Congratulations and best wishes, Granny & Grandpa Ib!
We love you and are so happy for you!
My grandma on my mom's side remarried today. She married a dear friend of ours who we've actually called Grandpa since we were little kids. Both Granny and Grandpa Ib are widowed, and have been friends for years - until recently when they decided to embark on a whole new life together! We weren't able to travel to the wedding but wanted to let them know we were thinking of them on their special day. I thought it would be fun to do a little stop motion animation film for them. Only hitch - I'd never made a stop motion animation film before. I gathered the characters/props/set that I needed for my film and then started googling stuff. Well. I have a whole new appreciation for animators! Even doing minimum frames per second it translated into almost 4000 photos for a film that is less than 4 minutes long! Yikes! It was a fun process and I really did enjoy myself making it. It took a little longer than I anticipated, ahem, and I may not have slept last night. I ended up having to update software on my iPhone so I could get the video onto my computer. That, in addition to rendering the movie, and then editing it meant that I didn't have it ready early enough in the day for the reception. I'm hoping it will be a fun thing for Granny & Grandpa Ib to view while they are waiting around at the airport for their flight to China. (Yes, you read that right!)
Here is the video! I've also posted a few tips and observations below it for anyone wanted to try to make their own stop motion animation.
For anyone wishing to attempt SMA, I say DO IT! It is a lot of fun. Here are my tips and things I wish I had known before I began:
1) Budget a lot of time. Like 3 hours of time per minute of video.
2) Get and use a real tripod. My video is a bit wobbly in places because I didn't have one and instead constructed a makeshift one from LEGO. Cheap, yes, but the results could have been better with a real tripod.
3) SMA uses a TON of battery life. You have to remember that you are taking 1000 or so pictures per minute of filming. Yeah. Some of my delays were related to having to recharge the battery on my iPhone or re-rig my tripod so it wouldn't fall over with the added weight of the charging cable.
4) I used the app Frameograph. It worked incredibly well. My favourite feature is "ghosting". It allows you to see the ghost of the previous frame so you can tell if you are setting up your moveable pieces in the right places. I discovered this several hundred photos in...haha! I did not end up adding music in Frameograph though. It would only allow me to add one song and that song ended before the animation did.
5) iMovie. It's a cool program but I found that instructions were not easily found within the product itself. Google was my friend for figuring out how to import the video, select clips for editing, adjust the speed of clips, add music, etc. I know I've only scratched the surface with this program and I look forward to using it more in the future. If you already know how to use iMovie then you will have a huge advantage going in.
6) It will make all of your children build sets for and come up with ideas for their own individual stop motion animation projects which you will not likely be ready to assist with if you have just done a marathon film session. ;) However, what a great activity to work on over an extended period of time!
7) Lighting. Try to keep it consistent. Mine fluctuated a bit as it went from dusk to night to dawn while I was filming. I did bring over a tall, very bright floor lamp to keep on at all time to try to keep the light as consistent as possible.
Have fun! Let your imagination run wild!