October 2009 Archives

Animation: Stop Animation

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 used today.

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:

Website: http://eatpes.com/

Examples of Stop Motion:

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer


Wallace and Gromit

Western Spaghetti

Her Modern Elegance, Oren Lavie

Tim Burton

Robot Chicken


For a photoshop animation, you need:
Way to transport images onto computer
Camera stand
Computer with photoshop

1. Set up scene, we took two pairs of shoes and placed them on the floor inside of a taped box. The camera was set up facing down on the shoes. We had the shoes meet dance and then leave.

2. Moving the shoes only small increments at a time take a picture with each move. We took about 40 frames. Make sure the camera does not move, and that the objects only move a little bit each time to create fluidity.

3. Upload the pictures onto the computer into photoshop.

4. Create one document, each frame gets it's own layer in the order that you took the pictures.

5. Next click on animation. In the animation toolbar click "create animation from layers"

6. You then can render your animation and export it to quicktime (this can be done under file, render....)

7. After it is a quicktime movie you can import it to iMovie and add sound and other things as well.

Here is our animation:

Amber Animation.mov

Digital Collage: Monsters

Project One: Digital Collage.

My Digital Methods class was required to bring in five photos to class, each with a different theme: animal, landscape, face, texture, and mechanical. Compiling the five images with the rest of the class we were able to pick things from a large image bank.

Our assignment was to create a monster out of collage images.


Next we made animations of our characters in Photoshop.

Here are a few still images:



Here is the video:


I thought this project was very fun. If I had fun, I know kids would really enjoy doing something like this. I liked that we could make it personal by using our own images. For instance, my monster is actually made from my pet cat. Creating just a monster was fun, however I think you could make it more imaginative by giving students a concept or idea, like create a theme, what is your monster doing.... Then it would be more of a narrative.

Doing this assignment with children I would still go with the monster idea, however maybe first I would have them collage magazines together creating a monster from those images. Next I would scan the images onto their computers into photoshop and have them create a landscape for their characters.

Along with their landscapes I would have them create a story to go along with their characters and setting, for example one monster is hungry so he eats his land of candy.

Once they decided on a story I would have them animate the story in Photoshop.

Things they would learn about:
Photoshop tools
Animation in photoshop
Possibly IMovie



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