April 3, 2009

Lightbox Updates

Thinking of starting animation soon even if my draftsmanship is not good and even if I haven't read all of my animation books. I have been going over some of Bill Tytla's notes on Forms vs. Forces, which is fantastic, but overall, I do feel I'm going into this a bit premature. My logic is that, if I keep up the mentality of having to have the best draftsmanship skills (a journey people take until they die) I'm never really going to do anything.

Here's to the beginning of a hopefully awesome independent project:

Slipped in a sheet of paper under the peg bar to get a sort that "frosted" under glow. I'm pretty sure staring at a single light source is bad (confirmed by Preston Blair).

What my new set up looks like. Added in some aluminum covered cardboard cut outs in order to provide relief for the pressure I apply while animating. Mostly put it in because I started noticing my box is cushioning in. Also poked some holes towards the top if and when I move to bigger sheets.

Light source no longer Halogen. Thank God. I'm pretty sure the cardboard could not take sessions longer than 3 hours.

Set up a box under the lamp so it would help it stay propped up. Built it with velcro to allow easy servicing.

I also acquired a tripod recently with a hand crank. This is great not just for shooting, but, since it has a crank, it allows trucking in and out of the field, so zooms and pans are way easier than actually animating the zoom and pan.


Daniel Bodinof said...

my dear boy, i applaud you for making your own lightbox but don't overthink this puppy! I made a very nice lightbox when i was in school using some wood for the frame, plexiglass and a flourescent bar light the kind you get at homedepot for like 12 bucks.

Elizabeth said...

nice building your own light box like that. What are you using for registration? That tripod sounds nice, you're lucky. We don't have that sort of equipment in traditional anymore. Drawing out zooms really time consuming and annoying. Although... you can do camera moves in after affects too...

Iggy K said...

For registration, I used power adapter tips I dremeled off. I used one of the adapters to power my lightbox, and the other for a project involving some clay models I made and a failed zoetrope.

I then attached those tips to a wooden ice cream, and had a peg bar. That peg bar then goes on my desk (taped), under my camera which is elevated by a tripod I have at an incline.

I then grab a level, and adjust the head of my tripod so it is exactly straight. I zoom in, macro, and take pictures of each frame.

I actually tried to make a release cable for my camera, only to find out my camera doesn't support such functions.

If you do have a DSLR, you can make your own:


For more information I would consult Kit Laybourne's animation book:


It has everything you need to know as far as ho to get an actual studio set up to be able to start doing your animation; practical.

I have been told that taking so many pictures will eventually wear out the shutter on the cam (especially on a point and shoot), so I have stopped producing my small projects until I can get a scanner.

If I get a scanner, I will try this out:


If that doesn't work, I will just have to run a batch process on photoshop to crop, rotate, and resize the pictures to the specification I need.

Oh, and...the tripod is some cheap one I got at an Office Depot. I think any tripod nowadays comes with a hand crank.

Shame Ringling doesn't have such cameras. I would have bet money on them having a couple of oxberrys around.

Elizabeth said...

wow that's intense. We just tape plastic acme peg bars to stuff whenever we need to improvise, which happens a lot during crunches when the lab completely fills up and people can't get desks.

no dslr here. Just a point and shoot, but it gets the job done (...but sometimes produces flickering of images since you can't place a hold on the settings...). I've heard of issues on shutter life too, which kind of scared me from using my camera, but I'm just going to keep on truckin with it. In my experience other stuff on a camera is likely to go on a camera before that. That, and scanning is obnoxious.

I think the school had some oxberrys but got rid of them when it turned 3D and downsized the traditional department :(.