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A Brief History of Stop Motion Animation!

From SearchWarp by Dermy O Reilly!

Stop motion animation has been around for a long time, almost as long as traditional film-making. Originally stop motion involved animating objects which included the animated movement of any "non-drawn" objects such as toys, blocks or any rigid inanimate object you care to mention. This was quickly followed by cel animaiton. And then animators experimented with clay animation and puppet animation which is what you may be familiar with in Wallace and Gromit and so forth.

Some early examples of stop motion films and techniques can be seen in the "The Humpty Dumpty Circus" (1898) and in "Fun in a Bakery Shop" (1902). In 1907 "The Haunted Hotel" was a very successful movie with the cinema audience of the time. In 1912 one of the first clay animation movies using stop motion was released to great critical acclaim. It was called "Modeling Extraordinary" In 1916, the first woman animator, Helena Smith Dayton, began experimenting with clay stop motion. She released her first film in 1917, Romeo and Juliet. December of 1916, brought the first of Willie Hopkin's 54 episodes of "Miracles in Mud" to the big screen.

Some other notable Milestones in stop motion History

  • Edwin Porter directed "The Teddy Bears," one of the earliest stop-motion animation films. A short sequence of playing teddy bears, just over a minute in length, takes over 50 hours to animate.

  • Willis O'Brien's "The Lost World" included 49 prehistoric animals in stop-motion, which took a huge step in stop-motion history.

  • Willis O'Brien directed another film called "Mighty Joe Young", a well-known film in 1945, with the help of Ray Harryhausen, and stop-motion animator. Ray Harryhausen received the Gordon E. Sawyer Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for his technological contributions in 1991.

Stop-motion has changed dramatically since the early 20th century. In fact, stop-motion is rarely used anymore, only in children's TV shows do you see such effects, such as Gumby.

With the development of digital 3D animation, animating a 3D character in a film has become much easier and faster, which is favored by the industry. 3D animation allows unreal characters to seem to be alive.

To find out more and maybe how you can do some of your own stop motion animation we have lots of tutorials at








Dermy O Reilly - Copyright (c) 2007 All rights reserved.

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