Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The making of...

Knowing that Ben and I almost always send the DVDs back to Netflix without even considering watching the ubiquitous "Making of..." featurette, I'll keep this short.

The octopus puppet from the short animation I posted yesterday is made of nine major pieces: eight legs and a bulbous orange head. All are stuffed with polyfill, and each of the legs contains a piece of doubled-over 19-guage steel wire, which is what allowed me to pose the legs in a variety of fabulous positions (namely, up and not up). The features consist of removable eyes, eyelids, and mouth.

But how does it move? I think it's cute how no one under forty ever asks me this question. Young folks just know, or intuit, everything about technology, and if you ask them how they just say they learned it on the Internet. For everyone else, here is the quickest of explanations: to make a stop-motion animation, you shoot hundreds of photos using a regular digital camera. In each photo, you move your subject (for example, your orange knitted octopus, or your felt gnomes) very slightly. Over the course of many, many images, the inanimate appears to move! You just take your hundreds of digital photos, upload them to your laptop, and use a software program (Apple's iMovie is an easy one, but I'm required to use the more complicated and exasperating After Effects software by Adobe) to put your frames in the right sequence, decide how fast you want them to move, and, if you want, throw some music or narration in there.

End of featurette.


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