So if the picture quality is not acceptable or there is some problem in how


you set up the models for any of the shots, you may have to reshoot some or

all of the shots to correct the problem. 

If you're lucky enough to have both a digital and a film camera you can use

the digital camera to shoot a practice run of the animation

and the higher quality film camera to shoot the final take.

The choice is yours.  You are the director!


Another necessary piece of equipment you'll need is a tripod

to mount the camera on so that it doesn't move at all during

the filming of each action sequence.


Shooting the animation The technique for shooting each frame of a


stop-action animation is basically the same as taking a regular still camera


shot.  So if you already know how to do that you're already well on your


way to becoming a movie producer.  The main difference is that with stop-


action photography you are trying to capture action or motion using a series


of still shots instead of just taking one still shot of a stationary object.  You


are trying to create the illusion of movement by making small, incremental

adjustments in the position of the moving object between each shot.


You take a shot then move the object slightly in the direction you want it to

move, take another shot then move the object again, and so on until you

have shot all of the positions of the movement.  Depending on the type of

movement you are filming you may have to take two, three, four, or more

individual shots of it in order to film the entire sequence.  The minimum

number is two shots - one for each extreme position of the movement as we

showed in the ostrich animation before.  Two shots works okay for fairly

quick movements such as running legs, flapping wings, or spinning wheels.

That's because the images in the animation change so quickly that your

mind fills in the gaps in the movement from one position to the other.  So

the movement appears naturally smooth and not too jerky.


Slower movements such as bending over or walking slowly may require

more than two shots to make the animated movement look smooth.  How

many?  Only experimenting will tell.  If you are using a digital still camera

or web cam this is not generally a problem since you can "screen" the

animation in your image viewing program as you are shooting it.  You can

do this by toggling back and forth between each image or just running the

animation.  However, if you are using a film camera the best bet is to buy

yourself a little insurance until you get some more experience.  If you think
you can get away with just two shots, shoot three - two for the extreme
positions and one for the middle position.  Instead of three shots shoot four,

etc.  The running time of the animation won't change.  You just reduce the

amount of time each frame of the animation plays before the next frame is
played thus smoothing out the action.

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