Shake for stop motion animation?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by mrgreen4242, Sep 8, 2006.

  1. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    I was looking for tools that would help me try my hand at producing a stop motion animated (short) film. I'd like to shoot it with a regular old digicam (so I can have an HD resolution final product) and against a green screen so I can do my "sets" after the fact/in another location.

    After looking at some of the options designed just for animation (mainly the ToonBoom products) I felt like they were either too basic or to expensive for what they offered. Shake on the other hand seems to offer MOST of what I'd want from a software package:

    1) the "steadycam" feature seems like it would be perfect for adjusting for camera jitter between frames (even with a tripod sh*t happens). Plus the optical retiming system seems like it would be an animators dream (unless I am misreading how that works I could shoot say 12 frames a second, playback at 24fps, but have shake 'fill in' the missing frames to get the speed correct)?

    2) it of course will composite multiple layers (eg, I could film each characters motion seperately, and also the background, and then position and combine them later.

    3) the post production effects would give me access to things that would otherwise be difficult or impossible with traditional stop motion photography (motion blur and various depth of field/focusing effects for example).

    4) it's pro caliber, so there are features and uses of features that I am sure I haven't even imagined yet. It gives me room to grow, in other words.

    5) the price isn't so bad ($250 for Shake alone is still less than ToonBoom Studio)

    So, my questions:

    1) anyone using Shake for animation?

    2a) can you import individual frame into Shake or would I have to build the actual animation in another application and then send those video files to shake?

    2b) assuming that I'd have to combine the frames elsewhere and just give Shake video to work with, does integrate with, say, iMovie or QTPro, or would I NEED FCP to do what I want?

    3) Is Shake built on the Core Image/Video frame work, and as such somewhat GPU dependent? I'm looking to upgrade from my G4 mini soon, and haven't come to a decision about what I want yet. If I end up with a Core Duo mini, how will it handle Shake (with 1gb RAM)? I know more power is always better for something like this, but it's just a hobby project...

    4) Audio: does Shake do ANYTHING with audio, or would I have to use another app to sync up voice overs and effects? I'm assuming Shake is video only, but I just don't know...

    5) I'm likely going to 'hand animate' in lips/mouths in post production to make filming easier, and also make script changes possible after-the-fact. ToonBoom seems to offer a nice module just for that, any one know of Shake plugins or other feature that might be comparable?

    I'd appreciate any other advice anyone may have for me about this project... thanks!

    EDIT: Just noticed in the tech specs page this:
    # View audio wave forms against animation curves
    # Drive parameter animation based on audio

    which seems like it might do some automated lip sync'ing out of the box, or at least be cajoled into doing it somewhat easily since it has a (supposedly) decent plug-in system...
  2. cheezballjones macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2006
    shake and stop motion

    i've been using shake for animation for several months now. it takes a while to get your head around as it requires you to start thinking on a subframe level, but it's unbelievably powerful.

    still, if you're mostly interested in layering your shots on a timeline and you plan on creating your animations in-camera, shake is probably overkill. motion is much more intuitive, can play back whole sequences in real time and has some cool little animation features that you can tweak all you want. use shake if you need to rotoscope or color correct or manipulate your footage between the frames.

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