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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Don't try this at home, kids

When I decided to make this movie, I had a 'little' problem - no camera. I did still have my old trusty Super-8 but didn't feel that was an option for what I wanted the film to look like. And of course there was that other 'little' ingredient I didn't have - money.

I should mention also, at that time I had never even touched a computer or digital camera. I was very intimidated by the whole computer thing, I didn't want to spend the money and time involved at the same time I was trying to reinvent the concept of how to make animation puppets. I also had not animated a puppet in about 18 years and wanted to focus on practicing my animation skills and not spend that same time ripping my hair out trying to learn what a gigglebyte is.

I got the the crazy idea of shooting frames on 35mm print film, when I did the math, it actually seemed like a workable option. After shooting a test shot, I concluded that the 35mm film was indeed an option and thus decided to undertake the challenge.

I shot around four minutes of my film using this method, one of the things I liked about the idea was the ability I had to paint directly onto the photos, giving me the ability to add birds flying in the background, bugs and even blur effects. I did notice a variation in color and contrast from roll to roll of film but, when I would view the photos like a flip-book animation, the variation seemed minimal and something that I would just need to deal with later.

Long story - short, once the computer bug finally got around to biting me, (ok, my wife went out and bought a MAC on the bet that I wouldn't be able to resist any longer!) I then started rephotographing all the stills I had shot up to that point... that's when I discovered what an awful idea the 35mm film really was. The 'minor inconsistencies' in the color and contrast were AWFUL! It seems that when you 'flip book' through the pictures, all that flickering of the edges of the paper photos is enough of a distraction to your eyes, the color changes are made far less noticeable than they really are.

That's when I began learning everything I could about the power of Photoshop! So here's a sample for you to see of the 'flip book' days, tell me if you notice any color changes. And remember kids, don't try this at home...
video

About Me

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Floral Park, N.Y., United States
I am an artist and animator with over 20 years experience in all areas of tactile image creation including film and Television.