WEEK ONE: STOP MOTION ANIMATION by Maya Pruitt

For our very first assignment in Animation, we were asked to make a stop motion video for a length of 30 seconds. For those who don’t know, stop motion is the very core of animation. It is the idea that still photos that change presented in rapid succession create motion. It is a painstakingly arduous method, but the results can be truly amazing!

I worked with NunTansrisakul.

Inspired by these chocolate eyeballs, we really focused on turning an inanimate object into a character and telling a story with a beginning middle and end.

IMG_2663.JPG

Here are some sketches of our ideation.

IMG_2661.JPG
IMG_2664.JPG

We settled on centralizing our story around the theme of a the morning routine - how humans wake up, stretch, meet people, take a shower, etc. BUT what would that be like for a chocolate eyeball? We decided that the life of a chocolate eyeball is to get up and prepare for its death: to become hot chocolate for us evil human overlords.

 Quick Storyboard

Quick Storyboard

We wanted to play with medium a little bit with this project. We wanted our character to have legs but didn’t necessarily want to physically build them. I thought drawing over the top of photographs would give it an added element and a true nod to traditional animation.

Here is a gif for proof of concept.

eyeball.gif

In preparation of our shoot, I painted the eyeballs just to give them a little more pop as well as devised the best strategy for how to shoot. We decided to do a top down view to more easily control the objects in the scene. We used a board to fake a table surface and even laid it flat when we wanted to change perspectives. The top down angle also made it easy to go overlay the images with drawing. I thought it was clever that we shot it this way because it gave us more control but still provides the illusion of a side view.

After drawing HUNDREDS of pairs of legs on these things, Nun expertly started piecing the images together in Premiere and editing the video. For us, sound was really crucial. We wanted to take mundane morning sounds like alarm clocks and yawns and put it in the context of this weird living eyeball. It creates a very familiar tone and suddenly this foreign object is relatable.

 Original (top) vs. Painted (bottom)

Original (top) vs. Painted (bottom)

 Set up

Set up

FINAL THOUGHTS:

We really paid attention to detail. Every sound effect was carefully chose. Even the title wiggles as per Nun’s request! We are proud of how it all came together. It’s amazing how transformative a bunch of photos and black lines can be. Of course there are always ways to improve or adjustments to be made, but we are pretty darn satisfied with this.

Enjoy!