Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Making a Stop-Motion Short Film

Were you wondering how I made the stop-motion film? Well, lucky you, I'll tell you how in this post! (If you weren't wondering, just check back in tomorrow. I'll have aquarium shots!)

(Above) This is my set-up. (And by "my" I mean the set up I had with my partner, Jon.) We had a plank that had a webcam and a light attached to it. And the computer with the SAM animation program on it. That's what's up on the screen. That's basically all you need to get rolling.

If you're really interested in trying this out, I'd like to recommend this book:

The Klutz Book of Animation: Make Your Own Stop Motion Movies

It goes through a lot of basics and it uses the SAM animation program, which is a great program!

Here's a shot of what the "set" looked like.

See all the extra arms, legs, and eyeballs off to the side?

As you probably know, you put your characters in a pose, take a shot (or two or three), change the pose and do it again. In animation like this, you want 24 frames per second. Which means if you shoot your little guy making 24 small movements, when you are done you'll have 1 second of animation. We were told that it's OK to take 2-3 frames per movement, that the eye fills things in. Depending on how many frames you take and how big the movements are - that's how you control the speed of your characters.

Our movie was about 2000 frames long.

All in all, I probably spent about 7 hours preparing to shoot the animated short and another 7 (or so) hours shooting it with Jon. When you think that it took 14 hours to make a 90 second film, that can be daunting. But it was really 14 hours of fun.

If you want to see some really, REALLY good stop-motion animation, check this out.

Have a great day!

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