How are you? Thanks for sticking with this series for this long. The last time we spoke I told you what I had learnt and what I found challenging about editing the animation. Now, let’s get on with part four.The following Friday while me and my Mum were waiting for my Uncle and my Nana to join us for dinner, we were talking about what we could do to make it easier and better for us to shoot these animations. The first thing we discussed was how to make it easier to take the pictures, because my back was still hurting from having to bend over to take all the pictures. We had a quick look on Amazon and saw that there was a tripod that was on wheels, which looked interesting. So, we thought that if I also got a remote to take the pictures for me instead of leaning over it, all I would have to do was put the roller on a plank of wood, make sure the camera was in focus and push the tripod taking several pictures at one time.
The reason the tripod was such a good idea was because I thought that in one of the pictures is showed the camera sitting at a 180 degree angle meaning it would be completely flat facing, like a bird’s-eye view. This turned out not to be true however as, when I tried my camera out on the tripod, the side of the camera was too fat for it and the camera just kept touching the wheel. This unfortunately meant that it was a no go. This really really upset me because I thought that we had finally cracked it and it was, yet again another set back.
It took me a couple of weeks to get over this, and when we were testing out my vlogging space, my Mum had the thought of setting up my light box, which I got for my birthday and placing a cardboard box inside which would hold the camera and have the sides cut out to try and see if it gave the ingredients enough light for the pictures to be taken and to see if the box was strong enough to hold the camera. This was a good set up because it meant I could just pick it up and move it to either the garage or my bedroom where I have a desk set up at which I could do my stop motion if it was too cold down in the garage.
So, I set up the light box, put my cardboard box inside, stuck the camera in, put something in view to see what the picture looked like and… it didn’t work. There was a light in the corner of the camera that I didn’t know actually existed which helps detect what you are taking a picture of and, as we hadn’t made the hole big enough, it didn’t take any pictures. However, I learnt that the cardboard box did take the camera’s weight which was a huge plus.
I stopped then and thought about other options that I had. I was having a look at the items that came with my light box, it came with two lights, different coloured sheets and a monopod. Looking at the monopod, I thought, if it could take the weight of my camera and if I held it facing down onto the item I wanted to take a picture of, I could move the camera over the item in one hand and take the pictures with the remote in the other hand. And so, I began to test this theory by seeing if the monopod could take the camera’s weight. It actually worked, the camera sat well and the pictures turned out really well. The next problem was that, although the monopod took the camera weight, it wouldn’t stay still. The camera kept spinning to the left, so that plan fell through.
We added an extra hole to the box to allow the light from the camera to come through but not the flash, and tested that out to see if that worked, which it did, it made the pictures look much better and worked every time. RESULT! On my next testing session, I placed the light box around the cardboard structure, added the white coloured sheet that came with the light box, to the back of the light box to see if that helped with the background and the natural lighting. It did so I kept it in and took a picture of something to show how it would turn out so that I could remember and review it later on. I then positioned and turned on the lights that also came with the light box. This worked really well, and again took a picture of it to go over later. However, when I was testing the lights out, it began to smell. The bulbs of the light are surrounded by plastic and it honestly smelt like the plastic was melting, so I decided I might not be using that method as I would need them on for about an hour each time and they started melting after only ten minutes. As I thought about that I remembered that I had some batwing lights that I was originally going to use as lights for when I was filming ‘me’ videos. I grabbed them from the garage and saw what a picture would look like using them. That picture honestly looked great, so I definitely made a record of what that looked like.
While I took the picture for the proof of the batwing lights, I realised that one of the wings of one of the batwing lights had switched off which didn’t make sense as they are supposed to keep their charge for about six months as they are made for construction sites. I think because they were in the garage they may have got damp which I think got to them, so I am looking at other lighting options as well.
Well that was a long part, and it has now come to an end. Hope you are enjoying my series and are hopefully learning a lot as that it the whole point of doing this.
Remember be brave, be happy, be kind, be you!
See you next time…