Earlier in the blog I went over how to create a digital background for animation, but now I want to give some advice on when creating your stop motion back ground.
Whether you stop motion is three dimensional, claymation, puppets or two dimensional with paper cut outs or other flat objects, the rules stay very much the same.
First: You want to figure out what your camera is going to see. Find a way to mark that areas so you know not to let your characters wander out of it. Be careful not to let the markers be visible in the camera. You do not want a scotch tape marker sticking out the side of your shot.
Second: You want to make sure your camera is stable and not going to move. If you are taking pictures and your camera is constantly changing positions (unintentionally) your entire film is going to look like it took place in an earth quake. Tape the positions of each leg of your tripod, if you are using one, so if you do lose your place you will still be able to get it back to where it was.
Third: Make sure you props and stage are stable and will not move unless interacted with by your characters. If your background is constantly moving it will distract the audience from what your animation is about.
Fourth: Have your students plan what will be in their background. You want them to use critical thinking while making their back grounds. Don't just have them put a tree in the background and call it good. Have them think about how their characters can interact with their surroundings.
Fifth: Have proper lighting. Ask yourself: Where is the lightly coming from? Will the lighting move through out the movie? Do I want the lighting to surround the characters? Do I want there to be shadows? Most importantly, Is there enough lighting for my camera? No matter what you want your camera to collect the highest quality video, so how you arrange yours light source can have a huge effect on that.
Sixth: When creating your back drop, you either want it to match to other objects on the set, or you want it to be invisible. Remember you don't want your set to be distracting. Sometime in order to do that you will want to just have a black background. The black background is easy, but it makes your characters pop and will not be over powering.
So far those are the rules that I think are most important. As I work more I will probably look more.