into X-wings, and H’s into tie fighters. It wasn’t a stretch to turn a crossword puzzle into the surface of the Death Star.

To do this scene like I really wanted to, I would have used AutoCAD to create a 3D wire frame of the Death Star – I could have kept the trench walls in proportion. But, I don’t have access to AutoCAD at the moment. Scratch that.

Next idea – school kid approach. Crossword Puzzle for the walls – forget the perspective and curving of the upper trench rim – I’d never get this done.  I took a lot of liberties with my scene. I cut out some back and forth shots between the X-wing pilots, and I used text from memory – he doesn’t actually say “I’m going in” at the end…he says “I’m in range.” This was a mistake George Lucas made…he really wanted the guy to say “I’m going in.” I figure if he can go back and screw with his original movies, then anything goes. Right?

Woo Hoo!

In an effort to clean up my Web site somewhat, I’ve been moving some things around and  I found this animation. It was originally posted in December of 2005 on a pre-blog version of this site.  The old sweeties courtesy of  Peg.  Song except by The’s.

I apologize for the lack of volume control on the movie – it wasn’t really a requirement when I made this, and since I’m posting here for posterity, I decided to not edit the original.