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Orange Beats Binary
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Orange continues its propaganda campaign with an appeal to depressed assembly line robots. Part 2 of 7 of "Robots!"
About this creation

This animation involved a lot of new things for me. It was my first time animating with the QuickCam Pro 9000, my first time animating using software (Helium Frog) and my first time animating at 30 FPS. It took a long time, but I'm very proud of how it turned out.

I had built the main character this summer, but it wasn't until the Halloween weekend that I finally got down to animating her. I had a display at LEGO KidsFest Chicago and decided to spend the show working on the animation. I exhibited at a few different LEGO conventions, but this was the first time I animated at one or even spent a lot of time building. I constructed that conveyor belt the first afternoon using mostly pieces from the 8263 Snow Groomer set (and the treads from the 7632 Crawler Crane set). Then I started building the background.

I based the background on the micro version of the factory. I scaled up the 2x2 Imperial Insignia tile into a 28x23 version. (If I was following the 5/6 ratio precisely I would have made it another plate taller, but sometimes precision is over rated.) The resulting background uses almost all of my grey and bley basic bricks. You can see my new animating set-up here which involves a QuickCam Pro 9000 connected to my ancient laptop running the Helium Frog Animator software. I got a few scenes animated at Kid

And here's what my animating set-up looks like in my studio.

I tried to build the sets and characters in the colors I wanted them to appear in the final video - grey when they are grey and orange when they are orange. This wasn't always possible, for instance in this shot I didn't have enough of the flexible arm pieces in dark grey so I had to substitute in orange ones. In post production I desaturated everything except for the places I wanted orange to show (I did this with a multi-layered color correction and in some places garbage mattes). This desaturation makes the differences between grey and bley unnoticeable and let me get away with using colorful pieces when I didn't have the option of using grey.

In this shot you can also see how I made the little chips fly off the blocks in the chiseling. I used red bricks to support them and then masked those out in post-production. It was time consuming, but the final effect is well worth the effort.

For most of the transitions from grey to orange I actually substituted orange bricks in, piece by piece. However for this big yellow pizza-eyed block flipper robot (an alternate build for 7598 Pizza Planet Truck Rescue), I didn't have the pieces to make her in orange or grey so I relied on post-production trickery. I desaturated her to grey and then added another video layer of her tinted orange which I used a keyframed garbage matte to expand from the point of contact with the orange chisel frame by frame until she was totally orange. All the other transitions happen along the seams of actual bricks and plates, but hers is more "artificial" it's a subtle difference but noticeable if you're looking for it.

Because this animation was done at 30 FPS instead of my usual 15 FPS there are even more details that I put into the animation that are easy to miss. For instance I spent a decent amount of time designing this orange star made of "cheese slopes" which are held together by putty, but it's barely on screen. So I also made a version of the animation that plays at half speed:

The next full episode will probably debut in February, but I've got a bonus video or two planned for the time in between. Stay tuned!


 I like it 
  January 5, 2011
That looks crazy!
 I like it 
  January 2, 2011
Brickfilm at its best... lighthearted and amusing content executed with great building, photography, and animating. Orange is definitely better.
David Pickett
 I like it 
Jeffery Lautenslager
  January 1, 2011
I use helium frog to! What Megapixels do you use? Also what resolution do you use? I have the webcam pro 9000 do you think it can still have the same effect as the quick cam as this had really good picture quality.
 I like it 
  January 1, 2011
WOW! I just crapped my pants. This is amazingly amazing! Love the idea and animation. Did you know there is no word in the english language that rhymes with orange?
 I made it 
  January 1, 2011
Quoting Jeffery Lautenslager I use helium frog to! What Megapixels do you use? Also what resolution do you use? I have the webcam pro 9000 do you think it can still have the same effect as the quick cam as this had really good picture quality.
The camera is 2 Megapixels and I shoot at 720x1280 resolution. I don't have any experience with the webcam pro, so I don't know if it's picture quality can match the quickcam. The only way to find out is to try!
 I like it 
  January 1, 2011
Meh, green wins. Dark brown, actually. This is so hilarious.
 I like it 
  January 1, 2011
That's just crazy, I love the stop-motion and yet, I still prefer green over orange :P
By David Pickett
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LEGO models my own creation MOCpages toys shop Orange Beats BinaryAnimation

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