Hey Reddit! I animate things for a poultry company and sometimes make Fresh Guacamole(tm). Here at Woz's Silicon Valley Comic Con doing live stop motion at LegionM's booth. Ask me some shit, I'm here all afternoon.

I also make my own films which you can watch at dillonmarkeydotcom.

The guys from /u/meltdowncomics are helping type while I animate with my power glove.

PROOF: https://imgur.com/a/aLuM1

EDIT: That's all folks! We are packing up the set to drive back to Burbank. Robot Chicken is always on TV somewhere so watch it and keep me employed!

Comments: 85 • Responses: 33  • Date: 

rezheisenberg217 karma

Favorite recurring RC character? I'm a big Skeletor guy myself

dillonmarkey20 karma

I also like Skeletor. Favorite one though? Hang on gimme a sec this puppet is falling. Crypt is great. I like the ones with the crazy voices. Zeb Wells does his voice. I'm a huge fan of any voice Matt Senreich does he is really fun to animate.

Santa is also a really great character. Its Seth McFarlane's voice so the character feels top notch.

suaveitguy10 karma

Jim Henson or Rankin/Bass?

dillonmarkey10 karma


lartrak9 karma

How much of the time when you're animating do you use that modified Power Glove? Saw the video where you made it, thought that was really neat, but from the bit of experience I have with stop motion, seems like there'd be times you'd need to take it off.

dillonmarkey11 karma

100%. Actually ya got me. If its a really small stage I'll keep it off so I can reach into the tiny crevices. But my muscle goes goes to the gloved wrist.

fredandlunchbox8 karma

How do you translate the length of time needed in final production to the amount of movement for each shot? That seems like the real artistry of it -- knowing how much to move each time to get the final reel to look just right.

dillonmarkey17 karma

dude! that's exactly it! there are several ways to notate and plot out the length of a certain move. in dragon we have an exposure sheet window. but you really hit the nail on the head. that's the artistry exactly. i started 20 years ago with a stop watch experimenting with how long it would take to take one step as i was walking around, waiving my hand around and stuff. i was studying physics as a hobby. i always say the interplay of potential and kinetic energy is the most important concept to understand if you want to animate anything. if you have that you can animate everything.

dillonmarkey10 karma

animating for a long time changes the way you see the entire world. i people watch constantly and i always break down all of their movements into frame by frame. it never stops! haha

fredandlunchbox3 karma

Yeah, I can see how understanding gravity and acceleration really well to the point that you can break it down frame by frame would be exceptionally useful to a stop motion animator. Every action involves gravity. Making things look real means playing by those rules first and foremost.

dillonmarkey10 karma

and then making them funny means breaking those rules.

Lennsik6 karma

Hi Dillon! I'm a student at Kent State University's Adult Swim Course (the only one around, as we're told) and are currently studying your work on Robot Chicken! My question is pretty simple, but I just wanted to know how has the process of animating changed? There was a time some years ago you guys were taking photos out of a DSLR with a 2gig SD card. What are you guys at the studio using now to animate the show?

dillonmarkey6 karma

The phrase Kent State Adult Swim Course just blew my mind. Thats amazing! Studying Robot Chicken??! Unreal!

The program we use is DragonFrame in iMacs with Canon 60D cameras. Set up stages with a lot of low wattage lighting. Stoopid Buddy has great classes on Vimeo that you can check out. SB Animation Camp Online or something like that.

For the record, its always been about capturing images direct to the computer. My first undergrad animation involved a mini-DV camera connected to Premiere to record one frame at a time. I personally have not done what you describe of taking SD cards out.

Toledojoe6 karma

What's your favorite bit from Robot Chicken?

dillonmarkey7 karma

My favorite one that I did was Finding Jason Bourne

LeonProfessional11 karma

I somehow missed that one.

Link for those who also haven't seen it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJPLx0jIdOw

dillonmarkey9 karma

someone told me once that they nominated me for an Emmy in character animation. There's no proof though so I don't if I'm supposed to be proud or not.

oreesama4 karma

what's in your opinion the most disturbing animation you've had to do for robot chicken?

dillonmarkey11 karma

RCDC 3 I had Batman kick Ras Al Ghul into the pool that turns him into a baby then he kills the baby. The really messed me up.

conehead884 karma

One of my favourite robot chicken sketches is the fabric softner teddy bear sketch. Did you have anything to do with that?

dillonmarkey6 karma

Nope. I think thats S3 and I joined S5

dcred1233 karma

If you could start your own television show, what would it be, and on what network?

dillonmarkey13 karma

It would be the most ridiculous over the top action pack insane thing you've ever seen on any network. I want to be the Michael Bay of clay.

Al_Fucking_Bundy3 karma

How do you feel about the Adult Swim network in general?

dillonmarkey9 karma

Love it. Experimental television rules. So many great things have come out of it.

suaveitguy3 karma

Is there a formula or ratio for mimicking lenses in miniature? If you used a 50mm prime lens for a shot with human adults, how to best copy that same look with 6" figures?

dillonmarkey2 karma

I dont know the math. I did a music video for a guy called Ratboy "Move" we shot live action backgrounds with 6" puppets comped in. We used similar lenses I think. A good DP can figure out the math.

dillonmarkey8 karma

Update. Asked my DP. She says Live action used Canon 16-35mm 2.8 on Full Frame Mark III, then for animation used 10-18mm on a 7D which isnt full frame.

suaveitguy2 karma

Do you like George Pal's Puppetoons? Anything better from that era?

dillonmarkey3 karma

Doesnt everybody love them?

There was a lot of cool stuff happening in that era coming out of Russia and Eastern Europe.

Toledojoe2 karma

How much time does it take to make a 3 minute stop action sketch?

dillonmarkey12 karma

From start to finish as long as it takes but generally speaking 1 second of show per hour. We animate about 10 seconds a day on the show.

liamquane2 karma

What is Seth Green like as a director?

dillonmarkey10 karma

He's one of the most passionate guys around. He's really impressive. He knows everyone in the studio, hes not false in any way and is a friend to everyone. Super positive and one of the coolest guys I've worked with.

ga-co2 karma

Did you work on any of the Bitch Pudding skits?

dillonmarkey4 karma

Yes. I worked on the Schlorps Intro Song on the Bitch Pudding Special. Plus a few intermitten shots here and there.

liamquane2 karma

What is the best thing a director can do for you?

dillonmarkey11 karma

Puts chin in power glove, contemplating.

Give me autonomy. With RC its so silly. if they say get silly, I get silly. I really get silly. For example, Zeb was directing me on the LOTR auction "And my axe" Elrond gets all crazy auctioneer. They were like GO FOR IT and I broke it. Theres one frame in there that breaks my brain. He's talking so fast it breaks your persistence of vision.

TexasAnimeFan1 karma

Did you do the stop motion animation for Titan Maximum & do you have any insight on why that show didin't get a second season?

dillonmarkey1 karma

NO I didn't work on. I dont know if it was received all that well and fell through the cracks. But I don't know anything about it.

d1gg3r7771 karma

Always been a huge fan of Robot Chicken thanks for all of your great work. Maybe I can get this answered because its been bugging me for years. I forget which episode but there was a scene in which kids were being thrown into traffic or something and there was a sign on the highway that said "Clinton, NJ" (my home town). So was this just a random sign or is someone on the staff from Clinton, NJ?

dillonmarkey2 karma

I don't run HR I'm just a guy that play with dolls, not sure who of the 100 employees could be from Jersey.

BestAMAquestionsNA1 karma

Hi, great fan of your work expecially Star Wars related stuff. Now, I know you have animated characters to do so, but have you personally ever mooned someone?

dillonmarkey1 karma

I'm innocent.

suaveitguy1 karma

Any secrets for capturing a realistic voice characterization? Did you think the Fantastic Mr. Fox approach added a lot to the film?

dillonmarkey2 karma

Not sure the first question - do you mean animating so it looks like the character is speaking?

Yeah love Fox. My favorite part is what they did with scale. Long shots of running through the tunnels. So cool to transition between scales.

suaveitguy1 karma

I was wondering about recording for the human voiceover, so it feels like they embody the figure and aren't doing a Krusty the Clown style reading in a studio.

dillonmarkey2 karma

There's people that manage the voiceover. Pro voice actors, producers that work with the writers, etc. When I get to the stage all the puppets are designed and built, the voice over files are there, the timing of the shots and animatic are done. The audio clip of the length of the shot I'm working with right now and my job is to do the opposite and make the character match the voice.

suaveitguy1 karma

Any other tricks around scale you can share? I am excited to try mini LEDs and lights in a standard human sized lighting setup. Might try a bit of smoke to see if it helps add to the atmosphere in the room.

dillonmarkey3 karma

Tip: dont smoke. Theres better ways to do it. Shoot smoke against black backdrop then blow smoke and snap snap snap, then composite that in. If theres smoke in the room on the set, your hands will disturb the smoke as you are animating.

liamquane1 karma

What is it like working with Chris McKay?

dillonmarkey3 karma

I love Chris McKay. That guy is so cool. He's like a dad and older brother at the same time. I want to work with him again but he's down in Australia as far as I know.

suaveitguy1 karma

Anyone use frame by frame stop motion techniques in CGI to get the same subtly choppy look?

dillonmarkey3 karma

Aardman did Flushed Away. and LEGO movie did that. Its cool. Animation is super young. Painting has been done for thousands of years. Animation is 100 years old. Anything we can do to experiment with movement in animation only furthers the art. Animation is the culmination of all art forms and super important for the future of human race and all of human art.

ErrolTheHamster1 karma

What's your favourite type of biscuit?

dillonmarkey4 karma

Popeyes buttermilk biscuit!

suaveitguy1 karma

What do you think of puppets as an alternative to stop action? Is it a cop out?

dillonmarkey1 karma

Do you mean marionettes? I think its a totally different thing. The action figures we use are called puppets. Its just a different medium. Not at all a copout - theres just as much artistry involved. How you make it move and bring it to life is the art.

TheresNoCakeOnlyFire1 karma

How did you get into stop animation? What was your inspiration?

dillonmarkey8 karma

Looney Tunes was a huge inspiration. When I was an undergrad Hampshire College I got a 3rd year internship at MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch. Then it was another 4 years before I got into CalArts and I got a Masters there then worked on Mr Man show as a Flash Animator then I started as Animation Assistant at Shadow Machine on Frankenhole.

Technology today is amazing. If I was 10 years old right now I'd be animating and posting to YouTube.

TheresNoCakeOnlyFire2 karma

Great answer! My son is ten and He's interested in animation, got any tips?

dillonmarkey6 karma

Go to DragonFrame website and look up webcams. There are inexpensive webcams compatible with Dragon. Start Animating. Theres also iphone apps for stop motion. Its less about the tools and more about just doing it. Look at PEZ its just toys and junk. Do it!

jamiehofer20 karma

How have you coped with the stench of skeletor's breakfast burrito?

dillonmarkey1 karma

I got there a couple seasons later and it had dissipated by then.