Thursday, March 11, 2010

Stop-Motion Fun Stuff: T-Shirt War

While browsing some animation sites I came across an awesome pixelation animation about two guys having a t-shirt war! It was made by the YouTube Entertainer duo
Rhett and Link. It's very creative. You can tell a lot of time and thought went into it. Check it out below.

After you've watch the vid, make sure to check out the behind the scenes here.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Stop-Motion News: Stop motion in the oscars

It seems stop motion has done quite well for itself this year, coming out with two full-length movies (Fantastic Mr. Fox and Coraline) and a multitude of shorts, the most prominent being Wallace and Gromit: A Matter of Loaf and Death.

Now that the Oscars have come around again, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Coraline, and A Matter of Loaf and Death have all been nominated! Both Mr. Fox and Coraline were nominated in the Animated Feature Film category. The Fantastic Mr. Fox was also nominated for best music.
A Matter of Loaf and Death was nominated as an Animated Short. It's going to be a hard win for Fantastic Mr. Fox and Coraline, going up against Up and The Princess and the Frog, but I think both have good chances. I have high hopes for A Matter of Loaf and Death. Judging from Wallace and Gromit's past record at the Oscars, I think there's a good chance they might win!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Stop-Motion How-To: Easing In, Easing Out

Easing in and easing out is an essential method for making your puppet's moves look real!
Easing in and out is the technique of moving your puppet less at the beginning and ending of a movement. If you analyze the way people move, you'll notice that they do the same thing. For instance unless your The Flash, you probably don't start running as fast as you possibly can right away. Instead, you start off slowly, then move into full speed. And unless you have gas brakes in your shoes, you won't be making any immediate stops either. The same thing applies when someone picks up an object: he won't jerk forward and grab the object, then jerk back. Instead, his hand will start off slower, go into full speed, then slow down when he reaches its goal.

Marc Spess made a great video showing how easing in and easing out works. Check it out below!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Stop-Motion Fun Stuff: Arthur

The animation below (animated by Guionne Leroy and inspired by the opera King Arthur) has become one of my favorite clay animations on YouTube. The way the character and sets have been sculpted and animated give it a unique and very whimsical feel! It is a truly beautiful piece of animation!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Stop-Motion News: Shaun the Sheep Series 2

Shaun the Sheep, the unlikely hero from A Close Shave has done quite well for himself since then. He got his own show, which won numerous awards, and he's coming back for another round with the second series of his show.

A lot of changes have been made for the new series. The first thing most people will notice is that some of the characters have undergone makeovers, some as big as Bowser's new white splotches and some as small as the farmer's scruffier face.

A cart load of new characters has also been added to the show, and some of the minor characters from the first series have been given bigger parts.

The show is now being shot in HD, and the new crispness is definitely visible!

The show is already being aired in the UK and a few other nations, but I could not find any air dates for the USA.

For more information you can check out the Series 2 Production Blog on the Shaun the Sheep website.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Stop-Motion How-To: Failure

Sooner or later, there's a time in our life when we come across something many people consider a terrible thing. Something they think life would be better without. That thing is failure.

Personally, however, I think failure can be one of the most useful things in life and in animation. A lot of you out there may be thinking I'm absolutely nutty, that failure is what brings us down, not the opposite. And that is true, it can and will bring you down. But it can only do that if you let it.

Failure is a teacher, the best one you'll ever get in this life. But you must learn to listen to it. When you fail at something, don't go into depression because you screwed up. Instead, look for the reason behind your failure, learn from it, and avoid it in the future. Often when someone has failed, he says, "I tried and failed, so now I'm just gonna quit." You can't expect to have success the first time you start something, and you also can't expect not to fail even after you've experienced success.

Trying again is often frightening. You may have put so much effort and heart into your project the last time, only to meet the grim face of failure. But I bet if you find what you did wrong and correct it, you'll do far better the second time!

I guarantee sometime in your animation career, you'll have more than a few failures. Puppet modeling, lighting, animation - none of us succeed at these things the first time. Keep your chin up, and remember that a failure isn't something terrible. It's just a stepping stone too becoming a great animator.

The video below isn't about animation, but everything in it can be applied to our craft.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Stop-Motion Fun Stuff: Wallace and Gromit Tribute

Since this year is Wallace and Gromit's 20th anniversary, I thought I'd post something to do with them and the first thing that came to mind was Andreas Francis's animated tribute. Andreas animated this for his first Stop motion assignment. The assignment was: Have a white clay ball roll in from the side, do something, then roll out again. As you'll see, he went far beyond what was required for this project!

Check it out below!