an·i·ma·tion (n): The act, process or result of imparting life, interest, spirit, motion, or activity.
Stop motion is a technique used to physically manipulate objects to make them appear as thought they are move on their own. It is used as a frame by frame process where the object(s) are moved in small movements and each frame is photographed. Playing the frames as a whole sequence, the frame by frame creates an illusion of continuous motion. There are many types of Stop Motion Animation.
Different types of Stop Motion:
Object animation involves moving animation of any non-drawn objects such as toys, blocks, dolls, etc. and are not as malleable as clay or wax. Object Animation is not meant to look like any type of 'character' being animal or human.
Direct manipulation animation is a simplified graphic animation where the artist adds or subtracts to a drawing documenting the frame by frame image.
Clay animation where each animated piece is a character made out of a malleable substance of clay, usually Plasticine clay.
Cel animation is the original animation which is traditionally draws each frame by hand.
Puppet animation the form of performance in which the artist manipulates puppets.
Time-lapse is a cinematography technique where the frame is captured at a slower rate than play back. When replayed at normal speed time appears much faster and thus lapsing. ie: watching a fast pace flower bud bloom.
Variations of Stop Motion Include:
Stereoscopic: is a technique capable of recording three-dimensional visual information or
creating the illusion of depth in an image. Basically when you have to wear the 3D
glasses to watch something. The first all stop motion 3-D feature is Coraline(2009)
Go Motion: Creates a realistic motion blur between each frame, so it is not as choppy.
The main difference is that stop motion is made up of still images where as go motion
take the frames while the object is in motion. Go motion was used in ET, and is rarely
Computer-generated imagery: 3D computer graphics, special effects, can be seen in movies,
television, commercials, video games, etc. Pretty much has made stop motion obsolete,
however stop motion is still used because of it's unique look. Example: Robot Chicken
Websites About Stop Motion:
The Art of Stop Motion Animation
First Stop Motion (1898):
The Humpty Dumpty Circus 1898
Classic Stop Motion:
Rankin/ Bass Rudolph
EatPES: Home of the Twisted Films of PES
Western Spaghetti. (Winner of
Roof Sex. (20 days of solid filming over a 3 month period)
8 BIT TRIP!
1500 hours of moving legos.
Tim Burton's VINCENT
Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas
Wallace and Gromit
Her Modern Elegance, Oren
South Park: Guitar Hero
Stop motion has been a widely used process since the early 1900's when it was developed.
The Process of Old School Classic Stop Motion
an excerpt from artofstopmotion.com
"Willis O'Brien's technique comprised mainly of building miniature settings and animating his puppets within them. For many scenes, if humans needed to be present, he ingeniously integrated rear projection screens into his miniatures and hidden projectors would project the live action clips one frame at a time. King Kong brilliantly demonstrates the use of this system. The process, however, became a bit prohibitive in cost.
Ray Harryhausen needed a way to integrate
his creatures into settings without the need to build many elaborate miniature
sets, the reason for this being that the film he was scheduled to work
on, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms,
had a miniscule budget. He finally devised a process of his own, which
is still used today, the split-screen rear projection system.
This process consists of shooting locked down plates in which to incorporate the model(s). The plate is projected onto a rear screen and a wooden frame holding a removeable sheet of glass is placed in front of it. Mr. Harryhausen would then calculate where the creature was going to appear. If the creature needed to appear behind a series of buildings, he would break the plate up along this line, eventually blocking off half of the image. Let's say he blocks off the botton half of the plate first using black paint on the glass. (this will prevent that section of the film in the camera from being exposed). He then places the model between the sheet of glass and the rear screen and he aligns it so it will appear to be behind the buildings. When he looks through the lens of the camera, he'll see the top half of the plate, the partially obscured dinosaur and an irregularly (in this case) shaped mask covering the inferior portion of the frame. He will then proceed to animate the model and when finished he will replace the sheet of glass in the frame with it's exact opposite. A black mask will be covering the top portion of the image. Mr. Harryhausen will then complete the process by rewinding the film he shot and reexposing it, but only filming the bottom half of the plate on this pass. When developed and projected, the creature will appear to be incorporated into the background plate. Needless to say, this process saved time and money and created a totally realistic effect and all in-camera. And for those who are familiar with Mr. Harryhausen's work, he named the process Dynamation for most of it's use and Dynarama on The Golden Voyage of Sinbad."