Category Archives: Tech

Animator’s Stopwatch

Randy Cartwright, a veteran Disney animator, has releast an iPhone stopwatch specifically designed for animators.

Timing is very important in animation. In order to animate convincingly you must know how many frames each part of an action takes.

Animators can use a stopwatch to time out actions but there has always been an annoying problem. Stopwatches show time as 1/100ths per second but movie film runs at 24 frames per second. To find out how many frames you need to do a tiresome calculation containing 41.66667 each time.

I’ve always wanted a stopwatch that would show the time in exactly the format I need so I decided, what the hey, I might as well make one, so here it is.

You can buy the application for $2.99 on iTunes. This may just find its way onto that very short list of iPhone apps that I actually use!

Handbrake

When I finally caved in and got a Mac last year, one of the unexpected killer apps was a little program called Handbrake. A DVD ripper and general multimedia swiss army knife, Handbrake is the reason I didn’t have to lug crates and crates of DVDs with me when I moved to Boston.

It just sunk in that the latest version of the program is far more than a DVD ripper, and can in fact be used to convert practically any video source—at the moment I am using it to re-encode Firefly into iPhone-compatible files, and it’s practically flying in comparison to the other encoders I’ve tried.

QuickTime used to be my favorite iP* encoder of choice, but QT seems to have halfhearted mpeg audio support and I got tired of getting on the bus only to learn that I was watching a silent film. Handbrake fields this one beautifully, and even supports a queue and multiple audio tracks.
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