Showing posts with label Stop Motion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stop Motion. Show all posts

Mar 23, 2012

Cutout - Animation Test #3

One of the final animation tests we did in Film 203 was with jointed construction paper cutouts that we each made.  This form of animation has been most notably popularized by the South Park series, and although my test isn't much to go on, it was a lot of fun to make.  I animated a cowboy who shoots his gun and the bullet bounces around the frame until it hits him.

With each test we learned a little bit about the patience and subtly required to create movement in inanimate objects.  What resulted from all of these was one final project that we could create in any medium we wanted.  I opted for a claymation/stop motion project titled, Over at Grandpa's.  More on that soon.

Mar 16, 2012

Sand - Animation Test #2

The second animation test we did in Film 203 consisted of using sand on a light box. Once again the Bolex camera was used to capture the experiment one frame at a time. My clip was really just me playing around to get a feel for the medium, but most of our exercises were inspired by the classic NFB animations we previewed.  The Erlking by Ben Zelkowicz is the impressive sand animation short I remember.

Mar 9, 2012

Flipbook - Animation Test #1

In a continuation of the old film school projects I've been rediscovering since purchasing my Revere projector, this is the first of three animation tests I created in 2004 in Film 203.  What we did was create small hand drawn flipbooks, and then captured the books one page at a time with a Bolex camera to share them with the class.

This film strip was a bit rough and unfortunately the flicker on from the projector was particularly heavy on this test.  Still, it was an interesting experiment.  I drew a washing machine exploding in suds.  Each of these shorts were stand alone exercises, but the tricks we learned along the way did play a large role in the final projects each of us had to make for the class.

Dec 6, 2011

Animation Film Strip

It's really exciting to look back at the work you did in film school and think, "this is actually still pretty awesome".  There are a handful of stop motion shorts that I made in the winter of 2004 in an animation class that I haven't ever thought too much about because I can't watch them.  I don't have a projector for one, but the splicing and film is actually pretty rough and might get destroyed in a projector as it is.  

One of the first posts I made on this blog was about my Lost Animation and the backgrounds that I'd created for it.  It was in reference to this project, Over at Grandpa's which was the final short I made in that film class.  After writing about and sharing the film strip that I left with Dave I thought that I could probably capture a lot of my old film strips in images to share what pieces of my past projects looked like.  

The premise of this short was that the grandpa gets shocked when changing a light bulb, causing him to dance around his house, and then his wife catches him.  It was only about 2 minutes long mind you, but it was meant to be pretty fast paced.  Some of the frames below show him mid-dance move, including some quality voguing.  It's fun to look at stuff like this even just to remind yourself that you actually did it.  Despite the fact that it's remained tucked away in a box, I feel proud that I finally found a way to share a bit more of it.        

Nov 30, 2011

Address is Approximate by Tom Jenkins

Without giving too much away I'll say that Address is Approximate by Tom Jenkins is an epic stop motion short involving Google Maps street view, clever set design, and a road trip cross country.  I can't say enough how much I love this.

Jul 27, 2011

I'm Comic Sans, Asshole by Joe Hollier

There's no question, Comic Sans gets a bad rap.  Around the office the graphic designers shun it.  Snobs.  Given that this treatment isn't uncommon around creatives, this animation from Joe Hollier seems long overdue.

Jul 26, 2011

Britain's 722 (2001)

Like the other stop motion shorts I did a decade ago, Britain's 722 is more of an exercise in animation than anything else.  The video posted here isn't even the complete project as I couldn't find the edited version, just the raw footage I shot.  That aside though, I don't want to underplay the work that went into creating some of the scenes I used in projects like this.

The concept behind 722 was the story of a British man in the 1950's who tries to beat a land speed record against his American rival.  The final scene, not pictured here, was the race between the two of them.

Looking back at my early work like this I'm amazed that despite my limitations with equipment and primitive digital editing software, I really did push myself to attempt some ambitious concepts.  In the end it didn't seem to matter that things weren't perfect, as I learned a lot from the process and was able to explore ideas just for the sake of saying I'd done something with them.  When you're just starting out, not only trial and error, but trial and error with animation, goes a long way in showing you just what's required to create a scene.

A clip from Britain's 722 is posted below, and you can also check out my other 2001 stop motion projects, One Banana and Clumsy Claus to see more of my earliest work.

Jul 20, 2011

My Bridge on the River Kwai Project

In high school I was fascinated with stop motion.  Probably even more than the animation though, I loved being able to create my characters and scenes.  For one unfinished project this resulted in two popsicle stick bridges inspired by the 1957 Best Picture, The Bridge on the River Kwai.  

I had always intended to destroy one of the models in a climactic explosion with a miniature train going across it, but that never happened.  In the summer of 2002 just before leaving for film school, I began cleaning out my old bedroom and getting rid of all my old stuff.  I decided it was finally time to destroy one of the models and get it on tape.  Here's that footage from August 2002.

Mar 23, 2011

Bottle by Kristen Lepore

This video was recently shared with me and I had to post it. As an avid fan of animation and short films, this was such a touching and well executed concept that it immediately made me more anxious to get out and shoot some new work of my own this summer.  Bottle speaks for itself without even a stitch of dialogue.  Well done, Kristen Lepore!

Mar 20, 2011

The Cyclotrope by Tim Wheatley

I think part of the joy I get in sharing other people's work comes from stumbling upon it. In that same sense, I like to think that people who stumble onto my site get a sense that they've found something that they wouldn't see just anywhere. 

The Cyclotrope by Tim Wheatley is one of those obscure, random, experimental, but altogether inspired videos that is easy to be fascinated by. Using the rotation of a bicycle wheel, various cutouts and images are used as frames so that as the wheel spins we see a fluid motion.  This is animation 101 at its finest, but with the live action showing just how the illusion is created.

Dec 1, 2010

Clumsy Claus Stills

After reviewing a few of my past Christmas projects, I thought it would be cool to share a few of the stills from Clumsy Claus (2001). I can still remember sharing this project with friends and family almost a decade ago, and also remember how I was just getting into stop motion animation over the course of that year. I haven't really followed up with many more animations since (outside of film school anyway) but revisiting things like this makes me think about giving it another shot.

Oct 27, 2010

Amazon Kindle Commercials

When it comes to creating a great advert you need something eye-catching. Amazon Kindle has successfully done this by incorporating some clever stop motion to emphasize the imaginative aspect of reading. I'm not sure they've convinced me that a book is better on a tablet, but at least I'm talking about it. Check out this cool series of adverts below.

Her Morning Elegance by Oren Lavie

It's easy to get hooked on a good music video, and even easier if you like the song. To tell the truth, it was the stop motion that pulled me in before I actually started to like the track. I've come across several stop motion shorts lately that are nothing less than amazing examples of skilled editing. For starters, check out the music video for Her Morning Elegance by Oren Lavie below.

Jul 31, 2010

Stampede Day

I'm away to the Medicine Hat Stampede today and so it seemed fitting to pull out this old claymation I made back in 2003. That western spirit is in the air! Once again, here's Montana Cowpie in one of my early stop motion shorts, Sitting Bull.

Jun 29, 2010

Creature Comforts

Created by Aardman Animation, the same studio that popularized Wallace and Gromit, Creature Comforts is a brilliant stop-motion/claymation short that plays off the idea that animals have a lot to say - specifically those in the close quarters of a zoo. While there have been several spin-offs and sequels to this idea, this is the original 1989 short that won Nick Park the Oscar for Best Animated Short in 1990.

I've always been a huge fan of stop motion and took a few cracks at it myself back in high school and film school. Aardman is one of the best claymation studios out there (and Nick Park is an incredibly talented animator) so I guess if there was ever a good place to look for inspiration this was it. Have a look for yourself.

Oct 27, 2009

R-Rated Claymation by MackProductions

This clever animation is a great early intro to your Halloween weekend. I love simple concepts that are done well, especially when it comes to claymation. The novelty of seeing 24 frames per second in plasticine gets me every time. To be clear, R-Rated isn't nearly as violent in a world of malleable monsters.

Oct 10, 2009

Buick Stop Motion

For some of you this may look familiar. Not just because it's another video featuring my old Buick, but because my Buick 360 video has been around since this blog began. This new edit was actually put together last summer, yet like so many of my random shorts, it took rediscovering the photos to feel like sharing it. Not much else to it really, but you can always check out Buick to the Future or Educated Detours for more of my old car. I think it's safe to say that more experiments like this are sure to find there way to this blog - they're just a lot of fun to make.

Mar 4, 2009

Stop Motion by The Last Laugh

I don't really need to say much, this video speaks for itself. This is just another edition of 'pay the compliment forward' for an outstanding production by another videomaker. I can only imagine how long it took to shoot.

Jan 16, 2009

One Banana (2001)

It was in January 2001. I was in grade 11, 16 years old, and as part of a communication technology class I made this short animation project. This project in fact was the one that kicked off my love of stop motion and inspired future projects like Clumsy Claus and Sitting Bull. The concept is very simple, just a tribesman after a banana in a tree. In terms of my own history, however, this project symbolizes a distinct change in the presentation of my work. Knowing full well that I'd have to debut this project in front of a large class, I focused very closely on the little details of my animation. Sure, the motion is choppy, but for an early attempt I'm still impressed with how the little flowers, the toilet paper roll tree, and my handmade tribesman hold up. It seems charming enough to share, despite it's obvious flaws.


The photo above was taken in 2005, and was a set I designed as part of a possible sequel to this movie, to be called 'Two Banana'. That project was never made, but I held onto the set in the hopes of making a new short. I've been considering making a new stop motion flick ever since coming across my old animations, but part of the charm in these is that they were really some of my first stop motion experiments.

Nov 18, 2008

Sitting Bull (2003)

June 2003. I was home from university for the summer and thought it might be fun to make another attempt at a stop motion short. I dug out my supplies that had been boxed away since high school, and came up with another simple concept motivated entirely by my desire to use a western theme and the title Sitting Bull.

Obviously, the title is a literal play on a 'sitting' bull instead of on the Sioux leader.

What I've always enjoyed about animation is the ability to completely create your environment, characters, and scenes in a very specific and controlled way. It all sounds a bit compulsive, but when I was unable to execute my bigger ideas in live action, animation allowed a big departure on a small scale. Plus, it was always nice to present new characters that were completely original looking.

I've never thought of myself as much of an animator, largely because I become so eager to see the results that I don't take enough time to plot all my movements. Still, revisiting my old animations awakens a creative side of myself that I haven't considered in years. Just sprucing up these old videos has me thinking of new concepts and short animation ideas that I'd like to try.

In the meantime, enjoy this classic short from my earlier works.