Concept: Animation Class

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January 10, 2008 at 2:47 am #360014
Avatar of skull brick
skull brick

Multiple people can contribute, I think. And it doesn’t guarantee anything, because you don’t know who will be nominated.

I don’t really have a skill that someone is way better than me at this project, so I guess im out.

January 10, 2008 at 3:20 am #360021
Avatar of Relyt

I’m all for someone being nominated to head each lesson video and other people contribute to that. Maybe that’s what LOTL meant in the first place.

January 10, 2008 at 6:14 am #360072
Avatar of Lechnology

Whoa whoa, who sugar-coated this project? You’re all getting too far ahead of yourselves here.

If you all feel that all possible lessons have been mentioned, then our next step is cataloging them.

Set Design/Building¹
Sound design¹
On set effects¹
Postproduction effects¹
Camera setup¹
Software tutorials¹
Purchasing of Camera equipment²

To simplify things, let us first focus on general lessons for someone new to the hobby. But before we start on that we need to create categories. I’ve said this before, I’m not the person to do this as I can’t really generalize every known technique there is out there, I need input, suggestions, etc.

Just take a look at this:

_└ Introduction/Overview
_└ FPS
_└ Lighting
_└ Timing
_└ ???
_└ ???
_└ Gestures
_└ Physics
_└ Walking techniques
_└ ???
_└ ???
_└ Plot development
_└ Script formatting
_└ ???
_└ ???
_└ On Set
__└ Cotton explosion
__└ Flame piece animation
__└ LEDs
__└ ???
__└ ???
_└ Post production
__└ Masking
__└ Lightsaber
__└ Image stabilization
__└ Widescreen
__└ ???
__└ ???
_└ Known formats
_└ Ideal size
_└ ???
_└ Photoshop basics
_└ Videomach basics
_└ Monkeyjam basics
_└ BSOL basics
_└ ???
_└ ???

Well shut me up, not only have I categorized the lessons, I’ve added additional lessons. But this is by no means final. It needs improvement.

Please, PLEASE, focus your attention on the first category, General. Once we’ve gotten enough detail on what plans contributors should or want to do for the lessons under General, that section is greenlit. That is when sign ups can start as well as nomination for who to oversee production of the lesson (if there’s more than one person signed up for that lesson). More details to be discussed as we go along.

Slow and steady, folks, slow and steady.

¹ Doesn’t necessarily have to be one lesson. Lesson can cover more than one area of the same subject.
² Debatable.

January 10, 2008 at 7:26 am #360082
Avatar of Lechnology

And let me just state this, unlike Super, there is to be no exclusion of anyone who wants to contribute. This project is for brickfilms, for the site, for the hobby, made by members for the members. If a member wants to help, whoever is overseeing the lesson needs to find something for that member to do in regards to the project.

For example, this is the best opportunity for amateur animators with needs-improvement animation (low frame rate, light flickers, not using the best of cameras, stiff animation, etc.) to be included in these lessons if they’re welling to be used as examples of what not to do.

Of course, this depends on the format in which the lesson is taught. If a lot of members want to contribute to a lesson, then that is when more than one version of the lesson will have to be made.

If members can’t contribute animation-wise, then overseers need to find other uses of them. Lesson planning, sound design, writing, assisting the producer/overseer, scheduling, even simply seeing to it that people are on track and that the final product is made is all that’s needed.

January 10, 2008 at 8:39 am #360090
Avatar of MindGame

Erm, didn’t Blunty already do FPS?


January 10, 2008 at 5:13 pm #360146
Avatar of TwickABros

Erm, didn’t Blunty already do FPS?

That doesn’t mean he has to use it.

January 10, 2008 at 5:33 pm #360156
Avatar of si665

It would be nice to see something on Ldraw

I have just submitted a tutorial on Dolly Shots. I will look at the other stuff and see if there is anything in the realm of my limited knowledge I can do as well :D

January 10, 2008 at 5:37 pm #360161
Avatar of Errol

I don’t know if I have time, but I would like to do one…

January 10, 2008 at 5:42 pm #360168
Avatar of Lord_Of_The_LEGO

“MindGame” wrote: Erm, didn’t Blunty already do FPS?


“Lord_Of_The_LEGO” wrote: this is a redux of the original animation classes, so the first two lessons are going to be redone. This is in part to match the much higher animation and image quality standards present today.

January 10, 2008 at 6:07 pm #360180
Avatar of BertL

How are you planning on remaking the original FPS class now that Steve Irwin’s dead? :eyebrow:

- Spread the Crocs

January 10, 2008 at 6:24 pm #360194
Avatar of saulgoode

[spoiler=Rough draft script for Introduction]

SCENE: A movie studio film stage (LEGO Studio light stands and cameras exemplify this)

CAST: Host and Mannequin (white mini-fig)

  • “Hello, my name is _____ and I am here today to introduce you to the fun and creative hobby of brickfilming. Brickfilming is the process of using stop-motion animation techniques, along with building-block toy sets such as those produced by The LEGO Corporation, to make animated films. Brickfilming can produce a wide variety of animated films, ranging from …”

At this point a brief montage is shown of various brickfilm clips demonstrating the range of different types. Some examples being clips from Prisac’s micro-fig On the Way, Errol’s Stikfa Fight, David Pagano’s talking-heads Little Guys, PE’s People, as well as more traditional fare.

  • “How are such films made, you ask? They are created by taking hundreds, usually thousands, of individual photographs, and moving the pieces just a fraction of a centimeter between each shot. But let me demonstrate with this mannequin…”

The host disappears off-stage and returns with a mannequin which he poses in profile on the stage.

  • “(Could we please have the stage lighting dimmed?). If we take a picture of this mannequin standing here…”

The set becomes partially darkened, but the host is still visible as a shadowy figure. A flashbulb flashes.

  • “Now if I move the mannequin forward a little bit…”

We hear the sound of footfalls and see the shadowy figure of the host walk over and move the mannequin a couple of studs ahead of his original spot.

  • “Now let’s repeat that.”

A flash, then in the semi-darkness, more footfalls as the host picks up the mannequin and moves him a couple of studs further ahead.

  • “And again.”

One more time.

  • “Now if we play back the photos which we just took in quick succession, the result shows our friend moving across the stage — very quickly, and not very smoothly.”

Playback the captured frames.

  • “If we take more pictures, with me moving our friend less of a distance each time, then his movement will become a bit smoother.”

Repeat the previous scenario, only at a livelier pace and moving the mannequin only one stud. Bring up stage lighting and have the host playback the result.

  • “That looks much better, but it is still not really animation; it is more like the time-lapse photography that you often see showing plants growing really fast or crowds of people changing over the course of a day.”

Insert a quick montage of some time lapse video.

  • “In fact, stop-motion animation is very similar to time-lapse photography. If repeat the same process, only this time I move the mannequin only a fraction of the distance as that previously, and I reposition his arms and legs as I move him…”

Dim the stage lighting and have the host go through the process of animating the mannequin. This footage should start out in real-time, but the speed of the host’s movements should “ramp up” (itself becoming a time-lapse capture of the process) and then return to normal speed as he nears completion of his task.

Bring up the stage lighting and frame in on the host.

  • “Phew! That was hard work. Let’s take a look at the result:”

Playback the final animation.

  • “Not too shabby. You can see that just making a mannequin walk a few feet requires quite a bit of effort, and takes a lot of snapshots, and be quite very careful in the planning and execution of capturing those snapshots.

    But there are great benefits to creating stop-motion animation, and brickfilming in particular. When brickfilming, we do not have to use full-size mannequins which makes things a lot easier — and we don’t have to hire egotistical actors and temperamental actresses. We also do not need to use fancy, expensive movie cameras; in fact, we don’t need a MOVIE cameras at all; a simple webcam or digital still camera hooked up to a computer is sufficient.

    Most importantly, brickfilming is not limited to making a man WALK. You can have him run, do cartwheels, even fly! You can instantly turn him into a monkey, or a school bus, or have objects appear and disappear all around. If you can imagine it, you can make it happen in your brickfilm.”

During the last part, the mannequin is in the background exemplifying all of the activities being described.[/spoiler]

January 10, 2008 at 6:45 pm #360208
Avatar of Errol

Cool. I could help out with FPS.

January 10, 2008 at 7:10 pm #360209
Avatar of Night Owl
Night Owl

That sounds awesome, saul. I’d love to contribute the time-lapse footage, as I’ve been itching to do some of that recently.

January 10, 2008 at 7:13 pm #360210
Avatar of Lechnology

“BertL” wrote: How are you planning on remaking the original FPS class now that Steve Irwin’s dead? :eyebrow:

I don’t know what it is, but for some reason some of you are thinking that we’re continuing with the old project started by Stefan.

We are not. What does redux, re-imagine, and revamp mean to you?


si665, thanks, I knew I forgot another category: Advance animation.

I’ll read your script, saul, thanks.

January 10, 2008 at 8:08 pm #360227
Avatar of si665

Yeah Advanced animation would be nice.
Like Snow and Rain Effects in Adobe After Effects, or explosions etc in Particle Illusion,
or Squirlz Water Effects.

That sort of thing. I am itching to learn how to use those.

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