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Robot Chicken – how it all started..!

Strictly for adults ,robot chicken is one of the funniest examples of irreverent stop motion animation on the planet. I watched a very informative interview by Kevin Rose of G4TV with Douglas Goldstein and Tom Root, Head Writers for Robot Chicken, a stop-motion show from Adult Swim on Cartoon Network. I have transcribed some of the interview here for your reference. Interview Copyright of G4TV “Kevin: Now stay tuned because when we come back we’ll have an exclusive look at Robot Chicken with the head writers Douglas Goldstein and Tom Root. Robot Chicken is the newest member of the Cartoon Network’s adult swim cult series. It uses stop motion animation and well, as you can see toys. It’s full of random pop culture digs and is one of the funniest things that we’ve all seen in a while. In the studio today we are proud to have the head writers of Robot Chicken; Douglas Goldstein and Tom Root. Hey guys! Tom: Hey Douglas: Hey Kevin: Thanks for coming on the show, I have to say I’ve watched all the clips and they were hilarious! Awesome stuff, where did you guys come up with the idea? Take me from the beginning, how did you put this all together? Douglas: Well, a long time ago, Tom and I worked for a magazine company that produced many general entertainment things about toys and comics and Seth Green was a huge fan and he asked all of us, Tom and I and executive producer Matt Seritch […]
By |August 28th, 2010|Uncategorized|0 Comments

A Teachers Survival Guide to Stop Motion

We visited a number of schools this week promoting stop motion animation as an ICT supplementary teaching aide. There was a common theme that we noticed in the way that the teachers and students reacted to the whole process. In general the students were very enthusiastic and couldn’t wait to get started. The teachers on the other hand took a little longer to both grasp the concept with 22 students rushing to get started and grasp it’s appicability to their respective coursework. But once they were given a few examples of some work that students had done in other school they were sold on the whole concept. We also noted that teachers while trying to be helpful were in some cases stifling childrens imagination by trying to overly control the whole process. Animation is simple and should not get in the way of imagination. I was reminded of the song “So many colors in the Rainbow” …and children do see every one and more.. But in one regard I would agree with the need for some organisation and discipline. A story board is a must when animating in a group. Assigning roles is also important. But once that is established the imagination of children should not be impaired by the rigid structure of traditional teaching methods. Some children worked enthusiastically on set building while others made characters out of clay.  There is something for everyone in the process. Once filming began concentration levels focused keenly on the work at hand.  In this instance we used iKITMovie stopmotion animation software. They plan to make a number of movies in the coming weeks and post them on a YouTube channel. Once they have I will put the link to them here.
By |April 11th, 2009|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Wallace and Gromit at London’s Science Museum

Has anyone been lucky enough to visit the Wallace and Gromit London science museum exhibition. I hope to visit in the summer. The exhibition was developed by Aardman Animation in conjunction with the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) and the Science Museum to inspire young people to be inventive and creative. The UK’s IPO are using the exhibition as a vehicle to promote the idea of the value of good inventions and  ideas and to also what can go wrong if they do not take steps to  protect  their intellectual property.  Here’s a link to an interview with Nick Park about the exhibition. http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/video/2009/mar/26/wallace-gromit-cracking-ideas They have set up a dedicated website for the exhibition at http://www.crackingideas.com/exhibition/ They have a cool game on the page for children also. The exhibition has cost a whopping £2.1 million sterling. And it will only run for  six months. Starting in March 2009 so get your visit in now..before it is gone forever!
By |March 31st, 2009|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Sony DCR-HC62 – USB Streaming at last that works!

Just purchased the Sony DCR HC62E to use with stop motion movies on PC. First here is the tech spec. Title: Sony DCR-HC62 1MP MiniDV Handycam Camcorder with 25x Optical Zoom Maximum Resolution: 0.7 Megapixel Focal Length: 2.5 – 62.5 millimeters Zoom: x25 (optical), x2000 (digital) LCD Display Size: 2.7 inches Item Dimensions: 2.5 x 3.3 inches, 8 pounds Package Dimensions: 7.7 x 6.2 x 4.8 inches, 2.3 pounds OK the reason I chose this paticular camera was for it’s USB streaming capabilities. Did it work – Yes. Basically what you have here is a super webcam with 25x optical zoom , 25 fps at 640×480 with a crystal clear picutre and excellent color reproduction. It takes your stop motion animation up a level if you have been using only webcams. Also you have a DV output on this camera which again is ideal for Stop Motion. The other reason for choosing this camera is that because you are using the USB interface only..it will work with any stop motion software out there. The USB drivers must be loaded from the accompanying CD however before you can use it. Recommended..YES !  ( NOTE – Only Tested on a PC…not sure if it works on MAC )
By |October 25th, 2008|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Which DV Camcorders Have pass-through ?

      If you are thinking about buying a camcorder and want to use it for stop motion animation such as claymation etc. then I  have compiled a  list of some of the DV camcorders that have “pass through” capabilities. While this is not a full  listing, it will give you some idea of what is available. What I found is that DV pass-thru is available on most DV cameras with the exception of the lowest priced models and those with DCD writeable media. There are other models out there and new models coming on to the market all the time so just make sure you check the manuals to see if the  camera has pass through capabilities. But note unfortunately “Pass-through” is not always obvious as a feature in the manual or specificiations  and you may need to route through the user manual at the manufacturers site. Canon ZR60 ZR100 ZR200 ZR300 ZR400 Elura 80 Elura 85 Elura 90 Optura S1 Optura 50 Optura 60 Optura 400 Optura 500 Optura 600 No pass through on the DC10 or DC20 Sony DCR-HC42 DCR-HC32 DCR-PC55 DCR-HC90 DCR-PC1000 (3cc) DCR-HC21-NO analog DCR-TRV480 DCR-TRV460 JVC GRD72US GR-D73 and GR-D93 GR-DF430US GR-DF450US GR-DF550US GR-D860 Mini DV Camcorder (also can WebCam Function) GR-DZ7US has analog input but not sure about pass-thru GR-X5US has analog input but not sure about pass-thru   Panasonic PV-GS120 PV-GS150 PV-GS250 PV-GS400 PV-DV852
By |October 23rd, 2008|Uncategorized|0 Comments

USB Streaming for Stop Motion Animation

Up to recently DV and USB on Webcams and in some cases Analog capture have been the main stay of stop motion animators for capturing frames. But now there is a new kid on the block..”USB Streaming”. It is primarily being pushed by Sony at present but a number of other manufacturers are moving in that direction also. The concept behind it is to promote or allow the use of USB rather than DV / Firewire to import video from your camcorder to your PC / Mac rather than to facilitate live capture. Its the live capture element of the setup that is of interest to us however. In the case of the Sony camcorders it is the hard disk based cameras that it is more evident for obvious reasons. However if you are considering purchasing such a camera for your stop motion then be sure to check the model has what Sony describe as “Webcam Function” rather than just relying on it having USB streaming. JVC also have a good range of camcorders with the WebCam function over Firewire (DV) at a good price. While this is not USB streaming per se the result for stop motion animators is the same.
By |October 16th, 2008|Uncategorized|0 Comments