Friday, December 16, 2016

An Insight to Stop Motion Animation

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Every year as an N.E.mation ambassador, I am always impressed and awed by the ability of the students to produce amazing animations with little or no prior animation experience. And year by year, they always come up with new and interesting animation techniques.

This year, N.E.mation 11 focuses on 2 animation techniques: Stop motion animation and 2D animation, both of which requires tremendous patience and effort. in this post, I will (try) to explain a little more about stop motion animation techniques.

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Every animation or video starts out as a storyboard. This usually comes in the form of sketches or line drawings detailing how each scene plays out and how they link to the next scene. If u look back at some of the photos from my previous N.E.mation posts, you might catch a glimpse of the storyboards hanging on the walls of each team's work spaces!

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Props! Props! Props!
Stop motion is all about making things that normally would not move on their own seem like they are moving on their own! And to do this, lots of props are required! For example, a simple stop motion video of bites being taken out of an apple seems like it only requires 1 apple, but in actual fact, you may need to swap between 10 different apples with different bite marks to make this "simple" video come to life! So imagine how many props you need if your stop motion video has many different items that need to interact with each other!

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Snap! Snap! Snap! Giving Life to Inanimate Objects
Now that we have our props and our storyboard, the next step is to get snapping! Filming a motion animation is simple but long and tedious process of "Snap a photo" - "move this thing a little" - "Repeat".

Remember to have lots of space on your memory cards before attempting to do this! A short 30 second stop motion video may be made up of 500 or more photos placed one after another!

And the scary thing is that most of the time, a lot of effort is required to move ONLY the objects that need to move. If you accidentally move any of the other objects, you might just have to reshoot the entire scene! Oh no!

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Stitching it all up together
The final part of stop motion animation is to put all the photos in sequence to tell your story! This requires some knowledge of video editing software to know how to adjust the colours, align the sounds and music with the video and put in any subtitles or text if required!

So there you have it, my attempt at explaining what stop motion animation is. In fact, a couple of years back, me and my friends had a chance to try out some stop motion animation as project work for a music course we were attending. Although the video is only 1 minute long, we took an entire day to film this! But that was not going to stop us. And it shouldn't stop anyone looking to explore into stop motion animation or to chase their dreams. Don't doubt yourself and make sure to ask yourself "Will You Live Your Dream"?

Head over to for more details today!

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