Sunday, April 18, 2010


Here's another animation from back in my high school days. The jointed man was made with popsicle sticks, dowel rods, and wooden macrame' balls. I used white thumb tacks for his eyes, and yarn for hair. I used blobs of clay to stick him to the ground in the shots where he's off balance. I still have this guy and he's held up very well.

This particular stop-motion animation was quite frustrating at the time because my spotlight bulb burned out and a new one was $50 and I couldn't afford it on my $1-a-week allowance. I found this cheap $10 flash gizmo I could plug into the camera and it was supposed to flash each time I took a picture. It didn't. It would only flash when it felt like it. Maybe 60% of the time it would cooperate.

The nice thing about the old lamp was I could just leave it on and not worry about it anymore. This new flash thing was a horrible piece of junk. I think after this experience I didn't mess with the movie camera too much anymore.

Now with digital cameras it seems fun again. There are downloadable freeware programs which automatically string consecutive photos together into an MPG or AVI. Windows Movie Maker will do it, but the frame speed won't go any less than 1/8th of a second per frame. Ideally it should be 1/24th of a second or things look jerky.

Using a digital camera would give a much clearer picture and better colors. These movies I made in the 80s are all washed out and scratchy. That being said, I suspect after I made a movie with a digital camera I'd be tempted to change it to black and white and add artificial scratches.


  1. KW... I am beginning to think I am adopted and you are my real Brother... which would explain the basket/river episode @ my birth. I will post some claymation this week over at my joint, from the same High School era. Popsicle Man ROCKS~! You need to resurrect that feller and stick'm in a plot-based newbie~!

  2. Really good movement here! And the design is tops!

    Have you any more of this stuff?

  3. Considering the technology, that's pretty amazing. What else is amazing is you only got a buck a week for an allowance in high school. No knock against your parents, but that's pretty frugal.

    I still can't get over how good the movement is in your animation - and all done on such a tight budget! -- Mykal

  4. Lysdexicuss, thanks! Maybe we ARE brothers. I look forward to seeing your clay animation!

    Willy, Thanks! I do have some more of this stuff. I'll post it

    Mykal, Thanks friend! That $1 allowance was tough! Comics were 50 and 60 cents. I did wood carvings and drawings for extra moola but as a kid I couldn't charge very much.


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