Stop-motion Animation

I am an Animation Enthusiasts,full of passion into how can make one animation by myself.So I spent a lot of time to think about my animation story and learn the technical skills such like using the Adobe After Effects Pro.Generally speaking,Stop-motion animation is relative with the animation technique. It is original from shooting technique so that it applied in film long time. Excellent products of stop-motion animation are pretty attractive.

From some research works, I deeply feel that if I want to produce a perfect work, the expression of detail and technique is the most important. The reason why I want to make a stop-motion animation is a lovely toy rabbit which was bought by my friend. Obviously, I like it very much. However, I always have an idea that I want to endow the rabbit life. Suddenly, when I pay attention to the stop-motion, the idea comes true.Firstly,I began shooting with a camera. But it was not simple as my original imagination. The process was formidable to me, because I forgot the most vital process: design a script and have a plan to execute it. When entered into the practice, I began feel the difficult one after another such as scene layout, light adjustment as well as the operation of the rabbit and so on. Other problems occurred, for example, my friend knocked over the tripod carelessly. We must start it again. When all of shootings finished, I began processing the photos with after effects software. Unfortunately, I found that the strength of afternoon wind and the light intensity were inappropriate. So faced these problems, I had to repeat it to coordinate the process again. From the above others’ work and my individual experience, I learned from many ideas, techniques and detail description to stop-motion animation. All of them are pretty essential and vital. The above analysis is my understanding and reflection about stop-motion animation through my personal experience.

I have some ideas about “Paper War” directed by Zhang zhe and Wang xulong from Communication University of China. Firstly, in the process of manufacturing process, many preparations must be done. The workload is heavy. Many prototypes and pictures are made and it is a tiring journey. Actually, these preparations are necessary to every films but the cost may be high in stop-motion animation. The following pictures are a part of process in preparation.

Graph 1: Pictures in preparation

Note: pictures in the process of preparation, they are used in film

Sources: “Paper War”, Communication University of China

In my opinion, the most significant part is not only in this part, because the design of a film is the key point. Obviously, the design and development of script is crucial to a stop-motion. The reason is that the following actions are origin from it. An excellent script is critical as following graph 2.

Graph 2: Scripts in preparation

Note: Script in “Paper War” and design process

Sources: “Paper War”, Communication University of China

Secondly, in the editing procedure, the production staff must consider some techniques. The shot transition is the way in which two of these individual shots are joined together (Bernard F., Dick, 2010). For instance, in “Paper War”, some skills of transition are applied. Stop motion has very rarely been shot in stereoscopic 3D throughout film history. However, there are some innovations in the film and show the transition from 2D to 3D. As following pictures, a role of the film is from 2D plane to the 3D space from a plane of wall to table lamp. Another role catches up with the front by paper airline. It is also from 2D to 3D. However, finally, the most interesting result is that they integrate in 2D space.

Graph 3: 2D -3D transition

Note: Scenes from 2D-3D

Sources: “Paper War”, Communication University of China

Another example, a stop-motion animation is directed by Weng jie and Sun wei: “The snow mountain temple”. In the film, many techniques are utilized such as atmosphere rendering, the use of light as well as focal length adjustment. In the first act, snow is drifting in the sky and a lonely person emerges. It renders an atmosphere of loneliness. It is difficult to describe this kind of scene in stop-motion animation, though it is simple in the general film. The use of light is another character in animation demonstrating the texture of picture. As following pictures graph 4 and graph 5.

Graph 4: Snowing scene                                                  Graph 5: The scene of entering

Note: Atmosphere rendering                                          Note: Use of light

Sources: “The snow mountain temple”                        Sources: “The snow mountain temple”

Meanwhile, the character of focal length adjustment is described vivid so that the emotion of the film expresses incisive. In the film, it conveys the feeling that the leading role cherishes the memory of time with wife. In fact, the technique of expression is common in general films. Nevertheless, it is rare in stop-motion animations.

Graph 6: The scene of memory

Note: Focal length adjustment

Sources: ‘The snow mountain temple’

In one word, many new forms are applied in the stop-motion animation and the content of animation is more affluent. Many techniques of expression are utilized in the stop-motion animation. I believe that it is valuable experience. In this process, ideas and design is most vital in my opinion. Then, the innovation applied in the film attracts eyes of audience. Without doubt, the execution and reflection are necessary to every one of us.

Reference

‘First animated film’, Guinness World Records, Retrieved 5 January 2013.

Bernard F., Dick, 2010, Anatomy of Film – Sixth Edition. Bedford/St.Martin’s. ISBN 978-0-312-48711-9.

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