Home-made frame capture stand

Here’s a neat little capture stand you can make at home using simple, cheap materials. I based it on the photography light box tutorial at this page. It uses a regular cardboard box, two lamps (one on each side) and some tracing paper to diffuse the light. The original tutorial uses halogen lamps, but desk lamps also work if they’re bright and close enough. The results are pretty good, given how simple and cheap it is!

Once I made the light box, here’s how I turned it into a capture stand:
I cut a square hole (5″ on each side) in one of the solid walls of the box, and cut a piece of Styrofoam of the same size from some old package.
All that was left to do was fit my web cam into the Styrofoam. This piece very conveniently had a hole in the middle that fit my web cam perfectly. Even if it didn’t, it would have been an easy job to make one. Note: the hole has to be slightly smaller than the width of the web cam, so you get a snug fit.

Here’s how it looks. It’s now ready to shoot some stop-mo with small objects, or even some cut-out animation. If you want to capture some 2D pencil tests, all you have to do is get a peg bar and tape it down at the bottom.

If you try this out, please share your results! I’d love to see them.

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6 responses to “Home-made frame capture stand

  1. I too have an interest in Stop Mo. I like your puppet, I’ll check back for some animation.

  2. Thanks, Vince! Glad you like it. Stay tuned for some animation updates, stop-mo or otherwise!

  3. hey there. We used to do something like what you are doing back when I was at college. We had animation desks and if you arranged the shleves right then you could jam a collapsed tri-pod in and stick a small camcorder on it looking straight down at you disc. All you had to do was hook it up to a laptop, lean back and capture with monkeyJam…instant line test! It was also pretty cool to record as you animated and then play back at high speed…lots of head bobbing and quick flipping!

  4. Hi Sunny,Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. I’m pretty busy at the moment (back at Aardman!), but I’ll try and put a post up about animating in photoshop ASAP. I figured you might be a fan of Aardman given the model making etc.Good piece about rule breaking…all very true.

  5. Thanks! I really appreciate it.

    I think such cheap, lo-fi means of creating indie stop-mo are essential today. The medium has been relegated for far too long, and I’d love to see it share the throne with CG and drawn animation. If every stop-mo student/enthusiast makes and uses one of these boxes, it’s a start. 🙂

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