(picture from wikipedia)
Have you ever watched the animation Pingu when you were a kid? I did and I really enjoyed it. How about Wallace and Gromit? I enjoyed this one, too. Also, my favorite Disney movie is Nightmare Before Christmas. Maybe you already found the connection between these animations. They are all clay animations that use stop motion technique and I want to write about this stop motion technique today.
Wallace and Gromit (from wikipedia)
Stop motion is a widely used technique in the film industry. It is a simple technique like a flip book where you slowly move objects in pictures and play them continuously, so it looks like the objects are moving by themselves. Although all the animations I mentioned above use clay, objects can be anything. You can use a baseball and make it rolling on the floor or a notebook flipping pages by itself. If you still have Lego blocks you played when you were a child, used that. Lego blocks go good with stop motion technique. Here are some stop motion films using Lego blocks. They are really good especially the Mario one. It’s really smooth!
A good point of stop motion is that you can use anything in your film. Look around your table. What do you find? Pencils, papers, a coffee mug, cookies? Use them as your objects in a stop motion film. If you can’t find anything on your table, go outside and pick up rocks. The greatest thing about using objects is that you don’t need to worry about time schedule. Schedule is a major problem when you make a film with other people. They’re fine objects, too. I recommend you to use a tripod, so you can take stable pictures (to have pictures from sane angle and height). However, don’t worry if you don’t have a tripod. Actually, it can give a more stop motion effect to your film without using a tripod (using pictures from slightly different angles and heights).
A disadvantage of stop motion technique is that it takes long time to make a film, even a short film. You need several pictures to make an object to move for one second. The amount of pictures you need for a second depends on how smooth you want to make an object moves. More pictures make an object move smoother and less pictures make a rougher move. Normally, a film and an animation have 24 to 30 frames (pictures) per second and you will have a really smooth stop motion film if you have 24 to 30 pictures per second. However, it means you need 1440 to 1800 pictures to make a minute long stop motion film and it will take a long time, really. Don’t worry, it is still fine to have less than 10 pictures per second, too (still takes time though).
Here are other stop motion films I want to share with you. Enjoy!