Animated Film Production: Stop Motion.

After dodging the necessity of storyboards, and making elaborate but cheap sets, it is time to get things moving. Stop motion is a perfect way to get things moving.

The problem with stop motion for me is that I don’t know much about it. I have heard of it, have seen it, liked it and have made comments. I have been in hand drawn animation for too long to know anything outside it.

So, I looked up Wikipedia:

“Stop motion (also known as stop frame) is an animation technique to make a physically manipulated object appear to move on its own.”

Strange term “physically manipulated object”!  is the object manipulated before or after the “animation technique”?

I meditated on how I would formulate my own inexpert definition. I decided I would rearrange Wikipedia words in a different sentence:

“Stop motion (also known as stop frame) is an animation technique to physically manipulate an object to make it appear as moving on its own.”

Maybe this is not in perfect English but I have discovered that Grammar is not always friends with the precision of meaning.

Wikipedia continues on with it’s definition:

” The object is moved in small increments between individually photographed frames, creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames is played as a continuous sequence.”

This sounds like fun! I think I can do it – I have a Nikon D80 camera and plenty of small increments!

Lets see how a hand drawn animator does stop motion:


The next episode will be on Linetest: do we avoid them like Storyboards, too?

Stay tuned!

About rocksinmypocketsthemovie

I was born in Latvia, educated in Moscow, live in New York. I have made about 14 animated shorts so far.
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4 Responses to Animated Film Production: Stop Motion.

  1. Christy says:

    Oh Signe, thank you for posting your stop motion animation video! I learned so much from watching your learning process. You make it seem less daunting… I want to try it now!

    • Christy, I went through 3 phases of my affair with stop motion: 1) I was intrigued, it seemed easy 2) I started to work on in and realized it required knowledge i did not posses – on lighting, F-stops and what not, I despaired and got frightened 3) after the steep learning curve I got more confident, but time to time my confidence is tempered by yet another thing I don’t know or never will
      All in all I wish I had started stop motion at age 5 then by age 35 I would have understood maybe 5% of it. But audiences of 2012, because they watch everything on a small screen in a distracted environment, forgive technical failures, they only care for a good concept/story.

  2. Hi Signe… I’m a stop-motion animator who discovered your blog via a linked in post. If you’re in the process of learning, I highly recommend visiting stopmotionanimation(dot)com. It’s a web forum where masters and amateurs mix. I learned most of what I know about puppet animation there. Good luck!

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