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stop-motion animation camera advice film project software

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#1 Flora Clark

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Posted 04 November 2015 - 01:46 PM

Hey,

I am a Film Studies student and hope to make a stop-motion animation as a side project. I was just wondering what DSLR-type sensor you would recommend for the project (have to be under £600) and what software? I'm hoping for a cheaper version of DragonFrame...  
Well, actually, camera wise I've been looking at the Canon EOS M3 or the Nikon D3300 (which is an SLR). What do you think about either of these or could you think of an alternative?

 

I really appreciate you reading this and if you answer, thank you very much.


Edited by Flora Clark, 04 November 2015 - 01:48 PM.

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#2 Jay Young

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 06:45 AM

I went on the DragonFrame website, and they have lists of cameras that will work, I actually own two of the cameras in their extensive list - I was surprised.

That said, use whatever camera you own.  If you don't own a camera, I would source one from the DragonFrame list.

 

If you really want the software, and are a student then there is a student discount which makes the software $200 or something. So take your 600 quid, buy a $3-400 camera and spend the

rest on the software you really want!


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#3 Mark Dunn

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 07:34 AM

Why does it have to be digital?

Does the college not have film equipment? 100' of 16mm, process and scan would be a lot less than £600.

If not, buy a cheap Super-8 camera and a cartridge of neg. Potentially under £100 including scan.


Edited by Mark Dunn, 05 November 2015 - 07:37 AM.

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#4 Lance Soltys

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 12:32 PM

Okay, I love film, and you really can't beat the look.  I'm thinking especially of the look of the Brothers Quay stuff.

 

However…I've shot a lot of stop-motion on both film and DSLR, and DSLR has some distinct advantages.

 

Namely, the onion skinning feature in DragonFrame.  This is super handy, especially for someone new to stop-motion.  Now, there are ways to get the image from a Bolex into DragonFrame, but it's really hinky contraptions.

 

Also, the nice thing about a DSLR, if you make a mistake in one frame (like leaving in a surface gauge, or your beer bottle in the frame)  you can just delete that one frame and keep going.  With film, you're starting the shot over.  That kinda sucks when you're 10 frames away from the end of a 8 or 9 second take.

 

Now, I'm not completely bashing the film idea.  There really is nothing like the look, and there's something to be admired about the discipline, as well as the magic of getting your film back and watching things move (of course, you also don't have the stress of praying you didn't screw it up.  But these are factors people should consider.

 

As far as equipment, yeah just go look at the dragonFrame info.  Most cameras are fine.  I assume you're not doing a feature, but I know Harry Selick had issues with the mirror mechanism in DSLR's burning out.  Shouldn't be a problem for a shot though.


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#5 John E Clark

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 12:57 PM

Okay, I love film, and you really can't beat the look.  I'm thinking especially of the look of the Brothers Quay stuff.

 

However…I've shot a lot of stop-motion on both film and DSLR, and DSLR has some distinct advantages.

 

Namely, the onion skinning feature in DragonFrame.  This is super handy, especially for someone new to stop-motion.  Now, there are ways to get the image from a Bolex into DragonFrame, but it's really hinky contraptions.

 

Also, the nice thing about a DSLR, if you make a mistake in one frame (like leaving in a surface gauge, or your beer bottle in the frame)  you can just delete that one frame and keep going.  With film, you're starting the shot over.  That kinda sucks when you're 10 frames away from the end of a 8 or 9 second take.

 

Don't you also need to use a DSLR 'manual' lens, so that there is no focus shift throughout your sequence? Probably no 'Vibration Reduction' or other 'modern' electronically controlled lens/camera features...


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#6 Lance Soltys

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 03:13 PM

Yeah, I would definitely recommend manual lenses, but I would always use manual lenses with DSLR's.  That's just me, maybe.  Also, I'm no expert on DragonFrame (I only did the photography on the movies I worked on)  but I worked around them quite a bit and I remember there being some lens control option on some cameras models, I know aperture for sure, maybe focus.


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#7 Flora Clark

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 11:29 AM

Thank you all for your replies. Thank you Jay for your points, I will definitely check out the Dragonframe student version. I have looked at their list of recommended cameras and have realised my camera is suitable. I shall trying getting a manual lens for it, then. Only thing about super 8 and film is that I would be so worried about screwing it up, with a DSLR it is a lot easier to erase. I do agree with you, however, that film beats it when it comes to the final quality and feeling of the movie. I might try using super 8 for my final A level project, though. Thank you all 


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#8 Mark Dunn

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 12:07 PM

FILM studies. The clue's in the name. Film requires discipline and literally hearing money running through the camera concentrates the mind wonderfully.


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#9 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 02:08 PM

Film requires discipline and literally hearing money running through the camera concentrates the mind wonderfully.

 

Couldn't have said it any better.


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#10 Mark Dunn

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 02:15 PM

 

Couldn't have said it any better.

Kind of you to say so. I wish I could feed my Steenbeck with something a bit fresher than 30-year-old mute rushes. Although I do get to see the odd bit of vintage stuff renting it out.


Edited by Mark Dunn, 06 November 2015 - 02:17 PM.

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#11 Jay Young

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 02:48 PM

Kind of you to say so. I wish I could feed my Steenbeck with something a bit fresher than 30-year-old mute rushes. Although I do get to see the odd bit of vintage stuff renting it out.

 

With the price of Steenbeck's eternally falling, I wish I could find someone to help me move one up the stairs to my flat!


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#12 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 03:02 PM

I think that's a very expensive way to learn shooting discipline.

 

My philosophy is to use whatever's available. As and when you start hitting the limits of it, you'll know what you need to get that'll help.

 

P


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#13 Igor Trajkovski

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 10:03 AM

 

Don't you also need to use a DSLR 'manual' lens, so that there is no focus shift throughout your sequence? Probably no 'Vibration Reduction' or other 'modern' electronically controlled lens/camera features...

 

Camera to Manual mode and focusing switch on lens from AF to MF.

 

 

Best.

 

Igor


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