A good stop-motion animation camera?

Discussion in 'Video Games and Technology' started by netkid, Feb 2, 2008.

  1. netkid

    netkid Where's my Goddamn shoe!

    Aug 19, 2002
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    Hasbroland, Rhode Island
    For quite some time I've always wanted to try my hand at making stop-motion animated videos. I think this interest started when I was six, and saw a program on television about it which covered King Kong and various classic stop-motion animated Dinosaur films (whose names escape me). My interest peaked when Lego released their "Studios" line and in it was a set #1349-1: LEGO Studios Steven Spielberg MovieMaker Set. As a kid, I especially wanted this because it included a stop-motion animation camera and software to go along with a set which you could make films with.

    But my attempts to obtain the $180.00 set were futile, and today it's camera and software are outdated technology, unless of course you manage to get the updated CD software made especially for Windows XP. To this day, I still even search for unopened #1349 Lego sets on eBay, and either miss the auctions, pass on them because they go way too high (above the retail of $180.00), or only find auctions of incomplete #1349 sets. This pointless waiting has finally made me look for an alternative to the Lego Studios set.....

    So my question is fellow filmmakers of TFW2005, What is a good stop-motion animation camera?
  2. shibamura_prime

    shibamura_prime Jumpin' Jellyfish! Super Mod

    Jun 22, 2004
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    If I remember that set correctly, the camera it came with was an overdressed webcam, so you probably just saved yourself a lot of money and headache by not being able to get your hands on one. ^_^

    Honestly, with the stuff you can buy commercially almost any decent camera can be a good "stop motion" camera. All you really need is a camera with a lens that'll give you a good focal length, which is a must for getting in tight on action figures. For the My Little Transformer stuff, we've got two 3CCD cameras we switch between. Our work horse of choice is the Panasonic AG-DVC30. I prefer these because the manual focus is on the lens itself instead of a dial on the menu like camdcorders. They've got a really sensitive manual iris too.

    A sturdy tripod, remote control (so you're not actually touching and moving the camera when clicking off frames) and an even light source help a lot too.

    We usually click off 2-3 seconds of footage per move. Again, 3CCD cameras are great for this sort of "precision" stuff because most of them have settings where you can tell the camera how many frames or seconds to shoot at a time. We usually make the frame shots longer so we have room to play with in post, because most editing programs let you toggle footage speed pretty easily. I know that Pinnacle, Final Cut Pro, and Adobe Premiere (our weapon of choice) are all pretty stop-motion-friendly when it comes to handling different speeds and individual frames.

    Hope this rambling makes some sort of sense. XD
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2008
  3. smangerbot

    smangerbot The Holy Zombie Jesus TFW2005 Supporter

    May 26, 2005
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    i'm no expert but you could probably start with a decent tripod and some lighting. oh and a camera.

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