What is this?

This whole project is to answer a question that I received back in 2006 after posting Marble Track 2 online. “How did you make the marble track?” I decided I could create an elaborate stop motion video of some characters creating a track. The livestream videos on this website are to preemptively answer the question “How did you make the animation?”

Yeah, but how do you know how to make it?

Basically it is just freestyle. There are no blueprints; I only have a vague idea of how it’s all going to look at the end. I know I want the marbles to roll down

  1. consistently
  2. slowly

Given the density of tracks, #2 often loses when there is simply no space to ensure the marbles go the same way each time. I just think “okay where should it go from here?” while trying to keep in mind all the answers to the same question for other tracks.

How many tracks are there?

On the base of the track, there are two landing zones for small marbles, two landing zones for medium sized marbles, and one landing zone for the largest marbles.

The landing zones for the medium and large marbles have one track each. The two landing zones for small marbles have two tracks each (one arriving from each end). So at the lowest level, there are seven tracks.

One pair of small and medium tracks merge on the way up (split on the way down) so there are six tracks at that level.

Up a bit higher I am attempting a three-way split using some almost-parallel chopsticks which will allow the marbles to fall through onto different tracks. Assuming I can get that working, at that level there will be two-fewer tracks, so just four tracks, but immediately above that split, the marbles will come in from two different directions. So there are 5 or 7 or 6 or 4 or 5 tracks depending on the level, and later, there will be more (and/or less) as the height increases.

TL;DR: I don’t know.

You should paint each track

That’s not really going to work, given how the tracks merge and split. If the tracks were like waterslides at an amusement park (tangled but not merging), then yeah, but they are not, so no.

Is it finished?

It’s going to be about as high as Marble Track 2, so no, not yet.

When will you finish?

MMmmmmm maybe in 10 or 15 years? Dunno at this point. Last year I thought 10 years, but it seems to be increasing. Hopefully not asymptotically.

You should add audio

Yes. I will need help with that; looking for people to compose music and/or sound effects.

At this point I am thinking there can be a few different options for the audio.

  • character dialogue
  • music / sound effects
  • narration

Combination of above?

Why are you filming with a blue screen background?

I would like to eventually replace that background with a different background. I know the lighting is inconsistent, but hopefully post processing software in 10 years will have no problem with that.

Ideas for the background include

  • nice grassy field with rabbits watching
  • a tree on the right where the pole is stabbed into the wall
  • grassy background to fall away and reveal an outer space background

I am not yet sure what would cause the grass to convert to outer space, and it is just a gimmicky idea, but if I can figure out a reason to make it make sense, I’d like to do that.