Archive for August, 2009
Drawn animation and to some lesser extent CG animation is alive and well in my native Ireland. There are a number of very successful Irish companies based in Ireland and abroad making significant contributions to the world of animation. Here is a sample listing of those in business in Ireland.
Animation – Irish Companies
The recent launch in 2005 of the Irish School of Animation at Ballyfermot College of Further Education has three courses on offer, A BA in Animation, a HND (Diploma) and a course called Animation Drawing Studies. According to their website their emphasis in on drawn (2D) animation..
The core of the Irish School of Animation is a focus on animation drawing and character animation coupled with an emphasis on strong visual design.
Browsing their students filmreels is testament to that emphasis. There are some exceptions. “Ben Harper” , a recent graduate of the school displays some of his CG work on his showreel below.
It is a pity there isn’t much evidence of Stop Motion work at the school. or at least none that I can find. But hey..there work is top quality and it’s still creative and enjoyable.
In these recessionary times it’s good to know you can still get good results on a shoestring when it comes to building your own set for your stop motion movie. All you need is a few desktop lamps and a cardboard box! That’s it! Below you can see a simple setup used by my nephew James for his contribution to our stop motion movie gallery. A simple box lined in this case with black paper.
The backdrop James used is a photo of a digger in a quarry which suited his animation down to the ground. No need for Chromakey really with stop motion animation at this level. It complicates things unnecessarily and takes the emphasis away from the stop motion animation itself.
The reason for the cardboard box is to build up the sides around your character to avoid any shadows and reduce the influence of unwanted light such as windows and so forth. This is really important as each snapshot should have the same amount of light as the next. Otherwise you will get a flickering effect when the animation is played back. Thus spoiling the movie. Also the box is very useful for attaching your backdrop painting/ drawing or photo.
As for your lighting you can cut a hole and cover it with greaseproof paper with you lamp shining through. This softens the light in order to avoid hard shadows. Closing the blinds on your windows during the day is normally not enough to ensure a constant lightstream. As the sun goes behind a cloud you may not notice the difference in your set but it will be there on the photo.
So make the small effort to visit your local store and get some boxes and good luck animating.
Following a number of requests by existing trial download users of stop motion software iKITMovie I would like to tell everyone that we will release a new free trial download on the 1st of September 2009.
This new version of our stop motion software, version 1.6, will now include export functionality. This will allow trial users to export their movies in MP4 or WMV format. The exported movie will have a watermark however but this will be removed from the snapshots taken if a license is purchased. So you will not lose any projects you have created in the trial version.
This extended trial is to allow everyone to better experience this innovative stop motion software. As usual the first sound of every category in the sound fx library will also be accessible. You can also add your own sounds in MP3 or Wav format. Voice over can be added and exported in this new trial.
Note that there is a limit of 300 frames in the trial version. This will allow you to test you stop motion skills, while checking your webcamera and digital still image imports.
The new trial download is now smaller in size. Thanks to the msi format the install will run simply by double clicking on the file once downloaded.
We are planning a number of new and exciting features in future releases of iKITMovie Stop Motion software so stay tuned and come back and visit again.
Also if you have any questions we now have a handy contact us form. We will respond within 24 hours max.
I was reading an article I came across today in InsideNova about a little boy getting quite a lot of recognitiion for his stop motion endeavours. It sure is great to see a child’s creativity being critically acclaimed. C. Pond Brothers IV is his name but he goes by “dweezildna”. His stop motion demonstration
took centre stage in the home arts building at the 60th Annual Prince William County Fair. It seems like he is truely hooked on stop motion, just look at all the movies he has made already and he is only 10 years old. Check out his YouTube channel and dont forget to subscribe http://www.youtube.com/dweezildna. Wonder how he came up with that name?
It says he attends Bennett elementary school. I must try and get in touch with them, they might like to get involved in our “Getting Schools Animating Initiative”. You’d never know ! Prince William County Schools had a very impressive Summer Art Enrichment Program this Summer. Maybe given the success of one of their students making stop motion movies they might consider including stop motion animation in their 2010 Program. Who Knows? I’ll give them a call….
I’ve been thinking of starting a blog for sometime now but never seemed to have the time or inclination at the end of a very busy day. But, today is different. Today everybody seems happy and two customers in California and one in New York seem to be particularly happy. Got some great feedback on iKitMovie, actually we have been getting very positive feedback since we launched it last Winter but three in 12 hours is particularly nice.
Let me introduce myself. My name is Siobhan O’ Reilly and together with my husband and now business partner Diarmuid Brennan,we developed an idea our then 10 year old son had ie,an all encompassing stopmotion software program. Like I said it was my son’s idea. He was a crazy stopmotion enthuaist /animator back then 2006/2007, but after 18 frustrating months trying and buying everything he could find on the Web, he decided he needed to develop his own software that would allow him to make a complete stopmotion animation movie, with all kinds of sound effects and editing capabilities. So he gave us a list of what he wanted and here we are now in 2009 with iKitMovie, what he considers the ultimate stopmotiion movie making software product for 8-14 year olds.
Now iKITMovie has been tried and tested by a whole bunch of kids since the first beta version came back from the developers. everything from the variety of “Farts” in the sound effects section to the blue and yellow interface to “Cecil” our cute guy who pops up now and then on the website has been chosen by kids. At times I thought it looked a little “young”, that something more neutral would be more appealing but I was always overruled and reminded that now I’m on the wrong side of forty “I know nothing”.
As I said earlier, this whole enterprise which has now turned into a full time business was my son’s idea. The only trouble is he turned 13 last November and stopmotion animation no longer takes priority, but his new found rock buddies and his rock band “The Vision Project”. Check out his Youtube channel, Matthew Brennan and subscribe.
So here I am “the reluctant company director” writing my first blog, and thinking its been a crazy 2 years, a massively steep learning curve but most of all very gratifying to know that we’ve got something in iKITMovie that kids and adults too, get a kick out of.
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