Musings & Interests of David Stipes
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  • Conspiracy bugs

    Posted on May 25th, 2009 dstipes 6 comments


    Animating the “bugs” for the episode, “Conspiracy” was my first work on Star Trek: The Next Generation.  Visual Effects Supervisor, Dan Curry, brought the job to David Stipes Productions, Inc. in April of 1988. The property master, Alan Sims, had commissioned another company to create the bug.  They had done a fine sculpting job but I realized we would have to re-build it for the stop motion animation.


    The creature was cast in a dense silicone material and was very stiff. The legs were small nubs that were not long enough to reach the floor to propel the creature along.  We set about re-sculpting the creature and giving it longer legs and defining the body segments a bit more.  A plaster mold was made and fitted with a simple wire armature and the creature was cast in rubber.

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  • The next best thing to knowing something ….

    Posted on April 4th, 2009 dstipes 5 comments

    At times students contact me about how to do certain effects or procedures in After Effects. Since I can’t always be available, I wanted to remind you that:

    * You have an interactive “Help” menu at the top of your After Effects tool bar or you can hit “F1” 

    * Within the Help Menu, there is an “effects reference” help section that will cover most, if not all, the effects menu.

    cmg4* Also check the wonderful text book Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects by Trish and Chris Meyer. 

    * It is a valuable reference and belongs in every animator’s, editor’s and VFX artist’s library.

    * Look up the topic in the back, in the index, and it will take you to the pages that cover the subject of interest.

    * You can also Google topics like “puppet tool in After Effects”  or “How to use the puppet tool in After Effects”

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  • Graduation day!

    Posted on March 29th, 2009 dstipes 1 comment

    Saturday March 28th was graduation day for The Art Institute of Phoenix.  I say, “Congratulations and well done!”  to all my students.

    I pushed them hard now they are going off to show what they can do.

    Colin McKee was gracious enough to share a photo with me. Colin is an Media Arts & Animation graduate interested in 3D animation and digital art.


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