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What is the highest end camera system anyone has used on a Brick Film?


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#1 BrickMADNESS

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 08:54 AM

Hello, I'm shooting a feature length comedy focumentary called Brick MADNESS about a national Lego Tournament in the States.  I want to shoot some really high-end Brick footage.  Not necessarily stop motion but more like smooth fly-thru macro shots like one would do for traditional film miniatures.  With these shots I would like to be able to get very close to the bricks and fly around on the end of a motorized jib.  Does anyone have any ideas as to what camera or system would support this type of capabilities.  I've done a lot of research but I figured there might be someone here who has either done something similar or knows someone who has.  There is some amazing work here.  I'm in awe.  Thanks in advance.

Edited by BrickMADNESS, 02 April 2012 - 06:24 PM.


#2 fallentomato

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 02:56 PM

View PostBrickMADNESS, on 01 April 2012 - 08:54 AM, said:

Hello, I'm shooting a feature length comedy focumentary called Brick MADNESS about a national Lego Tournament in the States.  I want to shoot some really high-end Mary Poppins footage.  Not necessarily stop motion but more like smooth fly-thru macro shots like one would do for traditional film miniatures.  With these shots I would like to be able to get very close to the bricks and fly around on the end of a motorized jib.  Does anyone have any ideas as to what camera or system would support this type of capabilities.  I've done a lot of research but I figured there might be someone here who has either done something similar or knows someone who has.  There is some amazing work here.  I'm in awe.  Thanks in advance.

Your best bet is going to be a DSLR. That's what professional animation houses use (as well as the high-end brick filmers). I use a Micro 4/3 camera (Panasonic Lumix GH2). Micro 4/3 cameras are similar to DSLR in terms of picture quality and ability to swap lens in and out, but they have no physical shutter. That's good for stop-motion, because it's possible to wear out the shutter on a DSLR after many exposures (most are rated for 30,000). You might want to check out Bricks In Motion to see what cameras people are using there.

Some animation programs can control motorized jibs for smooth camera movements while animating. Dragon Frame 3 is what professional animators use and has this ability.

Hope that helps!
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#3 BrickMADNESS

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:02 PM

View Postfallentomato, on 02 April 2012 - 02:56 PM, said:

Your best bet is going to be a DSLR. That's what professional animation houses use (as well as the high-end brick filmers). I use a Micro 4/3 camera (Panasonic Lumix GH2). Micro 4/3 cameras are similar to DSLR in terms of picture quality and ability to swap lens in and out, but they have no physical shutter. That's good for stop-motion, because it's possible to wear out the shutter on a DSLR after many exposures (most are rated for 30,000). You might want to check out Bricks In Motion to see what cameras people are using there.

Some animation programs can control motorized jibs for smooth camera movements while animating. Dragon Frame 3 is what professional animators use and has this ability.

Hope that helps!

Thanks a lot for the thorough reply.  Are people typically using macro lenses or extension tubes for these types of situations?  I'm just thinking that with MOD on those lenses being at least a foot or two typically that I'd need some sort of macro capability most all the time which limits my lens options.  I will definitely go to Bricks In Motion.  Thank you.

#4 Darkdragon

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:12 PM

You will get much better results using a macro capable lense rathan than using extension tubes. It really depends on how close you need to get to the objects and how wide you need the FOV.

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#5 BrickMADNESS

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:23 PM

View Postdarkdragon, on 02 April 2012 - 06:12 PM, said:

You will get much better results using a macro capable lense rathan than using extension tubes. It really depends on how close you need to get to the objects and how wide you need the FOV.

IS everything in Brick Films done with stop motion or are there certain shots that are more easily done with full motion video?  I have a RED EPIC camera but the main issue is size and weight.  I'm really looking for a tiny camera that would have a smaller chip. A webcam on steroids.  On stop motion, focus isn't that hard but on full motion video I would need a remote focus of some sort which makes the whole rig that much bigger and heavier when you're dealing with DSLR lenses.  I've contacted a lot of manufacturers but haven't gotten very far yet so I'm just trying to figure it all out.  Thanks!

#6 Darkdragon

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:29 PM

At CES a couple years ago I saw a tethered bullet cam made for this purpose, it could be fed directly into the RED One at the time. I can't recall much about it though as it was out of my budget. Have you asked around on the red forums? They are usually very helpful chaps there. You could do it with rack/follow focus on a shot by shot basis.

I only shoot Lego in stop motion and have not tried any type of "live" movement, but I am very inexperienced with animating Lego (more experienced with live action filming not involving Lego)

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#7 fallentomato

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:44 PM

View PostBrickMADNESS, on 02 April 2012 - 06:02 PM, said:

Thanks a lot for the thorough reply.  Are people typically using macro lenses or extension tubes for these types of situations?  I'm just thinking that with MOD on those lenses being at least a foot or two typically that I'd need some sort of macro capability most all the time which limits my lens options.  I will definitely go to Bricks In Motion.  Thank you.

Anytime  :grin:

A macro lens is a must for close-ups. I have been using one for my upcoming episode and really loving it:

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