ARMATURES

Tips, hints, how to, how not to etc.

ARMATURES

Postby Barry » Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:55 am

thanks to Andy Simmons to drawing my attention to this site, where there are some very reasonable aramtures of various degrees of complexity - they are illustrated very clearly as well. I'd certainly recommend investing in a decent armature rather that struggling with a home made construction. A good armature will let you get the best out of yoru animation.

http://www.animationsupplies.net/armatures.php
User avatar
Barry
 
Posts: 2126
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 3:48 pm

Re: ARMATURES

Postby parliament_hill » Sun Jul 19, 2009 8:51 am

I do wonder how robust such an armature would be - they're very cheap and I fear the joints wouldn't last.

Unless you're going to spend real money for a top-flight ball and socket armature, I wonder if it might be better to work with simpler wire armatures that are quick and inexpensive to replace.

If your puppet skin is going to be complex and expensive to replace, don't skimp on the armature...
parliament_hill
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 5:26 pm

Re: ARMATURES

Postby john23 » Thu Sep 03, 2009 3:30 pm

dear barry- firstly, big hats off to you n your work- and thanks to the powers that be for letting me join this forum- I'm posting in this thread because i've actually been using 5 of andys armatures on my debut piece, and i'd also like to let you know about it, and even invite you to the premiere should you be around.
The armatures, i found to be very resilient and versatile- i used my own idiosyncratic system of redressing the armatures and applying milliput sculpted heads for diferent characters, meaning the 5 armatures have played about 30 characters- this has been a huge learning curve for me, moving out of the 'theoretical' understanding of stop-motion, cinematography and film-making generally and into the harsh realities of the real world, where theory often doesnt cut the mustard! I've been at this project 2 and a half years, and have constructed a 23 minute piece which folk are so far receiving well, and i'd love you to take a look-
this is the link to version 2 of the trailer on youtube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9I8x4_Mvfk

if your available sept 14th, we premiere 1pm at the bfi screen 2- if not please let me know what you think!
more details are on my website
http://skatedog.co.uk/


id consider any feedback an honour- your work ranks with the very best, and i can only aspire to climb that high with a lot more hard work- you, suzie templeton, brothers Quay, Svankmaer, Willis O'Brien, Harryhausen-that's where its at for me- but i still love the postgate and firmin stuff precisely for its simplicity
thanks for so much of my childhood! viva chorlton! :mrgreen:
john23
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:41 am

Re: ARMATURES

Postby Barry » Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:39 pm

Hi John, and thank you so much for your mail and your very flattering compliments. I'm glad those armatures have been of some use. And I liked your comment about theory, and you are so right. Practice and experience and intuition are so much better than theory. There is no right and wrong way about stop motion, but there are tricks to help the animation read as clearly as it can.
So do tell us about The Happy Prince. It does look a labour of love and quite an epic. How did it get funded or did you do it yourself. What support have you had. If you want to call me I'd be happy to chat about the film, though any advice I could give is a bit late now after the film. I woudl really love to see it, though won't be in london I'm afraid as hopefully I'm gearing up to my next short.
Did you know, and I don't know how to get hold of this, there was another stop motion film of The Happy Prince, done about 15 years ago with Jimmy Somerville as the voice of the swallow, and William Dazeley as the Prince - it was an opera. Channel Four were behind it and its director was Alan Platt. It is a magnificent story. I deirect Wilde's Earnest last year....there are some stills in my gallery here.
Please do keep in touch.
Barry
User avatar
Barry
 
Posts: 2126
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 3:48 pm

Re: ARMATURES

Postby john23 » Fri Sep 04, 2009 12:00 pm

hi barry- i feel a bit shell-shocked talking to you- checked your cv and realised just how much of my childhood intake and influences you've had a hand in- wow...
well the happy prince was a kinda serious example of a project running out of control, and of a niave artist setting his ambitions far too high, but then being in it up to his neck...sink or swim. It began life in Lewisham college, i was teaching btec media students animation and film-making etc, and offered to teach them as a 'real production team' how an animated movie would be made- and promised i would see it through- the college and kids agreed, i got a tiny budget to start me off and bought a few armatures, and stated looking for a story. i heard a radio 4 adaptation of the happy prince, and it hit me emotionally like a tonne of bricks- it always has...i kept looking for something shorter to adapt, but couldnt find anything that rang with me as strongly- so i edited the story down and roped in three actor friends to read it in another friends studio. I'm lucky enough to be married to the actor Penny Layden, and she has a lot of friends who are generous with their time and efforts, so i got some really great performances- problem was, i'd thought it was a 10 minute piece, and when performed it was closer to 17 minutes, and even that was a breakneck piece... now it is 23!
so i started applying the theory i thought i understood of animation, compositing, lighting, etc, cgi animation, and pretty much learned everything was wrong and much harder than expected!
i taught animation through this project to about 4 different classes of students, so i had a lot of help with modelling, set-build, and some great 2d painted and drawn material supplied by a bunch of art students- we animated some of the larger sets in the colleges tv studio, but last year i knew my teaching time was done, i was burned on it, so i retired and went theoretically fulltime on the Happy Prince. I've worked for it for a year alone (but with my missus' amazing support and help) and did a few cgi projects for small contracts...but my love has completely switched to stop-motion- its definitely my vocation. And I'm so determined to raise the bar significantly for my animation on the next projects- i'm probably still scared of doing too much walking with these current puppets, but I'm gonna build bigger next time, and use andys flying rig for smoother overall results- there is so much more to learn!!!
there's been no more funding, we do it all in house, across about 5 computers, on the table in the front room! but serendipity has played a massive hand, with composer, pro sound mixers and everyone we need kinda seeking US out, it definitely feels like the universe is behind the project. I'm hoping it will allow me to make contacts and expand my stop-motion experience professionally. Like you, I aspire to keep creating shorts, characters, films generally...but stop-motion is the obsession.

having drama and dramatic persons around definitely helps the whole process, and i am a performer musically myself- i was singer in a variety of bands for a long time. And i get to see a lot of theatre as a result of Penny, which is all grist for the mill-she did the nurse at the globe this season, so we've been hanging around the south bank a lot.

i would love to talk to you further, i'll include my email if you'd care to drop a number over to it...
aiwiss@hotmail.com

bit of a rush now, have a good day, really best wishes mate
john
john23
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:41 am


Return to Animation hints and tips



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron