Monday, July 22, 2013

What Equipment do You Use?

So, what equipment am I using to shoot Zombie Pirate Tales? Well, when I started back in 2004 to add gear to my arsenal - that was a hard decision. Many of todays high end DSLR cameras didn't exist. And the digital cameras that did were not all well suited for stop motion.

The camera I settled on had a video-out option and all manual controls. In fact at the time it was pretty darn good. A whole 5.0 megapixels worth of capture goodness! It's the Olympus C-5050 Zoom camera and has broken twice and been repaired. Once by the camera company, once by myself. Luckily it is still operational! I got an extension ring to add different lenses and settled on a macro 50mm and also a telephoto lens for close-up shots at a distance.

The tool I use to capture with is called a video lunchbox from Animation Toolworks. The old-school version, which isn't made any more. It serves its purpose, but is not the greatest thing you can use today. In fact, I don't recommend the setup today. Nine years later. It captures 256 images for play back at low resolution. It doesn't save images, so if the electricity goes out - say bye bye to your frames. That's OK though as it's only for reference. All stored images in-camera are what count.

In the future I'd like to get an Apple laptop with Dragonframe. Another option is a PC with Stop Motion Pro, another great capture program that seems to get less press here in the US than Dragon. Either option is good depending on your budget. A Canon camera with a set of prime lenses is also another good option. You can control most of the DSLR's on either program and view the live image on your laptop.

As I finish the first pilot episode of Zombie Pirate Tales, I will most likely continue using the Lunchbox and Olympus camera to make sure there is a consistent look to the film. But future episodes (if we should be fortunate enough to afford making them) will utilize more modern equipment.

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