Friday, October 25, 2013

Stop, go, stop, go..

Stop motion animation has been around for a very long time, and at its core it couldn't be simpler: move something a tiny bit, take a picture, then move it a tiny bit again, then take another picture and so on. While the beginning concept might be simple, in practice it is very time consuming meticulous work, especially when you consider how many things need to be moved every frame, and just how many frames create a second of animation.

A variation of stop motion animation is "claymation", in which all the characters and often worlds they inhabit are made of clay. Here's an example from 'The Neverhood' (Which is a video game!):

Another variant is "cutout animation" which is where the characters and backgrounds are made of paper. Popular examples of this are 'Blue's Clues' and 'South Park' (Though today they are both animated on computers, they still maintain the paper visual style) Below is an example of cutout animation by Trey Parker (the co-creator of 'South Park')

Stop motion animation is even used in feature films. Lately most examples of this have been from Laika, with recent productions being 'Paranorman' and 'Coraline'. They're next major feature is going to be 'The Box Trolls', which is animated mostly with stop motion.

Stop motion animation can also be created with everyday objects. One of my favorite stop motion animators is PES, who likes to use everyday objects in place of other objects, from mountains to animals. One of his animations was nominated for an Academy award:

What makes PES' animations especially great, is his use of sound. For stop motion especially, sound is incredibly important. It adds so much to the depth and weight of the objects and characters in the piece. The everyday objects in PES' animations take on new life by both their new uses as well as the sounds they create when interacted with. Most all of his animations do this extraordinarily well, including his latest piece, which captures the deep ocean.

No comments:

Post a Comment