Bobby Pinwheel Stop Motion Blog

This blog will document the making of the stop motion film Bobby Pinwheel.

February- 24- 2023 – Trying out new diy rig. Character is about 13 inches tall so needs extra support for walking.

August 4 – 2022 – Finished with lighting tests and am almost ready to continue filming the next in the Bobby Pinwheel series. The studio looks a bit like a Dario Argento film!

July 31 – 2022 – Throwback early stages of Bobby Pinwheel.

March 28 – 2021 – Animating brand new film Kerplunky!

January 8 – 2021 – Bobby Pinwheel is playing at Fixion Fest in Chile!

December 19 – 2020 – Shooting the Bobby Pinwheel teaser with the Krasnogorsk-3 hand cranked 16mm camera!

December 13 – 2020 – Going old school and shooting our Bobby Pinwheel Teaser on 16mm film!

November 22, 2020 – Meet Horseman! He will be joining Bobby Pinwheel for a horrifying teaser shot on 16mm!

October 31, 2020 – Happy Halloween! From your pal – Bobby Pinwheel!

October 31, 2020 – Shooting a Bobby Pinwheel short old school style on 16mm! It’s been a while, wish us luck!

10-17-2020 Bobby Pinwheel – Coming Soon!

10-10-2020 – First round of film festival submissions in. Currently working on a Bobby Pinwheel trailer shot on 16mm!

9-2-20 – Multiple composites for one shot of Bobby Pinwheel. First hand drawn animation of The Rocky Roads which plays on a TV in the film.

Next a photo of an old school TV removed from the background and the screen removed using Photoshop.

The girl next to the wooden TV with the cleared TV on top.

Bobby Pinwheel shot on green screen with the green screen keyed out.

Final composite! The cartoon is layered under the TV screen while Bobby is placed over the top. A slight blur has been added to the back layers so the focus is on the whistling clown.

8-22-20 Bobby Pinwheel throwing some pies!

8-22-20 That’s a wrap! The production of Bobby Pinwheel is complete! About a year worth of work for a four minute film! Stop Motion is amazing but super time consuming!

8-16-20 Using Digital Anarchy Flicker Free tool. The before and after is included below. When shooting stop motion flickering is always a problem and can be caused by a variety of reasons. Electricity, wearing a bright shirt while animating, weird shadows from rigs, etc. It’s $150.00 bucks which is expensive but it is a miracle worker.

8-16-20 Big special effect moment. If you’re doing stop motion I can’t recommend enough getting a couple of helping hand tools. You can find the for eight dollars and you can use them as rigs to hold up characters and in this case to hold up a character while I hide tubing up the dress.

8-16-20 – Look whats playing on the T.V.! It’s The Rocky Roads animated! I used Adobe Animate to create scenes from a fictional Rocky Roads cartoon done in the classic Hanna-Barbera style.

8-16-20 – Using Adobe Photoshop to remove rigs and characters. Sometimes shadows from rigs become impossible to deal with so I use the pen tool to remove characters. This is one frame and I shoot 12 frames a second (taking each picture twice so 24 frames a second in the end). It’s a loooong process but worth it in the end.

5-16-2020 – Using a rig

4-27-2020 – The Importance of tying your characters down!

Adding a character and securing them.
Drilled holes for black wire.
Underneath the animation table. Once secured I just twist until tight!
Character on the right is now tied down and steady!

4-27-2020 Stop Motion Tip of the day. Tying down the standing characters. If you don’t tie down your standing characters they will fall over or move slightly. Slight movements won’t be noticeable until you play the footage back or are editing. You’ll see characters moving about in a jerky manner and you will spend the next hour cursing. It’s a pain in the ass but you have to do it (unless you are using a character with a wide base).

3-24-20 The gangs all here! A couple minor items to fix and animating begins this week! Bobby Pinwheel The Movie!

3-20-2020 Getting characters organized and making sure mouths are easily available when animating. Close to starting but had a few hands that broke. Hopefully animation starts this weekend if New York isn’t quarantined.

3-1-2020 Hand painted birthday banner and presents as we continue to add small touches to our set. Next up balloons and maybe some streamers. We are aiming to begin animating in mid March.

3-1-2020 Creating birthday cards to add some depth to the scene. These are cards I received when I was a little boy that I scanned and shrunk down to size.

2-19-2020 Bobby Pinwheel basic set. We are using a 2 X 4 DIY wooden animation stand on legs. We created three removable walls and wallpapered the base to give it a psychedelic look.

The removable walls are foam board painted or wallpapered and are clamped down to the set. They can be removed for a variety of camera angles. This is the basic bones of our groovy 70’s style set. It’s a birthday party scene so we will be adding additional decorations.

Stop Motion Basic Set Up

2-19-20 Our basic set up. For our Bobby Pinwheel film we are using a basic three point lighting set up. We’ll be playing with different color bulbs and gels but this is our basic set up. We want high key lighting to give the illusion of a bright and breezy comedy.

We are using a Panasonic GH4 with a BlackMagic monitor shooting the entire scene in 4K video while simultaneously shooting the wall and characters to the left with a Panasonic GH3 in medium shot. I use a ton of liquids so I shoot video and pull frames for the animation. Did the testing and the footage matches up well enough. Studio space is about 95 square feet rented in Bushwick, Brooklyn for $385.00 a month.

2-18-2020 The layout of our storyboards with a few pictures of the colors and designs that inspired our look. I storyboard everything but will change my mind and switch up shots on occasion. I use a ton of liquids so it’s important to have a game plan.


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