Is it possible that this video is going to be cooler than the actual movie?
If you use OBS to make your desktop recordings on your Mac, you’ll notice it creates .flv files by default. But .flv files aren’t playable in QuickTime.
There are ways to change the settings to create .mp4 files, but there are really good reasons to use .flv.
A better approach is to record in .flv and convert to .mp4 afterward using ffmpeg and a little shell script to make the commands easier.
I just created my first stop motion animation short using my Canon EOS 10D as remote capture device and Monkey Jam to build the movie file.
I created “the campsite“, a stop motion animation short using my Canon EOS 10D camera and Monkey Jam. I have been reading about and watching brickfilms and some stop motion animation films online. I had the crazy idea that it would be fun to blow my sons mind by making a short film of some of his toys. It turns out that it’s a lot of work.
First, I had to raid my sons toy collection. I picked a couple of figures from an adventure sport/camping play set. They had chairs and tables and a bunch of coleman gear that was already their size. I figured this would be the easier way to create a “set” without using Legos.
Set Construction and Lighting
I cleared an area on one of my computer desks and put an old checkerboard down for the set area. The background is a large piece of graph paper stuck to a LCD monitor.
It took a while to arrange the scene for a sense of depth. I experimented a lot with the shrubbery.
I put my camera on the tripod and connected the remote capture cable, a USB cable, to my laptop. My Canon EOS 10D has Remote Capture abilitiy. So I can shoot the camera from my laptop. I used my EOS 550 EX flash with a Stofen Bounce Flash to even out the light.
Then I experimented with the exposure and depth-of-field. I ended up focusing on the firepit at f/8.
Here is the setup:
I shot 27 frames of animation. Then I used Monkey Jam to make the movie. At 15 frames per second, it looks a bit jerky. At a faster fps, the motion looks smoother, but obviously doesn’t last as long.
I discovered that it’s really hard to keep the set in place. I knew enough to stick the shrubs and firepit to the checkerboard. I also stuck the checkerboard to the desk. But the chairs weren’t stuck and neither were the table and cooler in the background. When the figures got close to those items, I bumped them and you can see the jump in the animation.
Also, it’s really difficult to get the “actors” to behave. I used plasti-tak to hold their feet to the checkboard, but the plasti-tak stretched and stuck to the checkerboard more than it did to their feet.
Looking to the Future
The next thing to do will be to actually create a little script and then add some sound effects.
You can view the animation by downloading from
- YouTube, The Campsite by Eric Holsinger