Stop motion animation is generally regarded as having been abandoned as a serious special effect in the early 90's around the time CG was being ushered in by Jurassic Park. Filmmakers like Henry Selick, Tim Burton, and the lovely folks at Aardman and Laika have allowed stop motion to survive as a medium, however every film from Chicken Run to Kubo uses stop motion in a highly stylized, cartoonish manner. 
For the past many months I've been writing a horror-fantasy film in which an army of undead nazis comes into our world and wreaks havoc. The tone of the film will, I hope, successfully walk the line between horror comedy films like Return of the Living Dead and Evil Dead II and more somber coming of age stories like It and Stranger Things. I plan on filming in a "neo-expressionist" style similar to Edward Scissorhands, while incorporating vibrant symbolist imagery like that in Bram Stoker's Dracula. 
Most of the undead nazis will be cable control puppets and guys in zombie makeup. There are a few scenes however where I would like to use stop motion animation rather than CG/VFX. The stop motion will be used alongside live action characters and cut with full size sets. 
My question is whether or not stop motion can be used these days to successfully bring to life a realistic character.  

Views: 342

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

sure it can and check out Peter Montgomery's Dark earth

info here

  https://www.facebook.com/stopmotionworks/?hc_ref=ARSoBrsR0j2zKuIges...

It's an interesting topic. 

I used to do some effects for television a long time ago, not stopmotion though. Things like a baby in an incubator breathing. I found that easing in and out of the rise and fall was essential to making it realistic - so I achieved this by using a balloon in the puppet's chest and operating a squeeze bulb from under the table! (This was the 1990s!)

What I am trying to say is that all those subtle little movements, accelerations and decelerations etc., are what make something believable. Some people after my time made a mechanical table for a baby, and it looked hideous, all jerky and just wrong.

You would presumably also only use stopmo if the effect you are after just can't be done any other way. Real-time puppetry has to a whole lot easier and quicker.

I would be using it mainly for a sequence where the protagonists go into a dreamworld/underworld where things are a little more stylized like in old German silent films. There would be various zombies and soldiers in gas masks. I'm hopng it will appear dreamlike and sinister rather than lame. Don't get me wrong, I love stop motion, it's my passion, but I don't want to turn off my potential audience by being too arcane or cerebral. 

The second sequence would be a distance shot where a tree strangles the undead guys with its roots and branches. Closeup shots would be cut in using cable control branches and such.  

Simon Tytherleigh said:

It's an interesting topic. 

I used to do some effects for television a long time ago, not stopmotion though. Things like a baby in an incubator breathing. I found that easing in and out of the rise and fall was essential to making it realistic - so I achieved this by using a balloon in the puppet's chest and operating a squeeze bulb from under the table! (This was the 1990s!)

What I am trying to say is that all those subtle little movements, accelerations and decelerations etc., are what make something believable. Some people after my time made a mechanical table for a baby, and it looked hideous, all jerky and just wrong.

You would presumably also only use stopmo if the effect you are after just can't be done any other way. Real-time puppetry has to a whole lot easier and quicker.

Sounds to me like an excellent opportunity for some stopmo effects, especially as you mention a dreamworld, where anything goes. You can also use effects and lighting to make the stopmo stuff look as real as possible, so sinister and not lame... Go for it!

I think I really will go for a dark stop motion look. I've just made an important decision regarding what the setting is for this sequence. I've decided on dark, claustrophobic city streets with long shadows. 

Simon Tytherleigh said:

Sounds to me like an excellent opportunity for some stopmo effects, especially as you mention a dreamworld, where anything goes. You can also use effects and lighting to make the stopmo stuff look as real as possible, so sinister and not lame... Go for it!

That's great. Choices like that will help enormously.

I'm your guy... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOiYpOqY4_g

I've created realistic special effects for a number of indie films and am always interested in doing more. I'm in collaboration on another short film for an indie producer/director right now.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

MESSAGE BOARD CATEGORIES

STOPMO NEWBIES
basic stopmo discussion

ANIMATOR TALK
experienced animators looking to improve

CAMERA & STAGE
animation camera, lighting and moco rigs

ANIMATION TOOLS & EQUIPMENT
animation tool and rigging discussion

STOP MOTION & COMPUTERS
frame capture, editing, and post-production

STORY
script, storyboarding and storyreel discussion

SOUND
lip-sync, sound effects and music

YOUR STOPMO FILM PROJECT
discuss your stopmo film

ARMATURES
ball & socket and wire armature discussion

MACHINE SHOP
metalwork tool & talk

SCULPTING
sculpture information and advice

HAIR & COSTUME
materials, patterns and technique

CASTING
foam, silicone and resin

CLAY
clay puppet construction

GENERAL PUPPET MAKING
other puppet fabrication issues

STOP MOTION SETS
set design and construction information

MODEL DEPARTMENT
miniature prop discussion

MATTE PAINTINGS
glass matte paintings and backgrounds

GENERAL SPECIAL EFFECTS

STOP MOTION FILM DISCUSSION

FAVORITE STOP MOTION CHARACTERS

PRO ANIMATOR DISCUSSION

FILM FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

ANIMATION SCHOOLS

STOP MOTION BOOKS

STOP MOTION ON VIDEO

JOBS & PROJECTS
post here if you are looking for talent to hire

SWAP MEET
stop motion items for sale

CHAT BOARD
general discussion

SITE FEEDBACK
report bugs, comments and suggestions here

Latest Activity

StopmoNick replied to First City Films's discussion I've Tried Everything - Flickering Issues...
"Flicker Free type software works pretty well if it is an overall change in brightness with all…"
11 minutes ago
Marty Wood updated their profile
27 minutes ago
First City Films replied to First City Films's discussion I've Tried Everything - Flickering Issues...
"I appreciate your reply. I built all the light rigs myself based on a Roger Dekins model, but I…"
2 hours ago
Simon Tytherleigh replied to First City Films's discussion I've Tried Everything - Flickering Issues...
"Have you dimmed your LED lights? They work on PWM, which basically turns them off and on so quickly…"
5 hours ago

the inventor

© 2020   Created by Anthony Scott.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

.xg_widget_forum_index_index .xg_column.xg_span-7.xg_last {display:none;} .xg_widget_forum_topic_listForCategory .xg_column.xg_span-7.xg_last {display:none;} .xg_widget_forum_topic_show .xg_column.xg_span-7.xg_last {display:none;}