Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stop Motion How-To: The Different Kinds of Stop-Motion Animation

Today, I'm going to talk about some of the different techniques that can be used in stop-motion animation.

Clay Animation

Clay animation (Which is personally my favorite type of Animation) involves sculpting and animating your model in mainly clay. Here's and example from the Cracking Contraptions Wallace and Gromit series:


Toy-mation uses a toy, such as an action figure or a Lego figure as the model used for animation. NathanWells made the following toy-mation/brick film clip for the 30th anniversay of the Lego mini figures:

2-D Clay Animation

In 2-D clay animation, a flat clay character is laid on a flat surface such as a table and made to look like he is standing. Here's an example from a short Marc Spess made using 2-D claymation.

Paper Animation

Paper animation utilizes the same concept as 2-D clay animation. The only difference is that the animator uses paper cutouts instead of a clay figure. Here is a great animation, made by Megan Brain for a United Airlines commerical during the Summer Olympics.

These are just a few examples of stop-motion animation. The limits to the models and settings are dependent only the animator's imagination.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fun Stuff: Aardman's Morph Files

For anyone who doesn't know who Aardman is (if there is such a person), Aardman is arguably the most famous claymation studio of all-time. They made huge claymation blockbusters such as Chicken Run, Creature Comforts, and the Wallace and Gromit series. The company was started by David Sproxton and Peter Lord. Their first big break they got was a clever animation known as The Amazing Adventures of Morph. Aardman recently brought Morph back for a short series they put on DVD. Unfortunately, it's only available in the pal [Regan 2] format, which means it will only work for those who live in the UK... So if you don't live UK and want to catch a glance at what morph is up to here are some vids Aardman posted on their YouTube page.

Morph - Magic Door

Morph - Messy

Morph - Card Trick

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Stop-motion news: Justin Rasch's Gerald's Last Day

My brother was searching the Web the other day and found this stop-motion short film that's coming out pretty soon. When he showed me, I was really surprised that I hadn't heard anything about it before. Its called Gerald's Last Day, and it's about a dog at the pound who has five hours left before they put him down. In that time, he tries to convince people to adopt him. It looks like it could be a really good film! I think almost all of it is being made by a guy named Justin Rasch, with a little help from his family and friends. He's been working on it for two and half years now, and I think he's getting pretty close to finishing it.

Here's a vid he posted about his film...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Stop Motion How-to: How Stop-Motion Animation Works

Because this is the first post in Stop Motion How-To section, let's start with the basics.How exactly is stop-motion animation done?

Animators take a model made out of plastic, clay, wood, and even flexible toys. Anything that can hold its position will work. The model is placed in front of a still camera. If the animator wanted the model to wave its arm, he would move the model's arm a tiny bit, then take a picture. This process is repeated until the animator has completed the wave motion.

The amount of pictures needed to form the wave depends on how fast the arm needs to appear to be moving. Most animators shoot at 24 fps (frames per second), which is the same speed at which a live-action camera shoots. Some animators even shoot up to 30 fps in order to make the animation appear even smoother.

Stop-motion animation was the first type of 3D animation to come into the entertainment world. It was mostly used for the kind of special effects now accomplished through CG. King Kong (1933) probably features the most well-known stop-motion character ever. Stop motion has come along way from the crude animation of King Kong to huge blockbusters such as Wallace and Gromit, Nightmare Before Christmas, Chicken Run, and many others.

Introduction to StopMotion101.com

Hi, I'm Jared Weiland.

Welcome to my website "Stop Motion 101," a website devoted to expanding the world of stop-motion animation. This site I will be spliting up into three different sections.

Stop Motion How-to: This is where I'll give some helpful tutorials and tips and tricks on stop motion.

Stop Motion News: This is where I'll fill you in on everything that is happening in the world of Stop Motion.

Fun Stuff: And last but not least a little bit of stuff just for fun.

I'm excited to see where this site is going to take me, and I hope you'll join me!