We Made a Star Trek Commercial for Playmates Toys

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(Edited)

This was the most fun project yet

A month ago, @afturner and I had the opportunity to work on a really fun project for Playmates toys. Playmates makes a lot of great toys, most notably (in my opinion) the Ninja Turtles and Star Trek figures. With the new release of some classic TNG characters, we were tasked with making a short one minute clip stop motion animation.

Setting up the scene

For some of the shots that we needed, I had to get in a bit closer. In previous projects that I've worked on since I got the Canon EOS R a few years ago I mostly used the RF 35MM lens as I have really been impressed with the sharpness of the new RF mount lenses, at least compared to the EF lenses that I owned and used with my old 7D. For this project we bought the 85mm f2 macro RF lens.

Also, for the last few projects we've been using a piece of software called Dragonframe which makes stop motion insanely more streamlined. Just by chance, it turns out that they are partnered with Canon and have made a special firmware for my exact camera. It does some really helpful things such as making the Live View a much higher resolution so that you can see what you're doing a bit better while connected to the computer. However, it comes at a cost to some other features.

Spock and Kirk arrive through the turbolift.

I haven't had the firmware installed myself, because it isn't a simple matter to remove it if I don't want it anymore. The catch is, you have to pay $100 and send in the camera to a Canon repair center to have it installed. I presume this is so that the firmware doesn't leak, since they are charging for it.

For now, I am happy just using it as it is, even though I don't get the sharpest preview image. I must admit, it is a little frustrating, but I don't want to tie my camera down to being just a stop motion device; at least until I can manage to buy an upgrade. I am waiting to see what the next line of mirrorless cameras will be like that Canon comes out with. Perhaps that will be the time that I install the firmware! It will likely be worth it since we are starting to get a lot of these projects.

Here is the video (it is a slightly shortened version from the original)

Working with Trek Royalty

All of the voices that you hear in the video are done by me... Well, except for John DeLancie. He recorded a ton of clips for us on a green screen, so there was a lot to work with. I guess you could say that I technically worked/acted with John DeLancie? Is this Star Trek canon? I don't know, but I am going to imagine that it is. Hey guys, I've been on Star Trek! Hehe, well, not exactly but sort of.

I am looking forward to doing a lot more of these types of videos. It is starting to get crazy trying to figure out how to explain what it is exactly that our company does, because it is hard to pin down. We do so many things things days. I guess you could call us a multimedia company that works primarily in the toy and entertainment industries, but that is a bit vague. We often get calls from clients who simply say "Can you do X" and we are able to say yes 9x out of ten. Not a bad position to be in!

I think 2023 is going to be a great year all around and am looking forward to the future and awesome things to come. I know I say this every year, but I also am keeping my fingers crossed that this will also be the year for Hive! So much is happening and I swear, all it's going to take is the right people seeing the value in Hive and things are going to get crazy around here. Here's to a bright future!



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45 comments
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Classwork. And it's good that your profession is in demand

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Okay this looks like a lot of fun. Well done.

Did you do the advert for s contest or something? In any case, I wish you and your company the best in future endeavours

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Thanks, no not a contest. We do contract work for them and a lot of top toy companies. But the stop motion work is a relatively new addition to our offerings.

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Wow, that was absofreakinglutely awesome! As a Trekkie I've always dreamed of working on stuff like this.

And to be able to say that you worked with John DeLancie/Q is something no other Hiver can say. Canon, or not, you're the luckiest Trekkie on Hive!

Oh, btw, you should put up an IMDb entry for that.

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Thanks man, I did feel pretty lucky getting to do it. The best part is that we are starting to get a lot of these kinds of jobs.

I am hoping that it keeps up! I like doing this more than the usual stuff we do.

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Looks like 2023 is your lucky year. I'm looking forward to seeing more Trek-related work from you. Qapla!

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We also used to get such projects in our university we also made such toys and made many things it was very fun to make them. This toy looks very cute and you put a lot of effort into making it. We pray that 2023 will be very good for the hive community and for the crypto market.

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I hope so too. It is really a lot of crazy ups and down with crypto. The massive market swings can be pretty wild!

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As the market is going up now we hope it will continue to do so as it has been a long time bear market.

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hahaha. perfect. i really enjoyed watching this. Maybe you can became a ventriloquist. Wish you good luck for 2023!!!

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Lol thanks @steemychicken1, I wish they had used the longer one that we made. It had more funny stuff. But you know how attention spans are these days. Have a great 2023 as well!

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Dude this is so awesome! Congrats on getting to do such a cool thing. I know that a stop motion like his takes a lot of meticulous effort 🖖

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Thanks, man! We have done several of these videos, but this was the first that I actually had fun with. I hope we keep getting to do them!

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That is so awesome! I love Star Trek. It has been one of my favorites ever since I was a kid. I really like the new shows they are putting out too. Any chance Playmates is going to do some Discovery and Strange New Worlds toys? I think you did really well on the voices. Have you turned this over to the company yet? What did they think of it?

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Yeah, the YT video you watched is actually posted on Playmates own channel. They posted the shorter version though. Personally I liked the longer version better.

Yes, they have done Discovery. I can't remember if they did SNW yet or not. I know about Discovery because @afturner painted several of them. We haven't been asked to do videos on those yet, though.

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How cool is that! I feel like I know a celebrity now! 😃

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I don't know about that, but hey, maybe someday! We were joking around saying we should go on one of those Star Trek cruises and act like cast members..

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That would be pretty funny! I didn't realize they still did theme Cruises like that. I guess I have heard of music ones though, so that makes sense.

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Yeah, I actually got a spam mail a couple of months ago trying to sell me tickets. A surprising number of cast members are on the cruise. I bet it's really expensive, though.

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That is pretty cool. Especially since many of them are getting newfound recognition with shows like Picard. I bet it does cost a pretty penny to mingle with the celebs!

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What a show!

I watched the video several times because I really like it so much!

Then I heard you said Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles… I love them! It would be great to see a job like this but with the Turtles as protagonists heh heh!

Congratulations indeed, fantastic!

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We also did a few TMNT shorts for them. I may post those on here as well! I am glad you liked the video. It is nice to get positive feedback! Thanks!

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Yes, please post!
It's a fantastic job, but in my opinion it's not easy at all, it can't be liked.

Maybe as an enthusiast I appreciate it more, but the skill is undoubted and you can't miss it!

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Wow, that's a talent you know, it's nice watching.

2023 please bring good tidings to Nuthman and all of us. Amen!

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😊😉😎👍 MAKE IT SO!

I like the intergenerational Star Trek action.. I just recently did a post on TMNT toys too! COOL!

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Yeah, it was fun seeing them all together interacting. I loved knocking Khan out several times. Haha!

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wow it feels like a dream to work with John DeLancie one of the start trek crew that is so awesome man.

That stop motion video ended up really great, who made the script for it? so creative way to build up a history haha.

Man really good job!

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@afturner wrote the script. It actually was a bit longer, but we trimmed it down for online use. It turned out better that I thought!

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that's really wild dude. You do a lot of awesome stuff. Well done!

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Thanks! We are trying to move our business over into doing more of sort of thing.

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That's fun to watch, you did great on your animation. The transition is neat and the result is very entertaining.

I'm looking forward to your next release, cheers :)

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Thanks, I'm glad you liked it. We will be releasing more soon, hopefully we'll be able to show them. Sometimes we aren't allowed to say that we worked on them, depending on the client.

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Oh, because of confidentiality.

I forgot to mention, you have a really good voice. It fits well with the characters.

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Very nice, I remember learning to do these in television productions class just the movements, no beaming and all extras, great work!

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Thanks! @afturner did the animation and effects. I was in charge of the cameras/lighting and image processing.

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(Edited)

This looks great. Does your camera have an app that can show you a ghost image of a previous shot or did you use external display_

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I use a piece of software called Dragonframe which has the ability to turn on onion skinning which does exactly what you are saying. It makes the process much more pleasant!

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Wow, that video is fantastic! You write that it is a shortened version. Will you be releasing the full video publicly? I'd love to see it. That's awesome that you were working with John DeLancie himself.

I think 2023 is going to be a great year all around and am looking forward to the future and awesome things to come. I know I say this every year, but I also am keeping my fingers crossed that this will also be the year for Hive!

I do too. I've been saying it for the past 5.5 years I've been here and I will keep saying it. Haha. Someday it will come true 😃

Hope this is the year!

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Someday it will come true 😃

All we can really do is stay positive about it!

As far as releasing the full video, It will only really be possible if the owner releases it, as it is not really my call to do so. I will post it if they do!

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I'll cross my fingers for that!

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