SCI-FI is the theme for STOPMO JAM 4! We're breaking out the X Files: Aliens! Spaceships! Robots!

So what is a STOPMO JAM?

It is a series of short animated ideas that all relate to the theme. We've done Spring, Run and Halloween thus far. This time, it's Sci Fi!

Puppets can be made of clay, paper, foam, wire, sand, whichever materials you can utilize to create your design but it must be stop motion animated. Sorry no LEGOs, action figures, toys, or store bought items are allowed UNLESS it is modified (painted, covered with paper or clay, etc). The goal is to make a hand-made experimental film. Stop motion puppets, 2d cutouts, sand, painting, pixelation*, all hand-made animation techniques allowed.

*animating your hand interacting with a puppet is ok

IMPORTANT: Your Jam must start and end with the camera lens obscured. See this similar idea here in this VIDEO from LAIKA (but it doesn't have to be characters fighting). You just need to cover the camera lens at the start and at the end of your shot. This will help when I edit all the Jams together.  

Once you are completely finished with your Jam, upload it to online storage such as Google Drive, Dropbox or WeTransfer and send the link to my INBOX.

If you have any questions, post them below.




Important Technical Requirements!

For your Jam to look its best, please adhere to these guidelines.

Shot Length: up to 20 seconds maximum

Frame Rate: 24 fps (not 23.96 or 30 or 29.97....24 please!) 

Aspect Ratio: 16:9 @ 1920 x 1080

Finished Animation: export to Quicktime (H264 is good)

Add your own Sound FX and/or music. Make sure you have the rights to it. Better yet, record your own! 

DEADLINE is now August 21, 2022. This may seem like a long ways away but for stop motion people, it's just around the corner. Remember, you have to build and animate everything yourself. You could easily spend months just building a puppet. Start thinking of your idea first, once you have nailed it down, get to work. If you have any questions, send me a message thru or better yet, reply to this thread. Content must be ok for kids to watch.* I reserve the right not to include your animation if it doesn't fit into these guidelines. Ok go make something!

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  • Oweee wow Anthony, I only just seen the news of Jam 4, exciting.. I will try to do something, but like Nick, I'm also starting my course beginning of Feb, so that has to be first priority now, but I'm definitely interested, how can I not, I've done everyone so far, I like the theme!!
  • This will be my first attempt at animating and shooting straight on with the camera, previous jams were all using downshooting. So glad we have 6 months I am sure I will need all of that time, looking forward to the challenge, so many possibilities with this jam theme.
    • Looking forward to seeing what you cook up!
  • Thanks - now I get that the jam is more like the bombers used in tv programs between shift of interview and contents. And that I and some others want to go further than that, eventually might ruin the concept. I'll keep that in mind !! But it's not really what I want to do, I feel compelled to do my best and make some kind of showoff and prove myself. That's what I found intriguing but that may be better off in some other kind of collaboration. Tell me what you think, and what could be done. I like this place as a platform for this kind of exercises it really makes me going, having no other place to discuss and develope. Maybe I should join some online schooling to get more feedback in the process, if such a thing exists for stopmotion. An online open workshop environment, how to make that work?! Would anyone here like to attend such a place?
    • I will aim for 15 seconds or less, but now if I feel like cutting that tight would damage the shot, I can allow a few more frames. Re online schooling - Justin Raasch is offering online classes in animation, with the class tailored to the level of each student. They take place over 12 weeks. I'm planning on taking one, starting February 2, to try to improve on some weak areas in my animation. It is expensive though, so you need to be serious about it. You may have seen some of his He-Man action figure animation, or his amazing claymation werewolf transformation, or some time-lapse footage of him animating on Laika's Kubo and the Two Strings.
    • I think I saw every single upload on his youtube page :) Nice family involved work relations, wonder if shelly gives cooking classes :) When I first saw the clip with the he-man steed jumping into the scene and walk out superior slow and arrogant, I recognized the movement from my horses and was sure it had to have been rotoscoped. I'm not sure if he got offended but he assured me it was not his way of work. :)
      I might jump in on that depending the price tag and the hours needed. Where do I find the info about the class? can't find it on FB YT or

      strange when I pasted the blogspot link it pasted this stop motion mission thing from the blog outside the dialog box as well
      Stop MOTION Mission
      This is a Online Diary commenting on the daily do of making a short animated StopMotion Film.
  • WOOOHOOO!! So jazzed!! Too funny, had Earth vs the Flying Saucers on the toob last night, sober and tinkering. Oh man, this is going to be so fun! Thank you!!
    • Glad you are excited about the theme. I think we'll get some awesome Jams!
  • I had hoped for an ekstra five sec. Found that even when stripping a scene down to the very basic I ended up having to cut frames off all natural poses. I found the time given to short for the effort of any emotional acting or drama. And with all the work you have to put into it, you should be given the time to make a scene work as you want. I'm sure that it wouldn't scare of any viewers. I even think that commercial slots are measured in 20 sec airtime. Just a thought !!
    I love the theme - but it's really hard not to think of superimposed live action implementation. 🤣
    • Yeah ok, I’ll add an ‘up to 20 seconds’ option. Remember, the goal is to keep it simple.
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STOPMO JAM 4 Behind the Scenes!

Post your behind the scenes photos here. I took a couple of snaps from the Robot Dance Title sequence. I made the puppet out of Sculpey and Armature wire in about a week. Animation took 5 days and Rig removal took about the same. It was very last minute as I was extended on Pinocchio by 6 weeks which cut into my time a bit, but I got 'er done! Please feel free to post your pics and share your experience.

Read more…
41 Replies · Reply by Steve Copeland Dec 22, 2022

15 Weeks Left to finish your Stopmo Jam

It's been a little quiet, so I thought I'd check in to see how everyone's progress is going? Need more time or is July 10 still doeable? I am in the final weeks of Animation on Wendell and Wild, so I haven't had time to work on mine, although I usually do the Titles. Anyway, let me know how it's going or if you have any questions.

Read more…
24 Replies · Reply by Emily Myers Jun 9, 2022