Hello everyone!

I'm on my way to making my grad film. I've been shooting stop-motion for quite a while now but still feel that I need improve.

The basic story of my grad film is that the two creatures are looking for "the thing" (a metaphor for anything important or precious). They travel through different landscape and encounter peculiar beings.

However, in this assignment I kind of did a prologue to the film. The two are deciding whether to step outside or not. This by no means is a finish piece but I would like some comment on how I can improve the stop-motion.

https://vimeo.com/88434582

THANK YOUUUU! 

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Link is broken 

Same for me.  I get "Vimeo - we couldn't find the page".

Oops, sorry people. I think it's because I was re-uploading the file.

But here's the link again, it should work now.

https://vimeo.com/88434582

There's a magical feel to that, and I like how you used 2d to show them thinking about going through the door.  Nice style, good premise. The characters translated well from 3d to 2d and back again. I want to find out what happens to them.

I didn't get a clear enough understanding of how the puppet characters feel though. One headbutted the other I think...

Maybe one obviously timid and hanging back as the other eagerly goes to the door, then comes back to persuade the other?  And the eager one really bouncing up and down, ready to go for it? You have two characters, so maybe you should use that and have a clear contrast between the personalities, and some physical way to express it that the audience can read.  This was from one viewing, just going for first impressions - I will go and watch again, see what I get from it the second time.  Could be I just wasn't paying attention.  (- but my executive producer would have said to me, "that's your fault as the director, your job is to direct where their attention is."   Then she would get me to show the silent rough cut to people who really had no interest in animation, to see if I could get the story across to them. ) 

Ok, on second viewing, I think I get that the shorter one imagines this scary tentacled thing, and is afraid to go because that is what they might encounter, then butts the tall one.  But I still think it needs to connect that scary thing with fear of going through the door.  Look at direction of movement - towards the door, then scary vision, then backing away.  One leaning towards, one away, digging it's heels in.  As it is now, why hit the other one?   Maybe because the tall one is dragging (or pushing, since it doesn't have arms) the short one towards the door.

On third viewing it looks clearer to me that the short one is lowering it's head and feeling negative, it's the tall one who thinks this is a great idea.  But they aren't moving towards or away from the door, which would help.   

See it as character driven, and ask yourself these questions: Who is this character? What do they really, desperately want, what is their goal ?  What gets in their way of achieving it?  (Or if they want to stay just as the are, what is tearing them out of their comford zone, forcing them to react?)   What do they fear, or not want?  If there is conflict, what is it about? How can the audience know this just from the pictures they see?  

Bravo for avoided the easy way out where they tell us in dialogue, so body language is going to have to do a lot of the heavy lifting.  Tone of voice can help a bit, even without actual words, but before you even put sound on, can we tell from their actions what is going on?  If so, sound fx and music will reinforce it and make it even stronger.  Imagine you are trying to through a cat  out of an airplane (wearing a parachute, so settle down RSPCA, I'm trying to save it's life ok?), and it clings to the seat, then your arm, then leaves deep scratches on the door frame, it expresses a very strong desire to remain in that airplane, which anyone can read.  Maybe a bit more Looney Tunes/Tex Avery than you had in mind, but I'm sure you get the idea.

Now I better go try to apply some of that to my own animation, it's always easier to give advice than take it!  

Thank you so much! Wow you have really gone through the short. Your advise is very valuable, I will definitely go look at some more references and also film myself acting the emotions out. 

I might need to go redesign the puppets as well because I find it very difficult to animate their tiny feet and the arms are a bit too short to express emotions.

But THANK YOU SO MUCH! 

StopmoNick said:

There's a magical feel to that, and I like how you used 2d to show them thinking about going through the door.  Nice style, good premise. The characters translated well from 3d to 2d and back again. I want to find out what happens to them.

I didn't get a clear enough understanding of how the puppet characters feel though. One headbutted the other I think...

Maybe one obviously timid and hanging back as the other eagerly goes to the door, then comes back to persuade the other?  And the eager one really bouncing up and down, ready to go for it? You have two characters, so maybe you should use that and have a clear contrast between the personalities, and some physical way to express it that the audience can read.  This was from one viewing, just going for first impressions - I will go and watch again, see what I get from it the second time.  Could be I just wasn't paying attention.  (- but my executive producer would have said to me, "that's your fault as the director, your job is to direct where their attention is."   Then she would get me to show the silent rough cut to people who really had no interest in animation, to see if I could get the story across to them. ) 

Ok, on second viewing, I think I get that the shorter one imagines this scary tentacled thing, and is afraid to go because that is what they might encounter, then butts the tall one.  But I still think it needs to connect that scary thing with fear of going through the door.  Look at direction of movement - towards the door, then scary vision, then backing away.  One leaning towards, one away, digging it's heels in.  As it is now, why hit the other one?   Maybe because the tall one is dragging (or pushing, since it doesn't have arms) the short one towards the door.

On third viewing it looks clearer to me that the short one is lowering it's head and feeling negative, it's the tall one who thinks this is a great idea.  But they aren't moving towards or away from the door, which would help.   

See it as character driven, and ask yourself these questions: Who is this character? What do they really, desperately want, what is their goal ?  What gets in their way of achieving it?  (Or if they want to stay just as the are, what is tearing them out of their comford zone, forcing them to react?)   What do they fear, or not want?  If there is conflict, what is it about? How can the audience know this just from the pictures they see?  

Bravo for avoided the easy way out where they tell us in dialogue, so body language is going to have to do a lot of the heavy lifting.  Tone of voice can help a bit, even without actual words, but before you even put sound on, can we tell from their actions what is going on?  If so, sound fx and music will reinforce it and make it even stronger.  Imagine you are trying to through a cat  out of an airplane (wearing a parachute, so settle down RSPCA, I'm trying to save it's life ok?), and it clings to the seat, then your arm, then leaves deep scratches on the door frame, it expresses a very strong desire to remain in that airplane, which anyone can read.  Maybe a bit more Looney Tunes/Tex Avery than you had in mind, but I'm sure you get the idea.

Now I better go try to apply some of that to my own animation, it's always easier to give advice than take it!  

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