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Fuzzaboom -- A Youtube Kid's Show

DerpSandwich

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Hey, all! I spent the last year developing (aka: raising enough funds for) a kid's show, and recently I was finally able to launch it. If anyone wants to check it out and tell me what you think it would be way awesome. Any and all feedback is hugely appreciated!

Here's one of the latest episodes:

I created the series with the internet and modern viewing habits in mind. My goal is to cultivate a large, ever-growing playlist of short episodes that can be enjoyed in little bits. Right now it's a little bare-bones, but I want to eventually bring in more characters and create more interesting backgrounds. I'm forced to use much of the same background music over and over unfortunately, as it's very hard to find good music to use for free. The green screening isn't great either. I'm unfortunately learning that most furry puppets are just not good for keying (and believe me, I've tried everything you're about to suggest). But certain background colors help, and while it's not what I wish it was, it's better than nothing, I suppose. Lighting is also an issue in such a small workspace, and avoiding neon colors was another lesson learned too late.

Right now this is a one-man operation; all voice work and performing (apart from the occasional right handing) is done by me and edited together to make it look like multiple characters are interacting with each other.

So let me know what you think! :smile:
 
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crazy chris

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I think its fantastic! The visual and sound quality is great and its a solid lesson for kids.

We struggle with all the issues you mentioned and have learned to accept most of them for the time being. It's fun...and thats what's important. Until Nick Jr. is giving either of us a big budget it's enough to just put on a show with heart and the best quality we can muster.

cc
 

crazy chris

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Can I ask what kind of equipment/camera you're using.. mainly because i enjoy talking shop...hahhaa
 

DerpSandwich

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Can I ask what kind of equipment/camera you're using.. mainly because i enjoy talking shop...hahhaa
Right now I'm using a Canon t3i. I bought a Canon XF100, but I need to learn how to use it better before I start using it for the show. It's pretty frustrating, actually. The t3i has a pretty terrible resolution; it's technically 1080p because that's what the file it creates is, but the picture is fuzzy and low quality when blown up to full screen. I haven't had any luck shooting in raw, which for some people is a fix, but to me it just seems like more trouble than it's worth. I can't even get it to work with my SD cards, which are pretty decent ones.

The XF100 is sharp and beautiful, but the color is dull and awful, compared to the t3i's gorgeous color right out of the camera. I've fiddled with color profiles and grading with no luck so far. I can't even come close. But I guess I just need to keep at it. But anyway, enough rambling about my issues, haha.

For sound I'm using an Audio Technica AT875R with a Zoom H4N. I'm very pleased with the results there.

I can't remember the brand, but for lighting I'm using six softboxes with four bulbs each. They're cheap, but they're doing an awesome job for what I paid (like a hundred-something per set of three) and lighting my small studio room wonderfully.

I'm still using the crutch that is the mirrored display on my camera, but once I decide to bite the bullet and start learning how to properly monitor myself like a puppeteer, I've got an ancient portable DVD player that surprisingly makes a fine monitor.


So that's my modest setup. Thanks for the kind words! I still haven't gotten around to dipping into that other thread with my experience and thoughts so far. It would be cool if they made it a sticky (or pinned it, whatever you call it), actually. A constantly open discussion for kid's show creators would be cool.
 

crazy chris

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Right now I'm using a Canon t3i. I bought a Canon XF100, but I need to learn how to use it better before I start using it for the show. It's pretty frustrating, actually. The t3i has a pretty terrible resolution; it's technically 1080p because that's what the file it creates is, but the picture is fuzzy and low quality when blown up to full screen. I haven't had any luck shooting in raw, which for some people is a fix, but to me it just seems like more trouble than it's worth. I can't even get it to work with my SD cards, which are pretty decent ones.

The XF100 is sharp and beautiful, but the color is dull and awful, compared to the t3i's gorgeous color right out of the camera. I've fiddled with color profiles and grading with no luck so far. I can't even come close. But I guess I just need to keep at it. But anyway, enough rambling about my issues, haha.

For sound I'm using an Audio Technica AT875R with a Zoom H4N. I'm very pleased with the results there.

I can't remember the brand, but for lighting I'm using six softboxes with four bulbs each. They're cheap, but they're doing an awesome job for what I paid (like a hundred-something per set of three) and lighting my small studio room wonderfully.

I'm still using the crutch that is the mirrored display on my camera, but once I decide to bite the bullet and start learning how to properly monitor myself like a puppeteer, I've got an ancient portable DVD player that surprisingly makes a fine monitor.


So that's my modest setup. Thanks for the kind words! I still haven't gotten around to dipping into that other thread with my experience and thoughts so far. It would be cool if they made it a sticky (or pinned it, whatever you call it), actually. A constantly open discussion for kid's show creators would be cool.
Well i think the results are wonderful! We shot our first episode on a canon 60d but i recently picked up a Sony fs100 which we will be shooting on from now on... my greatest frustration was the way our monitors screen displays squashed every time we hit record... its a weird thing that some dslr's do...

I meant to ask... when you said above "avoiding neon colors" what did u mean? just curious

cc
 

crazy chris

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That zoom is a nice piece of equipment... i went a little cheaper with the tascam d40 because i had to buy 2 of them (fellow voice actor and co creator lives 4 states away now...lol) We use a Blue Yeti pro for our studio voice recording and a Rode ntg 2 for the studio boom.

We record all the puppet stuff beforehand and perform it to sync.... but our live performer requires the shotgun mic.

matching those 2 variations in sound was our biggest hurtle... still not sure if we were successful... but its not bad enough to flare up my OCD...so im cool with it...hahhaahhaaha

cc
 

DerpSandwich

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That zoom is a nice piece of equipment... i went a little cheaper with the tascam d40 because i had to buy 2 of them (fellow voice actor and co creator lives 4 states away now...lol) We use a Blue Yeti pro for our studio voice recording and a Rode ntg 2 for the studio boom.

We record all the puppet stuff beforehand and perform it to sync.... but our live performer requires the shotgun mic.

matching those 2 variations in sound was our biggest hurtle... still not sure if we were successful... but its not bad enough to flare up my OCD...so im cool with it...hahhaahhaaha

cc
I think the sound turned out great in your show! Sound quality is way more important than most people realize. It doesn't matter how awesome a video is if the sound is terrible!

When I mentioned neon colors I meant in my puppets. I had two puppets built for the show, one a vivid neon orange and the other a similar green. If I had a bigger studio and real lights that could be set up farther back it might help, but right now I have a huge problem with overexposure. The light just reflects so sharply off of their fur that I've got to lower the exposure or I get a washed out image, but then that makes it dim, particularly in the eyes. You can see in the video I just posted how Lyle's fur is so bright you can barely make out any detail, but then his eyes are dingy and dark. It's a constant battle, unfortunately. Another puppet I've got, Georgie, is a darker fuchsia color, but it's still neon and reflects the light crazily. No matter what I do he comes up fuzzy and either overexposed or really dark. The XF100 makes for a better picture in this regard, but then as I said, the color thing is an issue.

Now I know why basically every Muppet character is a subdued, non-reflective color and doesn't have any long fur! But lessons learned, I guess. Someday maybe I'll be able to afford having my characters rebuilt.
 

crazy chris

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Thanks so much!! I agree about sound... there are so many puppet series on youtube that have so much potential...but the sound ruins it for them.

As for your issue with the neon puppets... something you might want to do is invest in a variable ND (nuetral density) filter.

I picked up a tiffen for around 150 bucks... they fit over the front of your lens and work sort of like wearing sunglasses on a super bright day... they allow you to open your lens iris all the way and then control the brightness with the filter... they are amazing for creating that wonderful depth of field without being overexposed.... u might do some youtube searches for nd filters and see if its something u would like...

cc
 

DerpSandwich

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Thanks so much!! I agree about sound... there are so many puppet series on youtube that have so much potential...but the sound ruins it for them.

As for your issue with the neon puppets... something you might want to do is invest in a variable ND (nuetral density) filter.

I picked up a tiffen for around 150 bucks... they fit over the front of your lens and work sort of like wearing sunglasses on a super bright day... they allow you to open your lens iris all the way and then control the brightness with the filter... they are amazing for creating that wonderful depth of field without being overexposed.... u might do some youtube searches for nd filters and see if its something u would like...

cc
I've thought about that actually, but I haven't made a move yet. I'm trying to find out how cheap I can go without compromising image quality. (After buying the XF100 I'm hesitant to spend much more, haha.) But I definitely need to give it a try.
 

crazy chris

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Well... i wouldnt recommend those super cheap ones they sell on amazon for 10 -20 dollars... i hear they cause image issues. I honestly feel that i went a bit cheap with the tiffin... but i , like you, was tired of spending even more money...lol... it sucks doesnt it... you buy one thing and need to buy a dozen more things for it all to work...

cc
 
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