21 Replies Latest reply on Mar 16, 2013 2:29 PM by Mike1360

    Keeping pictures centered in Stop Motion?

    Mike1360 Level 1

      Hey all, I'm making a stop motion video and i was wondering if there was a way to keep a certain point centered. In my case, a piece of paper. Here's what my project is:

       

      I've recorded some music, now i go and shoot a video in front of a greenscreen. I edit the video in premiere, key out the green in after effects, then export that. Go back to premiere and i export images for 12 frames every second. So now i got the images, after photoshopping them to black and white with a half tone, i'll be printing out each frame and taking photos of them in different places.

       

      Those pieces of paper with each frame on it, i would like to stay as centered as possible throughout the video. Is there a way i can do that with some effect or editing technique? is it done in another program such as after effects or using actions/batchs to effect all the photos at once in photoshop (if so, i'll go ask there unless you can help ) Or does it have all to do with taking each photo of the paper as centered as possible with the camera?

       

      Thanks for your time!

        • 1. Re: Keeping pictures centered in Stop Motion?
          joe bloe premiere Level 5

          I'm afraid you will need to line them up manually.

          Think of it as a labor of love.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Keeping pictures centered in Stop Motion?
            Biggles Lamb Level 3

            You could try using Warp Stabilizer in Premiere CS6 or if you have CS5 you will need to use After Effects

             

            If you have not used it before check out a video tutorial first and then away you go

            • 3. Re: Keeping pictures centered in Stop Motion?
              joe bloe premiere Level 5

              If I were to have this job on my desk...

              I would start by creating a mask that marks my preferred

              alignment for the images within the frame, place that mask on

              layer two, lock it and align the images on layer one beneath.

               

              edit:

              Also, I would do this in After Effects instead of Premiere.

              Pr is good for setting up your sequence, Ae better for compositing.

              Use Dynamic Link to send your Pr sequence to Ae and align there.

              • 4. Re: Keeping pictures centered in Stop Motion?
                Powered by Design Level 4

                Just a question.

                 

                I was wondering if you had seen on some TV show about viral videos where a guy had a music video and had printed out the video and had allot of other people in different locations hold each shot ?

                 

                If so do you have the link.

                 

                It sounds like your doing the same thing.  The effect was really cool

                 

                 

                GLenn

                • 5. Re: Keeping pictures centered in Stop Motion?
                  joe bloe premiere Level 5

                  Glenn,

                  Not the one you are referencing (I think), but here is something similar:

                  • 6. Re: Keeping pictures centered in Stop Motion?
                    Mike1360 Level 1

                    Yes i was inspired by another video to make this project. but it's just a guy on youtube that i enjoy watching. he makes some awesome videos. heres the link to the one that inspired me http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yMu3CwI5z4

                    • 7. Re: Keeping pictures centered in Stop Motion?
                      joe bloe premiere Level 5

                      Cool video. A LOT of work.

                       

                      If that is what you aspire to, good for you!

                      You're going to be at it for a while.

                      • 8. Re: Keeping pictures centered in Stop Motion?
                        Mike1360 Level 1

                        Haha yep. It'll take me a bit. But I love the experience and the long process that may be boring to others. Plus I get to combine my two favorite things. Video production an music production (recording tracks myself on my laptop)

                        • 9. Re: Keeping pictures centered in Stop Motion?
                          Powered by Design Level 4

                          Those are both great examples but not the one I seen.

                           

                          Allot of work.

                           

                          Wish you the best.

                           

                          Enjoy

                          • 10. Re: Keeping pictures centered in Stop Motion?
                            Steven L. Gotz Level 5

                            I don't want to be a spoil sport, but if that project was on my desk I would have a collection of green papers to hand out (instead of stickers or expensive printed frames) and then just replace the green with the video frames. Frames I would have modified to look like they were printed.

                             

                            To shoot it I would buy a new UV filter for my camera and tape off the exact size of the paper at a specified distance. Probably something where I could just use a yardstick or a dowel to guide me where to put the person (or the camera) in each shot. I would attempt to ensure that I always used an aperture that reasonably well guaranteed that the paper AND the person would be in focus. Then I would just need to center the paper in the lens using the tape as a guide.

                             

                            It just seems that printing 1200 labels or frames uses a lot of ink.

                            • 11. Re: Keeping pictures centered in Stop Motion?
                              Mike1360 Level 1

                              it may be easier that way, but the effect won't come out looking as good. that's probably why you don't find videos like that to often (i haven't found any made like that). Also, then every location you choose can't really have green in it unless i feel like doing masks or whatever on 900 images... But who knows, maybe it does look cool that way too. if you can find a video like that for me that'd be great. But i'm sticking with my way for the experience of doing a big project, the learning experince, and importing each image into every single frame doesn't sound like fun to do over and over lol. i've got 900 photo xD besides, i already worked out how they will be printed thanks for the suggestion tho

                              • 12. Re: Keeping pictures centered in Stop Motion?
                                the_wine_snob Level 9

                                I do similar with alignment grids. I just need to remember to turn their Video Track OFF, before Export.

                                 

                                For a bit more on alignment grids, this article might be helpful: http://forums.adobe.com/message/4319250#4319250

                                 

                                Hunt

                                • 13. Re: Keeping pictures centered in Stop Motion?
                                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                                  Mike,

                                   

                                  Here's a +1 for that video. I understand how it inspired you. Neat, and thanks for posting the link.

                                   

                                  Hunt

                                  • 14. Re: Keeping pictures centered in Stop Motion?
                                    Mike1360 Level 1

                                    Thank you for sharing that the help from you and everyone is greatly appreciated. i love learning all of this!

                                    • 15. Re: Keeping pictures centered in Stop Motion?
                                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                                      Based on that inspirational video, what you are setting out to do is much more involved than just a bunch of PiP's (though those sheets will basically be PiP's, just lots and lots of them). I also noticed that the exact orientation of the "sheets" varies a bit. It adds a dynamic, edgy element to the video, so you might want to think about doing an alignment grid in Photoshop (providing that you have access to it), where you create several non-Filled Shapes (thin Stroke only), in the dimensions of the sheets, on separate Layers, and apply a bit of Rotation to them. I would do those in different colors, and jot down the colors based on their degree of Rotation, so that you would know that say red rectangle is 5 degrees CCW, etc.

                                       

                                      Looks like a very interesting Project.

                                       

                                      Someone above mentioned After Effects, and I would tend to agree, if you have access to it. There might even be an Expression available to "automate" things a bit for you.

                                       

                                      Good luck,

                                       

                                      Hunt

                                      • 16. Re: Keeping pictures centered in Stop Motion?
                                        Mike1360 Level 1

                                        haha it is pretty involved (especially for someone with such little experience as me) but i enjoy the challenges and i know i can get this one done if i invest the time (which i will and am).  And i see what you are saying about photoshop. Yes i do have access to all the programs. i have the master collection cs6. The photoshop sounds a bit complicated for me xD probably not so much if i worked on it but i'll try running some tests on it. If all goes well then i'll do it! i love the idea... just whether or not i can do it. i already know that the video i'm working on won't come out as amazing as the one i posted. i have little experince in all of this.

                                         

                                        I am planning on using after effects now. only i'm having trouble making stop motion work with 2 frames per image in there..

                                         

                                        Again, thank you for the help!

                                        • 17. Re: Keeping pictures centered in Stop Motion?
                                          the_wine_snob Level 9

                                          Mike,

                                           

                                          Photoshop would only come into play, to create Alignment Grids for your sheets.

                                           

                                          In PS, start with New Image, and from the Image Size, hit the drop-down (probably says "Custom"), and then choose the Video Frame Size to match your Project at the bottom of that drop-down list, say HD 1920 x 1080 with Guides. Set Background to Transparent. Hit OK.

                                           

                                          1. Your new Image, sized to match the Video Frame Size will Open, and you can see the Guides for the Title-safe and Action-safe areas. You should see a gray/white checkerboard, indicating a Transparent Background.
                                          2. In the Layers Palette, chose New Layer at the bottom. Use the Marquee Selection Tool, to draw your first "sheet."
                                          3. In the Paths Palette, hit the little fly-out arrow at the top, and choose Make Workpath.
                                          4. Then, set the Pencil Tool to maybe 2-3 pixels and Hard, Set the Foreground Color to say red, and go to that same fly-out on the Paths Palette, choose Stroke Workpath, and choose Pencil.
                                          5. Now you have a Stroked (only) rectangle on a Layer. Hit Ctrl-T for Free Transform, and with the Cursor just outside the Bounding Box (you might need to expand the view by dragging a corner of that Image to see the Bounding Box clearly), and you will see a little arc with arrowheads. Rotate, as is needed.
                                          6. Repeat, with different colors, as is necessary.
                                          7. Save_As PSD, and Import that into PrPro. You might find that you do not want all colored rectangles on one PSD, so you can Export each Layer to a separate PSD, to be Imported separately.

                                           

                                          Good luck,

                                           

                                          Hunt

                                          • 18. Re: Keeping pictures centered in Stop Motion?
                                            Mike1360 Level 1

                                            Ohh very nice :) I will mess around with it a bit. Thanks for the instructions. The only thing I must make sure is that everything is black and white when printed. Can't get it done otherwise. But I'll test it out tonight!

                                            • 19. Re: Keeping pictures centered in Stop Motion?
                                              the_wine_snob Level 9

                                              Do not be swayed by all those instructions. It takes more space to write about it, than to do it. Also, once you have done your first rectangle, the rest will be almost second nature, as all you would change would be the Rotation and the color.

                                               

                                              Good luck, and most of all, have fun,

                                               

                                              Hunt

                                              • 20. Re: Keeping pictures centered in Stop Motion?
                                                Steven L. Gotz Level 5

                                                Actually, I was thinking that once you got all of the pictures aligned perfectly, you would nest them in a new sequence and apply the green screen all at once. But that would not take the shaky, organic feel into account. To get that, you would probably have to use an After Effects equation of some sort.

                                                 

                                                So, yes, it is probably better to use prints and approximately line them up one frame at a time. I will have to try it my way one of these days just to see how it turns out though.

                                                 

                                                Here is a question for you though, or for others....  How many frames does each image last? In the video in post number 5 which used 15 frames per second, the answer is three images for for each person and all three shots have new video frames. So, each image lasts one frame.

                                                 

                                                In the video from post number 6, which uses 24 frames per second, each image lasts two frames.

                                                 

                                                I guess what I want to know is how you plan these things? Trial and Error or is there a set of general rules to follow that will accomplish a predefined goal?

                                                • 21. Re: Keeping pictures centered in Stop Motion?
                                                  Mike1360 Level 1

                                                  Not 100% sure but I believe it is preference really as to how many you want to do, how fast you want them to go by and how long each frame should last. But whatever preset or your sequence setting is, make sure the frames match into it. Like for example mine is 24 fps settings. So if I want 12 frames in a second then I need each picture to last 2 frames. If it was set in the beginning 30 fps and say I want 10 frames per second. Then I need to make it so each frame last 3 frames. That would make it look a bit more choppy/glitchy If that's a good way to describe it.

                                                  It just needs to make sure it all fits into the sequence settings you pick from the beginning. Then it's all personal preference on how you want it.

                                                   

                                                  Hope this helps.