The Gauntlet, The Standfast, and the Intuos

I built this abomination in order to do some paint-on-glass work for Plus et Plus. This was my second time doing something for them with this medium, unfortunately it turns out they didn't need much of it.

The Gauntlet:

Canon EOS SLR (in this case a 20D) controlled via DSC plugin for Framethief 2.19 mounted to c-stand via superclamp. Panasonic HVX (or summat) on a tripod for lo-res playback. A few units from a light kit. A desk lamp. 2 pieces of plexi, 1 opaque white, 1 opaque black, cut to size at T and T plastics, 315 Church St. just up from Canal. Then lots of acrylic pumped full of retardant and stored in squirt bottles. For those of you paying attention, yes, due to the use of opaque plexi this is a top- (or front-)lit rig.

I've never really had this much trouble from a setup. Some of it was my fault, some of it was the fault of the studio in charge of the equipment, and some of it was just plain bad luck. My Mac died on day 3 and had to be replaced- The DSC plugin for FT is crummy and doesn't support newer cameras, so when we wanted to switch to an EOS 5D that held a Zeiss 80mm Macro lens, it wouldn't work. So we put the lens on the 20D- which wouldn't work. Evidently the lens and the body wouldn't be friends and upon any attempt to take a picture, a big "Err 001" sign would flash in the EOS LED, then the whole camera would lock up.... On and on like this for days, every day.

These are just a few tests I did one day, then the client cut all my paint-on-glass stuff. I was all pumped to do some moving Turner-like fog, but evidently they misunderstood what "paint-on-glass" animation is. So, again, I never got to take the stuff past simple one-off tests. It seems that just when I'm ready to get rolling with this stuff, I get cut off. Grr.

The 1080p versions are a bit more eye-candy lookin', but they're still just tests. I will say this: I'm strongly considering picking up Dragon Stop Motion for my stand alone P.o.G. rig. Framethief works for pencil testing, and I own a commercial license for it. Still, DragonSM works the same way but with a better interface and more support for various models of SLR cameras, and in some cases allows for viewfinder preview without an additional firewire video source. This cuts out a whole fileset and piece of gear so I'm considering taking the plunge. Not to mention they aren't charging an exorbitant amount for their software, something I truly appreciate these days.

The Standfast:
Now that I have my own camera stand, I could theoretically get some non-drying sculpty and do some stop motion films with no added setup. Oh, I forgot to mention. My lovely, fantastic, amazing cousins donated an old camera stand to my efforts. It's a CS-5 TestRite. No more jury-rigged tripods.

And, for my christmas present to myself, a brand-spanking new Wacom Intuos 4. Cost: Relative. Size: Medium. Impact: Huge. After years of gifted graphires and hand-me-down tablets, I had to take the plunge and get a pro model.

Next post will be about this feature film that I'm cutting on contract. It's nearing completion, I'm just waiting on some pickups. After this job, I'm not taking any more contract work until my film is complete.

1 comment:

Ramez said...

Eye candy indeed. Those are seriously really cool though. Sucks that they cut you off but at least you get more time for your film.
Badabing badaboom.