Topic: Your brickfilming process - in a tecnical sense


I’ve only made a few brickfilms and I’m not sure if I do it the “right”/”best” way.

Maybe you could describe your process or just comments, so we all can have a discussion on the “right”/”best” way to produce brickfilms – in a technical sense.

I’ll try to describe my process here:

I use Helium Frog for frame capture.
Here I film at 15 fps. I only take one picture per movement (not doubles). Are you doing singles or doubles? And why?
Helium Frog generates the scenes as avi’s. It’s the scenes I editing together in my editing program (Pinnacle Studios) – not the single frames. Is that the right may to do it? (My problem here is that I can not edit the single frames that way if I want to).
Then I add sound effects, voices and music.
Sound effects and voice are recorded in Audacity. Should I record I mono or stereo when doing voices? What about the sample rate (right now it’s 44,1 kHz?
When I generate the film my settings are:
Video: AVI, compressed MJPEG (quality 90 %), 24 fps.
Sound: PCM, 16 bit stereo, 48 kHz.

What is your process?

Re: Your brickfilming process - in a tecnical sense

-I write a script and revise it a lot

-I try and visualize the sets in my head so I know if I have enough lego, i might have to buy some new bricks or specific stuff off ebay or bricklink

-I then record the voices using a professional microphone (luckly my brother has his own recording studio)

-I export all the voices into one mp3 file, depending how long the film is. If its a long film then I do separate files for the separate characters.

-I then edit the voices in audacity back on my computer, amplifying the sound and changing the pitch if I need to.
*I record the voices first so I can match the animation to it

-I capture frames with helium frog, using my Mini DV Camcorder (Canon MD101). Sometimes I do the whole film in one go, sometimes I do bit by bit, editing in premiere as a go. Adding the voices etc, making sure it all works ok.

-When it comes to filming, I'm still learning. I need a dark room, for my next film I'm using a summerhouse kind of shed thing, it has a lot of windows. Its causing a lot of light flicker. For my lights, I put paper on them to soften the light. Oh yeah, light shirts are bad, they can reflect light on to your sets making even more light flicker!
*For HD video, I compress to quicktime format so its quicker and smoother to edit in premiere

-After that, I edit it all in premiere. Make sure all the timing is right. I might do some colour correction. Some sequences I export and then edit in after effects if they need effects. I might even do some 3d stuff.

-I then export that back out and back into premiere, overlay it over the original.

-I then start adding sounds. To stop it getting confusing, I save the project into multiple projects, such as ambient sound, gun sounds, voices etc. I then add the sounds into these different project files, export the audio, and time it up with the original, man project file.

-I then export the film into raw avi, then compress it to divx using virtual dub, upload it to youtube, and post it on here

Re: Your brickfilming process - in a tecnical sense

I know this ain't technical proces, but it should be handy to I hope.

-Write script (make sure it's decent and stuff)
-look for voice actors, make sure the actors voice fits the characters, to find actors make a thread or ask brickfilmers or personel friends to do a voice
-Animate, take your time, try to create creative shots and angles and great lighting.
-Editing, make sure everything is right as possible, from sound to video editing
-release, make it look tempting to watch
youtube]                   Twitter]

Re: Your brickfilming process - in a tecnical sense

Well... there isn't any right process of making films, whatever type they are. You just work by gut instinct if you don't know exactly how you're supposed to do something.

These points you're posing are very basic, there's not much exploration to do there, but I'd like to ask - why do you capture at 15fps and then export at 24?                                        - Visual Effects, Filmmaking, etc. Channel                             - Everything Channel                                      - Twitter. Duh                     - Blog

Re: Your brickfilming process - in a tecnical sense

- Write my script
- Send lines to my voice actors
- record my own lines
- animate in Monkeyjam
- Edit all my small clips together in Sony Vegas
- Export the film as a .avi file
- Upload the film to YouTube

Re: Your brickfilming process - in a tecnical sense

- Come up with an idea.
- Write a script (usually in CeltX but normal text processor would work too).
- Record lines or have them recorded by others.
- Edit together a rough audio timeline using just the lines and important sound effects.

Processing (I do this for pretty much every seperate shot):
- Set up the shot: make sure framing, composition, focus and lighting is right.
- Create an x-sheet for the shot: for shots that require the recorded lines to be animated, I make X sheets based on the dialogue; for other shots I make more rough X sheets to 'fill in the gaps' of the rough audio timeline.
- Test out whether animation fits in the current framing (basically I just pick up my minifig and move it around the set to see if the camera doesn't wobble or the minifig doesn't walk out of focus et cetera).
- Animate in AnimatorDV Simple+. I animate at 12FPS in singles, mostly because it gives me the option to switch to 24FPS on doubles when I have to animate some very fast stuff.
- (Optional) Post-process the frames in GIMP for basic effects like masking or colour correction or whatever is needed if anything at all.
- Convert the frames to raw, uncompressed .AVI video using either VirtualDub or VideoMach 2.7.2, depending on whether I have the correct amount of frames or need to do some "frame tweaking" (I do the latter in VideoMach).

- Edit these shots together underneath the rough audio, add titles and stuff and make the audio perfect.
- Export as an uncompressed .avi with PCM/wav audio.
- Convert uncompressed .avi to whatever is needed in SUPER©.
- Upload to YouTube and/or website.

That's pretty much it, although you will have noticed I haven't mentioned an editing program; this is because I have no real editing program at this moment. I'm probably going to buy Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD, though; with a price of $45 it's by far the cheapest version in the Sony Vegas series and judging from the free trial it works purr-fect for my needs (at 720p).

One thing you will also probably have noticed is that I make an audio timeline before I animate. This is so I know exactly how many frames it would take to record a line, and also how many frames I need to animate to get from one line to the next. It's rigid enough to be a stable framework for animating, but also flexible enough for freedom in other shots.

Re: Your brickfilming process - in a tecnical sense

FilipeJMonteiro wrote:

...why do you capture at 15fps and then export at 24?

Don't know. Just the standard settings. Seems alright. But don't know mini/smile

Re: Your brickfilming process - in a tecnical sense

Well, I guess I should edit together all  my lines and then animate it as one big thing like Bertl does but this is what I do.

-I write the script.
- I record my own lines and get other people to do others if I need to.
- I export each as a wav file.
- I time when the minifigures should emphasize parts of each line/recording.
- Animate
- I export each animation for the movie and edit them together in sony vegas.
- Upload.
BRAWL 2013 ENTRY Quack In Time
"Why in the world did you do a weird language if you know English?" - tenny1028