Archive for September, 2009
Cuppa Coffee studios the company behind the stop motion series, Glenn Martin DDS, Life’s a Zoo, Rick And Steve, Celebrity Deathmatch and a number of other very amusing series has struck a deal with foul mouthed celebrity Gordon Ramsay to create a series called “At Your Service”. Adam Shaheen ,executive producer and president of Cuppa Coffee believes Gordon Ramsay’s larger than life personality will be a recipe for success when combined with stop motion animation and it’s classical characterization. They are in the process of finding writers for the proposed show at the moment. The show will be touted to distributors and channels at Mipcoms International TV Sales expo in October. While exact details are not available yet, the show is likely to be 30 minutes per episode and will focus on the wilder side of Ramsay’s outrageous outburst on his shows such as “Hells Kitchen”. It will be interesting to see what characters they bring in to the series to put up against Ramsays outrageous tongue.
Toronto based Cuppa Coffee animation studios houses 42 shooting stages and employs over 200 artists. In house facilities include prop and sets wardrobe, animation and post-production. They produce roughly 145,000 seconds of animation per year.
They have won over 150 international animation awards.
So whether you are a fan of Gordon Ramsay or not Cuppa will no doubt come up with another very funny stop motion series. We hope they don’t take too long to get it up and running on our TV screens.
A Giant called “The Big Man” is set to invade the streets of Scotland starting in Bute on the 26th and 27th of September.
The “Big Man” is a mythical giant who has come back to Scotland after 10,000 years. He is going to walk through the streets and towns to view (via a webcam inserted in his head) what the inhabitants are doing to welcome him back. The webcam view will be viewable live on his website TheBigManWalking.com. The Big Man is 8 metres tall and weight 0.6 tons. He is held in place by a telehandler (crane). He is made from polystyrene and steel. A group of eight puppeteers assist him walking using a very unique internal clockwork mechanism.
Find more videos like this on Big Man Walking
Simon McIntyre, artistic director who conceived this idea and is anxious to get ducks in a row for first walkabout on the 26th..and I quote
Phase 1 the build is finished. Phase 2 rehearsals are progressing smoothly. There are a few operational snags but we are all eager to bring the Big Man from his secret location to the first event in Bute on the 26th September. Be prepared for his …
Edinburgh’s Puppet Animation Festival and Puppet Lab put their £450,000 award towards its Big Man Walking venture. We wish Simon and the crew every success in the forthcoming return of the “Giant Man” and we hope that he may even make it further afield across the oceans. I am sure we would all welcome him.
We’ve had a very damp and cloudy summer in Ireland this year. But we’re having a rare sunny spell this week, so my son had some fun with a neighbours car. We used his car by way of explanation. He had never heard of stop motion before. So we told him that my son could push his car using stop motion. He laughed but agreed to play along. He wasn’t sure what the hell we were doing as we asked him to repeatedly move and re-park his car. I think he thought we were lining it up for a good shot. When we replayed the stop motion, he laughed heartily. He now knows what stop motion is and finally understands what iKITMovie can do. Take a look at the result below. But remember to ask permission if you want to try something like this yourself if you are not driving yet that is..!
We really need to give more examples of replacement stop motion on our site. The recent examples we gave to some of our customers got a very positive response. Replacement Stop motion is a technique where each frame (or sequence of frames) uses a different object in place of the previous object. It was originally used in professional work by the very famous animator “George Pal”. One of his most famous stop motion sequences was in the 1962 “The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm” He used a a new hand-carved wooden puppet for each frame of film. It is said that they had over 1,000 puppets for one 4 minute sequence. The example we give on our site is a little more modest that 1,000 hand carved puppets, nonetheless the result for those new to stop motion is very satisfying. With just 5 small pieces of clay moulded in to specific shapes a very impressive stop motion sequence can be achieved.
For new animators abstract shapes work best. It is a far more skilled job to have to create dozens of characters with small differences between each one. The human eye (your audience) is far more likely to amused by abstract shape shifting objects rather than picking holes in characters that are not quite the same between sequences. The other real advantage of using replacement techniques when starting out is that you get to know and become expert at “onionskinning”. This is the most powerful yet easy to use feature for any animator to use.
So refer to our site homepage for the first example we give.
I have to admit to also not reading the manual when I should or not following the instructions accompanying a self assembly piece of furniture. So when I get questions which are answered on our site either in the FAQ or the video tutorials from users of the iKITMovie software I have to give a little smile to myself. I never mind answering these questions because they are firstly easy to answer and secondly our customers are always glad of the assistance. Also it’s great to get feedback and know that our software is being used by creative individuals of all ages around the world.
One common theme that runs through the majority of the hand full of support calls is to do with image resolution. Especially when users are capturing their still images with a digital still camera. Most digital still cameras capture images at their maximum image resolution by default. So I have come across users who have captured their stop motion images at 3648 x 2736 and then loaded them into iKITMovie and wondered why it runs slowly. We step them through how to reduce them in size but it could have saved them time if they had viewed the Getting started video tutorial online. Even if they had viewed the tutorial it is common to find that most people do not know how to check the size or resolution of the capture images once they have copied them to their PC.
It’s not generally known that it is very easy indeed to check the resolution of the images. By simply floating the mouse cursor over the thumbnail of the image on their PC the screen resolution is shown ( as seen in the image below )
Depending on the power and memory available on their PC we recommend at least 640×480 image resolution. 800×600 or HD 960×720 can also be used if they have say 3gb of RAM. We are considering creating a filter on import to automatically change the resolution size for users. They would be prompted if the image size is too large and suggested that they reduce the size to a predefined choice.
More later..bye for now. ,Diarmuid
We have just completed development and testing of our new installer for all versions of iKITMovie Stop Motion software. Up to this we had been using straightforward setup executables for the three versions of iKITMovie. But this caused some issues for those using Vista. With the new MSI (Microsoft Installer) format, users of any windows operating system can install without having to use the “setup as administrator” option. Also the new format will allow us to give check for updates functionality to customers in future releases. Users will still need to have the administrator password, but this is normal for installing any software.
Also Cecil ( our mascot ) gets more exposure in the setup. He sure likes the limelight.
The MSI version of the Trial copy of our stop motion software also now allows trial users to test the export of their movie made in iKITMovie. This will allow the testing of export and upload to Youtube and so forth. There is a watermark on export to indicate it is a trial version but this will be removed on purchase of a full license.
You are currently browsing the Stop Motion Animation Software – iKITMovie blog archives for September, 2009.