Stop Motion Animation

Stop motion is an animation technique used to make stationary subjects look as if they are moving. This is achieved by slightly altering the poses of objects, photographing each alterations, then viewing them in sequence to make the illusion of movement. Plenty of materials can be used for stop motion. Some of these are clay figures, wooden mannequins, and paper cut outs — but for this activity, we’re going to use the last one to do our little experiment. There are no special materials necessary. We just used a whiteboard to sketch the storyboard and draw the backdrop, a digital camera to photograph the different poses (using a tripod is optional, although we recommend using one to make the camera steadier and the shots clearer), a photo editing software to remove unnecessary objects in the photographs, a video editing software to place the photos side by side and play them in sequence, and a printer to print out the illustrations we’re going to use for the project. Before we started with the project, though, we tried to come up with a storyline first. The direction you want your story to go to is completely up to you, but we suggest you try to start with a simple one first because the more complicated the story is, the more photos it’s going to require; and believe us, taking photographs, sorting them out, and editing them could take quite a while. After a few minutes of deliberation, we decided to do a short featuring characters from talk@tee’s World of Tokkats taking a jeepney ride, and to give us a better idea of how the project would play out, we did a storyboard featuring sketches of each proposed frame. After we were done with that, we started drawing the would be background by drawing a typical cityscape on a whiteboard. Normally, we would have taken care of the characters first, but since we already had the designs we’re going to use on file, we simply printed them out and placed them against the background. Once that was done, we started taking photographs. To do this, we assigned one person to take the shots, one person to hold the lights, one person to move the cutouts along the background, three people to move the whiteboard to make the illusion that the jeepney the characters are riding on is moving along the highway, and six people to cheer from the background (Go, guys!) 😀 All in all, 175 shots were taken, 152 of which made it to the final video. Some of the photos had to be discarded because of continuity errors and lighting issues (we had to shoot indoors under artificial lighting, so we had to make some adjustments every now and then) and some new photos had to be taken because editing some parts out would have taken more time and effort. When the photos that would be used for the video have been picked, we superimposed some text on the photos in the extro to let people know where to get their own talk@tee shirts. After that, we used a video editing software to place the chosen photos side by side and play them in sequence then we we gave it a final touch by adding some music on the background – the result of which you’ll see in the video below: How about you guys, have you tried this before? Do you have any tips or stories that you can share?...

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Kite Flying

This month’s playdate is about kite flying. It’s summer time once again! One of our colleagues who was in charge of the report discussed the brief history of kite flying and the different types of kites After that, we grouped ourselves into three then each group get to choose which design to make based on talkatee characters, Tok, Kat, and Tee. Hey, you can also join us in kite-making! All you have to do is follow these simple and easy step by step process: 1. First, you have to prepare all the materials needed. Here are the materials we’ve used: Sticks Japanese Paper Scissors Glue/Tape Nylon Cord/ Strings     2. Prepare the frame or spine of the kite by making a cross-like pattern. Place the smaller stick half-way higher than the center. Secure its position by reinforcing the intersection with string or tape. 3. Plot the japanese paper onto the frame then make an outline of the design. Cut out the paper according to your desired design. 4. Firmly fasten the Japanese Paper onto the frame with the use of scotch tape. After that, you can add some tail or “fins” that can add stability to the kite. 5. Make two holes near the cross section of the frame. Feed the string onto the hole and tie them making a keel. You can now draw some additional design on your kite.     It’s done! Now you can make your kite fly. Here’s our very own Kat from talk@tee Kite, look at how it soars high in the...

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Hiking

This month’s playdate is about hiking. When we were little kids, some of us wonder how it’s like to climb a real mountain, thus we enjoyed playing and climbing on piles of rock, sand, or soil, which served as our “mountains” way back then. And now that we’re all grown ups, an opportunity of climbing a “real” mountain must not be missed. Excited as we were, we’ve planned and scheduled the date of our adventure trip. After that, we secured all the necessary permits/documents that were needed for us to make this adventure possible. Our adventure destination is at Mt. Banahaw, an active volcano which is about 2,170 m above sea level, and is located between the provinces of Quezon and Laguna. Since most of us are first-timers, and we’re not to camp overnight, our itinerary was just to reach the first camp or Camp 1 of Mt. Banahaw via Tayabas Trail (Banahaw de Tayabas) which is roughly 1 – 2 hours climb from the jump off point. And so, with our bags packed with lunch, snacks and “hydrations”, we set off and began our journey. From Lucena City, we commuted to the city of Tayabas via jeepney, and got off at the city proper, then from there, we took a tricycle going to the jump-off point of Banahaw de Tayabas, which is located at Brgy. Lalo. After final briefing and preparations, we began with our trek. At first, the trail seemed to be smooth and easy, so we’re just joking and laughing around as we climb. But as we went further up, we started to feel tired and exhausted, as the trail becomes harder, muddier, and rockier. It was then that we started to take some 5 to 10 minute refreshment breaks, which we took very frequently. 😛 As mentioned earlier, most of us were first timers, so minor accidents like slipping, being bitten by land leeches (which are very prominent in those areas), and getting minor cuts from thornbushes, were really inevitable. After two hours of trekking, we finally arrived at Camp 1. Since it was almost lunchtime, we’ve washed ourselves clean then we prepared our table by lining it with fresh banana leaves where we placed our foods. It’s time for boodle fight! After we finished lunch, we left the camp. Nope, the adventure is not finished yet, rather, we’re up again for another one. Our colleague-slash-guide told us that there is a nearby waterfall in the area, so we decided to go there and pay a visit. The trail going there is not that easy. We can say that the real adventure started here. There were many rocky and muddy slopes along the way and most of us experienced a hard time going there, but the journey was really rewarding. After a short splash of refreshment and enjoyment, and it’s also getting late in the afternoon, we decided to pack our things and go home. All in all, the experience was indeed very challenging for all of us, but we can say that it’s all worth it. Hope to see you again on our next...

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Radio DJ 101

This month’s playdate is Radio DJ 101 We hear them almost everyday in our radio sets or thru our cellphone’s FM radio. They entertain us and keep us updated on what’s hot and what’s not in and out of the music scene. They’re the radio DJ’s. Well most of us are a bit curious on how it is and what are the basics of becoming a radio DJ. And since some of us here have actually experienced being a radio DJ for quite some time, we’ve decided to share with our fellow colleagues the experience on “how to talk” on the radio, hence DJ 101 becomes the topic on our playdate. The original plan is that we’ll drop by at a local FM radio station here and we’ll do some on air greetings. But unfortunately due to the bad weather outside, it did not pursue, so we’ve come up with the idea of setting up our “own radio station” here in the office…err, we mean recording ala radio. After the needed software was installed and tested we’ve proceeded with the discussions about the basics of being a DJ. One of our colleagues who also become a DJ was assigned for the task. The subject focused more on picking up your radio name or alias, the personality of a DJ, preparations, using headphones, music selections, playing song requests, and of course, how to talk on air. After the discussion, we’ve prepared a script that we’ll use for recording which consists of the common jokes that we share here in the office. We’ve enjoyed the recording process and after the editing and adding some effects, here is the final outcome of what we’ve recorded: http://www.bnpdesignstudio.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/edit-with-bed_.mp3 Hey, you might want to try it too! All you need is a voice recording software and your headset (with mic, of course!) and you’re all set to becoming your own DJ. Before we forgot, here’s the bonus part, our bloopers! 😀...

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BNP Sportsfest: Palaro ng Lahi Part II

This month’s playdate is Palaro ng Lahi Part II. The Christmas season has been a sinful month, what with all the dangerously appetizing feast laid on the table for the holidays and the long-awaited vacations we’ve all worked hard all year to secure. Because of this, we thought it’s time we straightened our acts a bit and give our idle bodies some much needed exercise. Gyms are a little too expensive and too stiff for us, though, so we opted to do something more fun instead — and of course what would be more fun than playing at work? Nope, we don’t mean fancy adult games like golf and all that. We’re talking about the good old games we used to play in our childhood. Games like the ones on the list below: Ubusan ng Lahi For those who are not familiar with the game, no, we’re not bloodthirsty people out to wipe some clans from the face of the earth. “Ubusan ng Lahi” is actually a game where a group of players chooses an “it” that will be tasked to eliminate the players one by one by tagging them. Any player tagged will then become an “it” himself or herself. He or she will then chase the remaining players together with the original “it” until no one else is left. The fun thing about it is since you’re busy running for your “life,” you don’t usually see who gets tagged, so you can’t let your guard down when you’re around the other players. We caught most of the players this way, but one of our main illustrators was too cunning to be tricked so he was left as the last one standing and duly got his well-deserved bragging rights. Chinese Garter Few kids who grew up in the Philippines before the year 2000 onwards are not familiar with this game, especially the girls, so no introductions were needed for this one. We simply proceeded to dividing ourselves into two groups by doing a “maiba-taya” with most of the girls ending up in one team and most of the guys ending up in the other — much to the latter’s dismay. The guys did try their best to keep their pride and managed to clear the first couple of levels without much trouble, but the latter challenges proved to be a little bit too much for them. In the end, the girls claimed the victory amidst the guys’ lighthearted boos. Dr. Kwak-kwak Dr. Kwak-kwak is a game that that is played by having a group of players loop their arms into complicated twists so that no one can tell how the loops ended up that way anymore. It then becomes the task of the “it” to figure out how to “untangle” these loops until the players are back to how they were when the game started. For people who seldom get any exercise, we were worried for a minute that our limbs would not be able to take the punishment … oops… we meant challenge… but surprisingly, our aging bones turned out to be unwilling to go down without a fight, so we were able to successfully finish the game in spite of the complicated mess we ended up finding ourselves in. Saksak-Puso Playing Dr. Kwak-kwak allowed us to rest for a bit while the “it” figured out how to “untangle” our arms, so when the game finally ended, we were ready and raring for another fast-paced round. This time, we chose saksak-puso (come to think of it, why do these games sound a bit too violent?) to satisfy...

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Painting Birdhouses

This month’s playdate is about painting birdhouses. As there is an aviary being constructed here within the office compound and along with that are 10 white-washed bird houses made of plywood, we, as employees of a design studio, have our own creative ideas to turn those plain looking bird houses into something more pleasing to the eye. But before we start splashing in some colors to those birdhouses,we have to know first the do’s and don’ts in painting them. Bird houses are made as temporary shelters for nesting birds. Basically, its function is to protect the fledglings against preys and from changing weather. We’ve learned that on painting bird houses, an ordinary paint that we commonly use in our homes may not be suitable for the birds. Acrylic paints and toxic paints can be poisonous to the birds that will temporarily use the shelter. Water-based latex paints, eco-friendy paints, and natural stains are more advisable to use in coloring the bird house. Painting around the lip of the entrance hole and inside the bird house is also prohibited as the birds inside might peck on these surfaces causing them to ingest paint chips. Also, we have to make sure that the colors we’ll use will blend to its environment to avoid attracting preys. After the discussion, we’ve set another schedule for the actual painting of the birdhouses so that we would have more time to prepare the materials that we’ll be needing. Unfortunately, we have not painted the birdhouses at the appointed scheduled. We’re sad to say that it is because the birds that have occupied the newly-built aviary have died due to unknown reasons. Some says it might be because of the paint that was used in the aviary, while others mentioned that it might be due to drastic weather change. And since the reason of the birds’ death was not clear, we do not want other birds to be at risk of being exposed to paint chemicals, may it be water-based or eco-friendly paints, so we decided to let the bird houses to just remain plain and white-washed. The important thing is, it is safe enough to be a nesting place for the birds. That’s about it for this month! Do watch out for more of our playdates for the coming...

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