Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Rescuing Cats From Super Tall Trees

These two guys are my heroes! They're arborists (we used to call them tree surgeons) who have a sideline which is fast becoming a specialty: rescuing cats stuck in trees. The plaintive meowing of these poor little creatures is pathetic to hear, but the reunions with anxious owners is gratifying. They used to be on a show called Treetop Cat Rescue which was on Animal Planet, but they only made about eight episodes (which I keep watching, whenever I need to remind myself that there is MORE to life and the world than the direness, misery and hate we all see on the news every day).

Screenshots: Harold in stop motion



This may not look like much to you (and, in fact, it isn't), but for me it represents something big: my first attempt to capture stills from video. I never even tried this for years, because every time I went on a site to find out how to do it, the instructions seemed more and more complex and full of bafflegab (not to mention contradictory, with everyone describing a different method). Then, bingo, I found a page today where you only have to highlight, copy, paste, and click. 

Et voila! You have a screenshot.

The thing of it is, though, that taking a series of screenshots and then putting them back together into an animation is kind of - well, it's a little redundant. An exercise, at best. I tell myself: honest to God, I can't help but learn something about REAL animation this way. But a gif would do just as well, wouldn't it? Or better.

But perhaps not. This way I can edit scenes, add characters, use title cards, include surreal images, and all manner of other stuff, once I know what I'm doing.

This is a kind of stop motion Harold cartoon. Claymation, if you will. His middle name was Clayton, after all. I have fantasies of manipulating this little clay figure, making him do things, even things he doesn't want to do. . . time to go to bed, Margaret.