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Thread: Stop Motion Animation using a HDD/memory stick Camcorder

  1. #1

    Default Stop Motion Animation using a HDD/memory stick Camcorder

    How do I use a hard disc drive camcorder for stop motion animation & which software is best to use for Vista?

    My 9 year old son is keen to do stop motion animation and has a Sony DCR-SR35E hard disc drive/memory stick Camcorder with X40 optical zoom. We have tried downloading some stop motion animation software but it doesn't seem to link up with the camcorder via the USB. I know that webcams are the easiest way to start animation but surely there must be some way of being able to use our camcorder? We have a Vistas PC.

    I read somewhere about capture cards - do we need one and if so which one will work. I presume this can be an external one as opposed to the cost of one installed in the PC? Or are there any other options.

    Also what animation programmes would you recommend for me as I am only 9. Any help, pointers or contacts who migt know would be much appreciated.

    Many thanks

    Ali

  2. #2
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    This is my best guess so please don't spend any money without getting a second opinion.
    I'm guessing your animation software actually does the capturing - it's expecting a "live" feed from a camera. I'm also guessing your USB connection doesn't give you that - it's designed fror transferring flied that you CAMERA has already recorded onto your hard disk.
    The good news is your camera also has iLink (aka Firewire). If you have a firewire port on your PC your good to go to give it a try. Failing that you'll need to buy and install one (10-15)

    EDIT: APOLOGY
    I misread the spec. Your camera doers NOT have a firewire socket. Ignore the above. BIG BAD on my part. Sorry for any wated time.
    Last edited by TimStannard; 11-23-2008 at 12:43 PM.
    Tim

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    Firewire is the way to go if you're going to use your camcorder. A cheaper (and high quality) alternative is to use a digital still-photo camera. She-who-must-be-obeyed did a short sequence with a Nikon D70 and it knocked the nips off stuff done with a Hi-def(ish) XDCam.

    Any cheap digital camera will do and it will have a better resolution than your camcorder. In the edit, just import all the images together, decide the duration (1,2 or 3 frames) and the software should do the rest.

  4. #4
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    Seconded - a stills camera is the way to do this.

  5. #5

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    Thanks everyone for all your advice. Judging from your advice, as our camcorder doesn't have a firewire socket I presume the only option is a stills camera or a webcam? Would it be easier for us to just buy a decent webcam?

    Thanks

    Ali

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    Very few webcams have anything like decent quality. I'd advise sticking to a decent still camera.

  7. #7
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    I don't know if you've tried either of these pieces of software but there's no harm in giving them a go.

    Dorgem - Open Source Webcam Capture Application

    Dorgem is a webcam capture application for Windows 9x and up. Any Video for Windows compatible webcam (or other digital camera) is supported.

    It has unlimited storage events that can put the captured image on an FTP site as well as a local disk, all with their own time interval.

    Dorgem supports an unlimited number of simultaneous cameras. It has a built-in webserver for still images and can be used as security camera because of its motion detection.

    Or...

    Freeware Home - Free Software Downloads

    MonkeyJam 3.0

    On the Graphic section on the left panel, click on Animation, Video

    Scroll down through the list and locate MonkeyJam 3.0

    Click on the download link on the right.

    MonkeyJam is a program that lets you get your drawings into the computer and then stick them together so that you can see your animation come to life. In other words, it's an exposure sheet driven digital pencil test program and a stop motion movie maker. You can capture from DV, video and webcam or import individual images. MonkeyJam allows you to adjust the timing, composits multiple layers and exports as AVI.

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