Topic: Animating of minifigs on loose sand

Hello guys

I work now on my brickfilm about pirates. There's a problem with animating of minifigs on loose sand. For your reference, see my screenshot:

It means the minifig stands on almost 1 inch thick layer of sand. I'd like minifig to leave footprints on sand, it's look nice than walking on hard sand.

However, the real problem is when the minifig has to make step, the sand can't move around the minifig's legs and at the same time the minifig has to stand in the same place like in the previous frame. Only legs have to move forward before changing the position and his torso has to be set perpendicularly to the sand, while the minifig is shifted. Additionally, I'd like to animate a pirate standing still and moving only his torso, while talking.

Is there a solution of my problem to animate these scenes correctly?

Re: Animating of minifigs on loose sand

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I'd say try soak the sand in water to make it more solid but it'll evaporate and your frames won't be consistent, my solution is to by a pair of helping hands as a rig and mask out the arms.
Using sand with puppets in stop motion is not easy. Even walking on sand and making an pixelation of someone walking won't be easy to achieve. Sand is grainy and small, having LEGO next to it loses that perspective because the sand looks bigger. You would have to buy a specific type of sand to make it smaller and finer. There's also another type of sand that holds it's shape like clay and it's not loose.
You can see that the "sand" in moves but only a tiny bit, it's probably all cardboard or something like that.
You could try use clay of a sandy colour that has grainy feel or look to it. I don't know where to find them but I'm sure they exist.

Last edited by Kd2000 (August 16, 2015 (04:03am))


my dad doesn't want me to brickfilm on because it's his computer, but he's not home right now at the moment.

Re: Animating of minifigs on loose sand

My suggestion is just use sand coloured bases. Animating minifigures on any non-brick material is hard, but if you feel you can, go for it!

Re: Animating of minifigs on loose sand

You could use the trick Mobdeli used in Egyptian Holiday.
Show an establishing shot of the sandy base, then shoot the scene waist-up on the figures.

Then, you could occasionally make use of full-body shots/leg shots by using some sort of holding rig, (Like Helping Hands) then erase the rig in post.

You only need to show the minifigures on sand a couple of times, and the audience will be tricked into thinking they're always on it. It's a matter of showing only certain things at certain times, and their minds filling in the gaps.

Re: Animating of minifigs on loose sand

You might try adding a layer of sticky-tac or clay underneath the clay so that the minifigure legs have something to grip. It's been used to create footprints in snow before in films like Nosniborous' Frankenstein.