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

Your Jam must start and end with the camera lens obscured. Example: your character is super close to the camera, (the first frame can be black or in shadow, etc) then your character quickly pulls away, continue with your performance and then to close, your character kicks toward the camera, covering the lens. This is just a simple example, I am sure you can think of something much more clever! Just make sure your start and end frame both cover up the lens. This will help when I edit all the Jams together.  

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 JULY 10, 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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  • Here’s an example of how to approach the transition in your Jam. The action doesn’t need to be battle-related, but the transitions will work in the same way, with your character/prop/set piece filling the screen at the start and end of your Jam.
  • So many ideas so little time. Must keep simple must keep simple! I have never had a camera move in a shot so maybe I can work that in this time.
  • Great choice of theme! Just one problem... how to keep it simple? So many possibilities...
  • Excited!
  • Great!
  • 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.
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