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Mac Mini for Stopmotion (clay animation)?

 
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Don C.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 1:25 pm    Post subject: Mac Mini for Stopmotion (clay animation)? Reply with quote

Hello,

I am a stopmotion animator and I have always used a PC to perform all of the tasks associated with the craft, from preproduction to animation, to sound.

I have not seriously used a Mac since 1996, and have no idea what to expect from a Mini.

My question, then, is which Mac Mini would you recommend for doing stopmotion animation?

I make music as well, but have had a latency issue in my Windows music app. I'm looking for an all-in-one solution (including I-life), but the stopmotion software is expected to be separate. I just need a computer that will run it.

Thanks,

Don C.
stopmotion animator
Pram Maven Films
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 5:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Mac Mini for Stopmotion (clay animation)? Reply with quote

Don C. wrote:
...but the stopmotion software is expected to be separate. I just need a computer that will run it.

When you look at the website of the company that makes your stopmotion software, what are its minimum system requirements?
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Don C.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

# A PowerPC processor-based Macintosh computer (G4 recommended)
# Mac OS 10.2.4 or later
# At least 256MB of RAM
# At least 300 Megabytes of available Hard Drive space.
# An Image Capture compatible digital still camera with Image Capture remote control capabilities.
# QuickTime compatible video source (DV, QuickCam, etc.)

The program is Frame Thief.
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trustory
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apparently Frame Thief runs badly on intel macs http://www.stopmotionanimation.com/dc/dcboard.php?az=set_linear_mode&forum=12&page=2&topic_id=4122
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You wouldn't have a problem using that software on a mini, however you should check to see if there is an upgrade. If the program is designed for the Power PC processor, it will run a bit slower on the new Intel Macs since it will be running through Rosetta, the emulation system. If there is a Universal upgrade, then it will take advantage of the Intel processor. Some programs appeared faster, even running under Rosetta when I first got my mini, but some were a bit slower. It will depend on the software.
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Pleiades
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's always iStopMotion. Worth taking a look at Smile
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Don C.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all of the replies!

The problem with iStopmotion is that it has only onion skinning. I need a way to toggle back and forth from live feed from the camera to the last stored frame or two (kind of like the way 2D animators check their drawings).

As far as Frame Thief, it appears to be abandonware. That is a shame, because it's been used on some great stopmotion productions.

The other option is Dragon, which is a newfangled framegrabber that is supposed to be the best for stopmotion.

Here are the specs for that:

System Requirements:
* Mac OS X 10.4.7 or newer
* Any Intel based Macintosh OR
* PPC G4 at 1.33 GHz
* 1 GB RAM
* Any QuickTime compatible video camera (unless your DSLR provides video

See any clashes with the Mini?
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jacko101
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don C. wrote:

The other option is Dragon, which is a newfangled framegrabber that is supposed to be the best for stopmotion.

Here are the specs for that:

System Requirements:
* Mac OS X 10.4.7 or newer
* Any Intel based Macintosh OR
* PPC G4 at 1.33 GHz
* 1 GB RAM
* Any QuickTime compatible video camera (unless your DSLR provides video

See any clashes with the Mini?


The only thing I would say is, check you camera. Mac's, for some reason, lack support when it comes to camera's (Web cams or digital).

I've got an old Logitec camera that I got working using Macam's software, but the newer one I had just wouldn't work.

My digital camera doesn't work apart from when using iStopMotion, although it isn't perfect either. (I normally just plug the memory card in my reader rather than connect the camera directly!)

Camera's are the only problem I've had with the Mac, apart from that it's been superb! Wink
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Don C.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, man.

The camera I'm using is a miniDV via firewire to the computer. If it doesn't work with the Mini, I'm stuffed, but not dead yet. The main reason I want a Mac is to do audio stuff on it. PC's have this weird latency problem (sync is off). It's frustrating!
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trustory
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 4:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From my experience macs have very good digital camera support. None I've thrown at my MacBook have been incompatible.
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Don C.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, that makes me feel so much better.

So it looks like I'm popping in to the Mac store today to configure a Mini and play around with some software and a webcam to see if it will meet my needs.

By the way, I'm really impressed with these forums, they're much friendlier than most that I've seen.

I'll definitely be back!
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trustory
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don C. wrote:

By the way, I'm really impressed with these forums, they're much friendlier than most that I've seen.

I'll definitely be back!

I agree this forum is a great resource and the folks are helpful and friendly.
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