Saturday, June 27, 2009

Stop-Motion Fun Stuff: Super Mario World Stop-Motion Japanese Commercial

A couple days ago I stumbled across this rare stop-motion Japanese Commercial for the SNES 1990's Super Mario World. I have been a fan of Nintendo's Mario games for as long as I can remember, and it was cool to see Mario do his stuff as a stop-motion animated figure. You can check it out below.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Stop-Motion News: Aardman Announces Two New Full-Length Animated Movies!

Aardman Studios (the creators of Wallace and Gromit) have announced they will be bringing out two new animated movies. Arthur Christmas which will be done in CG, and Pirates will be shot in stop-motion animation. Arthur Christmas is about how Santa manages to get around the whole world in one night. Pirates is an adaptation of Gideon Defoe's book The Pirates! in which a hapless band of pirates compete for the Pirate of the Year award. Arthur Christmas is scheduled for release some time in 2011 and Pirates in 2012 . Both movies will be distributed by Sony Pictures. For more info about both of these upcoming feature films, check out this post from the official Wallace & Gromit site here

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Stop-Motion How To: Making Puppets Talk, Part 2 of 2

In Part 1 of this post we talked about the different ways to create the lip movements for your puppets. You can check that post out here.

Lip sync is the process of making the lip movements you have animated match up with the pre-recorded voice. When I originally started lip syncing, I thought I could just switch the mouths around while animating, and then after I finished try to match my voice to it by adjusting the speed of my speech. That process didn't work at all. It always turned out looking horrible. I later found out that studios record the voices before they do any animation with lip movement in it. Once the studio has the recording, they slow it down to discover how much of the sound takes place in one frame and then note it on x-sheet for the animators to use later.

Thankfully, programs have been created for just this propose. Magpie is probably the most popular lip sync program. It's been used in a number of professional productions, including Corpse Bride and Creature Comforts. It's a great program, stocked with great features. The single license download costs $250 USD, and you can check it out here.

If you're unable to spend
that much money, you can download JLipSync, a sweet free lip sync program for the PC and MAC. This program can be really confusing to download (at least it was for me), but luckily Marc Spess made a video tutorial outlining the downloading steps. You can check that out here.

Making your puppets talk can be a long and hard process, but if you're willing to commit your time and effort, I assure you it will be well worth it!