Stop Motion Swans a clever stop motion animation made by PES for “CitizenM Hotel” in Times Square New York is very entertaining. Created by PES of PESFilm uses his signature style of bringing common everyday objects to life. In this case two swans feature as the romantically involved lovers made from hotel bathroom towels dance on a double bed to soothing music only to be devoured by a shark. The shock factor used to denote the new and unique tag line for the advertiser of “cutting back on the unnecessary trimmings but retaining some more essentials at a affordable price”. PES says this unconventional commercial is one of his favorite stop motions to date. Judging by his 326,552 subscribers on YouTube I would say PES has plenty who agree that his stop motion swans animation is well worth the work he has done once again.
INGLEWOOD, CA-JANUARY 30, 2013: PES, the animator of the Oscar-nominated short, “Fresh Guacamole”, is photographed at his studio in Inglewood on January 30, 2013. (Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times) Los Angeles Times
citizenM – “Swan Song”
Directed by PES
Agency: KesselsKramer London & Los Angeles
Creative Team: Frank Anselmo, PES, KesselsKramer
Agency Producer: Amy Jadine van der Veer
Co-produced by PES Film/Stoopid Buddy Stoodios/RESET
Director of Photography: Helder K. Sun
Animated by Dillon Markey
Production Designer: Almitra Corey
Fabrication/Production Studio: Stoopid Buddy Stoodios
Sound Design by PES
Exec Producer: Sarah Phelps
Supervising Producer: Janet Dimon
Producers: Ethan Marak, Scott Pourroy
You’ve heard of pigs in space but have you seen Pigs in Stop Motion ? Farmsanctuary.org have created a nice stop motion using paper dolls of people and a pig playing a computer game. It’s an quaint concept and nicely executing in stop motion.
The resulting animation was published on March 25th , 2014 on Youtube. My daughter is a vegetarian and she stumbled across this video. However I must say while I enjoyed the pigs in stop motion animation it certainly will not convince me to give my bacon!
The two images below show how the paper dolls were cut out and used to create three dimensional characters. It must have been tricky to handle such delicate dolls when animating. The images on the right is more traditional showing a three sided set with sofa , window door and so forth. Nice work.
Discover just how smart pigs are. This engaging new spot for Farm Sanctuary illustrates pigs’ intelligence. Watch and see for yourself. For more information about pig behavior, emotion and intelligence, visit http://www.farmsanctuary.org/learn/so….
Director: Melanie Mandl
Copywriter: Jean Rhode
Copywriter: Kelly Beck-Byrnes
Executive Creative Director: Jason Wulfsohn
Director of Strategy: Ben Tiernan
Junior Art Director: Belinda Sumali
Voice Over Talent: Amanda Philipson
Color Correction: David Smith
VO Recording: Sonicpool Post Production
Production Design: Melanie Mandl
Set Decorator: Zarouhi Mazmanyan
Character Design:Melanie Mandl, Robbie Mehring
Model Makers: Zarouhi Mazmanyan, Henry Kamp
Lighting Designer: Mark Mervis
Animated by: Melanie Mandl
“Farm Runner” video game designed by: Henry Kamp
Compositing/ Rotoscoping: Henry Kamp
Mixed by: David Bach
Music Composed by: J. William Adkins
Special Thanks: Somewhere Something, All Sets, Brandon Fusco, Dean Styers, Keystone Art Space, Victoria Foraker, Tommi Zabrecky
What don’t you try animating some of your toy animals just like these pigs in stop motion ?
The Boxtrolls Stop Motion animation due out in September 2014 is based on Alan Snow’s “Here be Monsters”. From the producers of Paranorman and Coraline comes these wonderful new animation entirely made in Stop motion animation. The Boxtrolls stop motion will no doubt have a wide appeal for all ages. Adults will appreciate the intricate work involved in bringing the characters to life while children will readily engage in what are very interesting scenes and storyline.
This article gives you a glimpse behind the scenes of the The Boxtroll stop motion animation by looking at the making of the dolls and sets and more. The dolls use the well known armature shown below as a base for the structure of the characters. The armature is covered in clay as shown above and sculpted meticulously to create the characters.
The Boxtrolls stop motion characters seem to be mostly animated using the replacement method. At least when they are expressing or talking as seen by the below image for the “Fish” character. All the mouth replacements are carefully stored in cardboard boxes waiting to be swapped in as required.
The image below then shows the various expressions created with the mouth replacements. This approach saves alot of time when animating but requires dozens of dolls and faces be made for each expression.
I am truly looking forward to the Boxtrolls stop motion movie when it comes out in September 2014.
Ever wondered How they made the LEGO Movie? The below video is I think the best description of how they went about making the LEGO Movie. I have transcribed the audio also so that you can understand how it was made step by step.
Emmet: What is happening?
Wyldstyle: You’re the special, and the prophecy states that you are the most important person in the universe. That’s you right?
Emmet: Uh, yes! That’s me
CG supervisor: So this is Emmet. We spent a long time working on Emmet being the lead character in this film. We went through quite a few different iterations on his hair, but we finally settled on this one. As you can see we try to be quite authentic with the actual Lego product itself. So, there is a lot detail put into the sticker work, the detail work, the mold lines, chips, chunks and scratches. We try to incorporate a lot of that. In fact, we put a lot of the mini figs underneath the microscope and have a good look at those details so we could actually get a lot of that fidelity into our models.
Editor: This represents the storyboard phase of the film. Basically, you do a rough pass of drawing the script by hand and it’s the first thing that we do when we’re testing out an idea. And after that , once it gets approved, it goes through a process, which is called layout, where you kind of roughly put the characters and the cameras into the scene. That’s pretty neat. And then after layout, once you’ve locked your cameras in your sets and your characters in, you get to animate it. And then at last after you’re done with the animation, the lighting and grading team comes in and they make it look really pretty and this is what that looks like.
Modelling Artist: Essentially all you are doing is importing the bricks and snapping them together just like real Lego. And also just like real Lego, the bricks will refuse connections that can’t be made in real life.
Lead Animator: Metal Beard is an interesting character for a number of reasons. Firstly he is so much bigger than all the other characters. He’s got a lot of cool accessories, which I have a lot of fun with. He’s got a shark on his arm. He’s got a canon on his other arm and it kinda plays into the fact that is slightly kind of unintentionally intimidating character.
Emmet: Good morning apartment! Good morning doorway! Good morning wall. Good morning ceiling. Good morning floor.
CG Supervisor: This is kinda the animation review format so obviously it doesn’t have any lighting or anything like that, but it does show kind of the face and it shows various bits and pieces.
Emmet: Oh here it is. Instructions to fit in, have everybody like you and always be happy. Step 1: breathe.
Does the basketball ever come off of the shelf?
So far no.
No, but it could
It has the ability
Do you want that to happen?
If things get crazy enough, it could happen.
Emmet: No. No. Nah-ah. No. Not that. Wrong. And that’s it. Check.
If you would like to make your own LEGO animation check out our stop motion software and tutorial pages.
Stop Motion Action
Have you seen an Epic LEGO brickfilm called “The Wild Crunch” by Jack Gerald Baeumler. If you are looking for stop motion action then you need go no further than this animation. Coming in at 37 minutes and 53 seconds long it is one of the longest stop motion action animations on YouTube. According to Gerald it took 9,274 photographs using his Canon 5D MII dslr camera. Additionally he has added 628 additional graphics images alongside some video footage where appropriate. He has used a whole raft of animation and editing software including Adobe Final cut pro 7.03, soundbooth, Illustrator, Digital Juice, Luca VFX , Videopilot, Kinemac , Smartsound, Photoshop and more. So this stop motion action animation is not a beginners endeavour by any means. Gerald is a German fully qualified film producer who likes to create LEGO animations on the side. The action is this animation is superb. Sound effects are used to great effect. Dialog is perfectly synchronized to minifgs. Atmospheric music and background sounds add to the feel and tension throughout. The storyline involves a bank robbery that is intercepted by SWAT. The result is a major battle of guns and firepower. Trucks , cars, helicoptors and buses are all used to bring the story to a climax of stop motion action madness. Muzzle flashes and lots of smoke, fire and flames litter the streets as the hero’s leave the final scene.
Gerald also gives us a view from behind the scenes in his “The Making of ..The Wild Crunch” on YouTube. Here you can see the sets , lighting , and camera he used to make the animation. Note the use of clamps throughout the various sets he used for his stop motion action movie. It’s worth noting if you are new to stop motion the absolute need for securing your set.
Their are various still images of the sets he used on his site ( see link above ) but here is just one to wet your appetite.
Stop Motion Sound Effects
The days of silent stop motion animation is over. Animation audiences will not be entertained by silent movies. So the need for well suited and effective stop motion sound effects are vital to any stop motion animation. iKITMovie includes 2,200 free stop motion sound effects right out of the box. It saves a lot of time by having all these sounds effects included in a readily accessible library within your stop motion application. It says time searching on the internet for the right sound. Or at least it is a very good starting point for your animation. Any sounds that are not readily available in the included library you can find online and can be easily added to the library with iKIT for immediate use and for use later at any time.
A very useful site is freesound.org a collaborative database of Creative commons Licensed sounds in various formats. Users contribute to the database of sounds for anyone to use as long as the sounds are not sold or used for profit. This is ideal for amateur stop motion animators and it is free. There are also good selection of music tracks and background music tracks on the site. The quality of the stop motion sound effects available on the site varies. Some are better than others to say the least. Search out the sounds that are at least 128kbps , stereo rather than mono. Those sounds will give you a better result for you animations.
When you start using stop motion sound effects it is important to note the length of the sounds sample. Normally you do not add the sound effect first and then create the animation. Thus if you sound is say 2 seconds long then you need to create an animation to match its length. Let’s say you are animating at 15 frames per second. Then you will need 30 frames ( still images ) in order to make up 2 seconds of animation. Then you are matching your 2 second sound effect to your 2 seconds of animation. So start animating today and track down those cool sound effects you will need to engage your audience.
Stop Motion War
There are a lot of really well made stop motion war animations out there on Youtube. Some are so well made they could be released professionally on TV. But there are also lots created using the old style plastic toy soldiers with low frame rates and so forth. The example below is just one those genre that I particularly find amusing. I have trawled the internet for a few of my favorites that use this approach. Animations with frames per second as low as 12 are still engaging because of the sounds effects , visual effects and storyline. Also an important element is humor. I think humor adds to the engaging element of the animation.
One approach that is commonly taken is to recreate a scene from a famous war movie. For example a scene from “Saving Private Ryan” called “Saving Plastic Ryan: Halftrack Cover!” epitomizes this approach. Created by “KingwoodStudios” this Stop motion war epic ( little humor ) uses plastic soldiers , toys and a portion of the soundtrack from Saving Private Ryan coupled with additional animation sound effects ( fx ) and visual effects. In fact Kingwood has created a number of scenes from that movie all using the plastic toy soldiers. By the way he uses iKITMovie and photoshop to create the stop motion war scenes.
Stop motion war is not only the reserve of world war II as can be seen with “Army Men: Viking Bloodlust: Part II also by Kingwood Studios. This wonderful animation ( again made with iKITMovie ) is shot at 15 FPS and was inspired by Braveheart , The Vikings, Ironclad , 300, Gladiator, Lord of the Rings and Spartacus according to the animator. There is a very cool “Trebuchet” used in this animation. I don’t know if it was made by Kingwood or purchased but I have never seen one used in any other animations online.
Stop Motion Tanks
A wonderful WWII action animation by Matthew Quinnell ( DF10 Productions ) of stop motion tanks depicting a scene from the infamous Battle of the Bulge. Matthew used a Canon 60 DSLR camera to take on the still shots. Editing was done using Adobe Premiere and Adobe After Effects and also Action Essentials 2. The result is really cool stop motion tanks battle with awesome special effects. Using 25 frames per second for the stop motion gives the animation a very smooth feel. As for the sets which must have taken weeks to build are all made with plaster of pairs and rubber moulds. The stop motion tanks themselves are all 1:72 scale. The model tanks look larger appearing almost 1:32 to be honest. But this has been achieved using well planned photographic angles and good set building techniques. I have a real passion for World war II tanks such as the Tiger and the Sherman firefly. The only slight let down in the animation is the fact that the tanks tracks do not move. This is a real pity but an obvious restriction of the models used by Matthew. Model tanks with moving tracks were probably alot more expensive or not available. Someone did suggest in the comments section to his video that he using blurring. This might be worth doing next time he releases such an animation.
Matthew released this animation on the 27th of January 2014 and has just under 800 views so far. The animation deserves hundreds of thousands of views by now given the quality and expertise demonstrated by his work. The Battle of the Bulge took place predominantly in Belgium, France and Luxembourg between December 16th 1944 and January 25th 1945. It was a major German offensive that ended in Allied victory. It was spearheaded by US troops but backed by British, French, Canadian and Belgium forces.
I would encourage everyone to view Matthews stop motion tanks animation and spread the word around. He deserves a few million views on this one.
A Stop Motion Game – A Rarity these days!
This is not something you don’t come across every day by any means. A musical interactive stop motion game created in black and white. Bet you didn’t see that one coming? The game is called Dominque Pamplemousse in “It’s all Over Once the Fat Lady Sings!”. Catchy title right? The title sets the tone for the animation and game. It’s very offbeat and purposefully obscure. The animation is primitive. The musical aspect has a random feel to it. Dialog is frequently sung with crude rhyme. It has the feel of not being thought through, but it obviously has been planned. I guess you could say it is being satirical. It’s described by the creator Deirdra Kiai as a detective adventure. Her sites tagline is “Videogame development from the margins”.
Not only does the gameplay seem like something from 20 plus years ago (think Leisure Suit Larry in the land of the lounge lizards ) but it is all in low resolution black and white. Despite this or perhaps because of it , Deirdra’s stop motion game has been nominated for four IGF Awards, “Excellence in Narrative”, Excellence in Audio, the Nuovo Award and the Seamus McNally Grand Prize. And good for her. It pays to be different. Game interaction is via flash popup message options, which you click on to choose the direction of the gameplay. It’s more of an interactive story than a game in that sense as the level of interaction is minimal.
Characters include Casey Byngham (the missing popstar), Prudence Van Dunng ( President and CEO of Van Dunng Records ), Devon Van Dunng, Ms Prendergast and Caseys Lawyer among others.
For those of you who have never played a stop motion game it might be worth the $4.99 you need to purchase it online at http://www.dominiquepamplemousse.com/.
“Stop Motion Ireland – Beochan” is the first dedicated animation studio purpose built for stop motion in Ireland. As far as I can make out in 2013, Telegael Productions have set up a dedicated stop motion studio in Casla, Connemara, Ireland. It’s main function is to produce the second series of “Igam Ogam” for Channel 5 ( UK ) , TG4 (Ireland ) and ZDF enterprises ( distributors). The new stop motion Ireland studio employs 40 staff in the region. The studio is involved in a number of stop motion projects including Morten (a family adventure feature film ), Shaggy Dog Stories ( 26 11 min TV mini series) among others.
The studio comprises of 1400 sq ft office space, 6,000 sq ft main studio, workshop, construction workshop and so forth. The animation is created using Dragon DMX , Avid Edit Studio and AfterFX compositing quite. All sets, props , sets and puppets are made at the stop motion Ireland studio. The team consists of a number of very talented and experienced stop motion animators. Director Ben Halliwell has worked on well known and loved animations such as Postman Pat, Fireman Sam and Frankenweenie. Heather Mills, Animation Line Producer/Production Manager with international project experience in traditional 2D, 3D CGI and stop-motion projects, both series and feature. Titles include the award winning* 3D(s) feature “Niko & The Way To The Stars” and the follow up: “Little Brother, Big Trouble” (*2 Cinekid Awards, 2 Jussi Awards, European Film Award, CIFEJ Award).
It’s heartening to see that stop motion animation is not only alive and well but thriving in Ireland ( the home of iKITMovie stop motion animation software ). We are very proud to see creativity flourishing in a beautiful part of Ireland and keeping 40 people employed in a wonderful art form. Long may they continue to grow and create. Best wishes to Beochan – Stop Motion Ireland.