Lamenting the demise of the audio cassette, we at M-I-E, thought it would be nice to try and find a fitting tribute to it’s faded glory. ‘Jammed’ is the story of a bold, heroic, Viewmaster robot, venturing into an unknown world to save an unknown soul. We had great fun making this short film, using a mixture of stop motion and 3D techniques. The music was composed by our talented friends, Dan and John, at Meanred.
3d Modelling: Rafael Jimenez
3d Animation: Sarah Beeby
Stop Frame Animation: Sarah Beeby
Animation Studio: Clapham Road Studios
Music and Sound Design: Meanred
We are using a small ~$30 arduino controlled by a Flash UI thru USB/Serial proxy by the computer. The arduino is connected to a modified 1/4inch female headphone adapter. From this we run to the the Jag35 Electronic Follow Focus.
The Flash Interface allows for 4 modes.
First is Tween mode. This mode takes in variables for Start, End and Time. The focus will then rack from the Start to the End over the time entered. You can see examples of this in the first two experiments in the video.
Second mode is Incremental mode. This allows the user to specify a number in which to increment the focus per click. We used this in the last example for Stop Motion mode allowing us to increment the focus by .41 each frame. There is a definite problem with this mode that we are trying to track down. We are concerned the step resolution of the Servo inside the Jag35 EFF is not high enough to move the small increments we need for stop motion. I will need more technical help from the Jag35 crew to track this down though. It is also possible we are just doing something wrong :)
Third mode is Set mode. This simply allows the user to type in a number and have the focus "instantly" move to that point.
Lastly is Slider mode. This Horizontal slider maps directly to the follow focus allow the user to drag the focus back and forth.
So far we are very pleased with the experiments results. Specifically when paired with the DitoGear OmniSlider motion control system. It is really a killer combination for making dynamic linear movements while keeping focus or racking focus.
A side note is that we also found that the Arduino board is perfectly powered by the Jag35 LP-E6 Batter Adapter.
What does this mean?
Well it means we can now create a standalone replacement controller for the Jag35 EFF. This replacement unit will feature a LCD screen and buttons to control the software on the board. Not only will the standalone unit have a knob for spinning the focus, much like the current controller, it will also have modes for setting focus points, tweening between focus points and hopefully incremental focus moves.
If we can work out the incremental problems this will really be an amazing sidekick to the Omnislider for extended timelapse with automated focus moves.