Monthly Archives: December 2012

Stop motion animation test

I wanted to test out the Stop Motion Studio app for iOS along with my new micro tripod and smartphone mount, so I shot a cheesy 4 second, 75 frame film starring a random 28mm figure, a random paper model for background ambience, and a stray cat hair.

I wanted to see if any of the problems I was worried about would crop up. For example, things like the white balance and exposure changing from frame to frame, or focus/depth of field issues. I wanted white balance and exposure to remain consistent across all of the frames, and I wanted to lock the focus as well.

Fortunately, the app has manual controls for those things, so I proceeded to test the onion skinning functionality, which shows your current frame superimposed over the previous frame. Without that feature, I’d have had a much harder time moving things around.

I think I would get better results with larger characters and props, so I’m planning to experiment with that later on.

Joby Gorillapod Micro and Grip-Tight

My latest Amazon order showed up today. In it were 2 accessories for my iPod Touch, on which I’m actually composing this post. 😀

I got a Joby Gorillapod Micro tripod and the Grip-Tight adapter that allows a smartphone to be mounted on a tripod.


Put together, this is how they look:


The whole thing collapses into something you can hang from a keychain:



Edit: Here’s a shot of it with the iPod mounted, taken with Mrs E’s Nikon camera:



Pretty nifty. I came across them when searching for something I could use as a stand for my iPod when making video relay calls, since I’d like to be able to sign to the video interpreter with both hands. Holding it with one hand and half-signing with the other is a bit awkward, and arm’s length isn’t enough to get all of my face and hands in the frame.

As a bonus, it’s great for watching videos without having to hold the device, and I can stand it up in the kitchen with a recipe onscreen. I can also use it for hands-free Skype or FaceTime calls if needed.

The Grip-Tight mount fits on any tripod, so you could put your smartphone on a full-size tripod for video or stills. The low profile of the Gorillapod Micro is an interesting side bonus for miniature photography and stop-motion animation, letting you get down close to figure level.

I tried it out on a couple of models and a 28mm figure:




The iPod camera isn’t particularly fabulous, but it takes fairly decent video and stills that are adequate for casual use–posting on blogs or social networks, for example.

When I have a chance, I’m gonna put the tripod/mount through another round of testing, this time with some stop-motion video.