BEOCHAN Stop Motion Ireland

An exciting piece of stop motion news ! – Beochan Stop Motion Ireland located in the Connemara in West Ireland is a brand new stop motion animation studio. The new Beochan stop motion studio employs 40 staff in the region. It was set up by TELEGAEL to produce the second series of Igam Ogam which was then distributed to Channel 5 (UK), S4C (Wales), TG4 (Ireland) plus many more international channels. This series was completed in 2013 by Bechan Stop Motion Ireland, is aimed at toddlers and has been shortlisted for Best Animation at The Celtic Media Festival, which takes place in April 2014. Igam Ogam stars a cave girl and her pet dinosaur Doggie and friends Roly Monkey, Triple Tog, the sabre toothed tiger, Big Daddy the T-Rex and Birdie the Pterodactyl. Stop Motion Ireland is also involved in a number of other stop motion projects including Morten (a family adventure feature film), Shaggy Dog Stories (26/11 min TV mini-series) among others. The studio is 6,000 sq ft, there is also a workshop, construction workshop and many other areas. The animation is created using Avid Edit Studio, Dragon DMX, for lighting, and AfterFX. Post-picture and post-sound production facilities are then completed via the Emmy award-winning Telegael in Spiddal, Co. Galway. The entire project from making props to animating is made at the stop motion Ireland studio by a talented team of hard working animators. The team currently includes 6 animators, 2 junior animators, puppet makers, set builders and many other people with extensive portfolios. Ben Halliwell is the director at Beochan Stop Motion Ireland and […]

Stop Motion – A Creative way to animate!

Stop motion animation is probably one of the easiest and most fun ways to bring alive an inanimate object and can really produce some stunning effects. Whether you are a novice or a beginner the art of learning and creating with stop motion animation is endless. By using stop motion your imagination is the only limit. Have you ever drawn on the corner of a book and drawn slightly different pictures on each page and then flicked the pages producing what looks like a moving man or face or whatever you draw? Well it is the same principal. Stop motion animation has been used for decades in the film and TV industry; in fact one of the first examples of stop motion was in the 1890s and called the humpty dumpty circus, by Albert E. Smith and J. Stuart Blackton. Of course things have now advanced in terms of technology and the final result, but the mechanics and principles remain the same and they are so simple to replicate. Star wars films used stop motion animation with the storm troopers and Disney has had much success with it. Other famous characters and films using this technique include the famous Wallace and Gromit. Stop motion animation is basically taking a snapshot of the object, (whether it be a picture or frame) then moving it slightly and then taking another snapshot and continue doing this as many times as you want or need to, then just run all the snapshots together and watch your object come to life and move before your very eyes. Once you get the hang of it you can have some real fun […]

Stop Motion in Film

Stop motion owes a lot to the pioneers such as Willis O’Brien. But there are many others who worked very hard on Stop motion in the early years. One such unsung hero is Phil Tippett. I came across an interview with him done by the discovery channel back in the 70’s. I have transcribed the Phil Tippet interview here for your studies. Phil Tippett here talking about the time required in Stop Motion: You can’t have any distractions, any noise. You can’t be talking to anybody. You have to really concentrate on all of various joints. If you were shooting 150 frame shot which is about 6 seconds long, that could take sometimes 6, 7, 8, 10, 12 hours depending upon how complicated the scene was. Narrator: Stop Motion animator, Phil Tippett, has brought some of Hollywood’s most unusual characters to life. For the Coneheads, he created Garthok, a six legged monster that Conehead Dan Aykroyd has little chance of defeating. Stop Motion animation is the technique of photographing miniature puppets in a series of still frames. When projected at the standard film speed of 24 frames per second, a phenomenon known as persistence of vision takes over, making the puppet appear to move fluidly. For the animator, it is an intensive process. The puppet’s body and limbs are moved in very small increments and then a single frame of film is exposed to record the image. With absolute concentration to ensure that all the joints are moving in the desired direction with the desired momentum, the animator repeats the process for each frame. That […]

Timmy Time – From Aardman

Stop Motion Software became my passion when I first set eyes on Wallace and Gromit and later Shaun the Sheep. Aardman have been inspirational both in their creative spirit and imagination in the art of stop motion animation. I came across a nice report from the National Trust charity in the UK recently. Here is a transcript of the article. ( All rights to the BBC & National Trust Charity-UK) Tim Muffett:      Very few companies are considered a national treasure. Many feel Aardman is precisely that, from Morph to Wallace and Gromit, from Peter Gabriel’s groundbreaking video for Sledgehammer to Shaun the Sheep. Aardman has made them all. Now, Aardman’s latest production is actually a spin-off series. So, just as the American comedy Frasier was a spin-off from Cheers, and Grange Hill was such a big hit, they made Tucker’s Luck, not such a good example of that one. So Shaun the Sheep has been such a big hit, it’s now time for Timmy Time. It is Aardman’s first show for preschoolers, children aged between 2 and 5. Speaker 2:           I wanted Timmy to be in a very bright, colourful stylized world because I think when you’re a preschooler and you go to nursery, it’s a really fun, exciting time, it’s the first time you leave home, and I wanted, as you just see, the sets to be fun and I wanted kids to want to jump into the TV and be there with Timmy.   Tim Muffett:      Like all Aardman productions, Timmy Time uses stop motion animation, you move the character take a picture, move the character take another picture. Just as animator Garrett is doing for our camera now.   Garrett:  Move the ears down this time perhaps.   Tim Muffett: […]

Stop Motion competition Announced by Bricksinmotion

Stop Motion Brickfilms Webmaster Philip Heinrich recently announced a very cool stop motion animation competition. As far as I can make out it is being run by Jared B. Gilbert aka LegoGod, a moderator on Bricksinmotion. I have copied his text here to help out in advertising the competition. Make sure to enter.! The stop motion competition is titled “BricksinMotion 2012 – Kitchen Sink” Here are the details. As an animator you have probably thrown out perfectly good ideas so that a single, cohesive film can be made. There never seems to be room for a killer robot named Larry or a dog that eats bricks. These cool ideas that pop into your head halfway through filming might burn you out, slow down the process and make you stop animating altogether because your film can NEVER keep up with your imaginings. If your scripts are a bunch of cross outs and ink-rimmed holes, this might be the contest for you. What if you didn’t have to throw your ideas out? I know you’re thinking the film would become bloated and unwatchable while the laughter and hate from online posters would send you running. But that’s where the INTERACTIVE video comes in to save your butt. You can animate all of those cool ideas and “what-ifs” and allow the viewer to make their own film. What comes next is a unique experience and an entertaining one at that. THEME: If you have heard the phrase “everything but the kitchen sink” in your lifetime you know that it refers to a large amount of something. Well, this contest offers you the kitchen sink (which is everything) and asks you: “What are you going to do with it?” Entrants will be required to make an […]

Stop Motion Software epic! – Battle of the Brick

Using Stop Motion Software , lego bricks , and a Canon DSLR plus the usual hundreds of hours of animation KooberzStudios aka Alex Kobbs has created an epic Brickfilm called Battle of The Brick. Over 230,000 views since he uploaded it to Youtube in November 2011 Alex has proven his brickfilm was worth the effort. Based on Halo and the capture the flag, Alex has captured the fun in the well known Microsoft Game. Alex Kobbs, is a professional animator and brickfilmer. He graduated from Fitchburg State College’s MA in the US. He followed a well regarded film program at Fitchburg. Alex migrated to stop motion animation back in 2007. His Lego Wii short entitled Lego Wii Some Assembly Required, posted back in June 2007 has had 5.5 million views as of the current date. It was was his entry for the Nintendo Shortcuts Showcase contest. Kobbs’ next youtube hit was the aforementioned Lego Zanzibar model (a scale model of a multi-player level from the Halo 2 computer game). Again the stop motion movie became one of the most popular videos amongst HALO fans,  even making an appearance  on major game-news sites Kotaku.com and earning a spot on the Halo 3 Legendary Edition DVD. On his Battle of the Brick video Alex, in some scenes prefers to create his  special fx using a more “arts and crafts” type approach. Rather than using post production explosions and muzzle flashes etc, once he has captured his still using his stop motion software ..Alex puts in cotton wool , scraps of painted paper etc to achieve quite a convincing effect. His epic stop motion is […]

Animation Genius – Nick Park Interview

I came across a nice interview with Nick Park about; what was at the time the upcoming release of “A Matter of Loaf and Death”.  Another classic stop motion animation by Nick destined for the animation hall of fame. I have transcribed the interview for you to browse here. It is from the BBC Culture Show transmitted on the 5 of December 2010. I could not make out some of the words in the interview so bare with me…they may be left blank. “Interviewer: Welcome to the show Nick. Nick: Ah, great to be here. Interviewer: For the audience and everyone in the studio can you give us a bit of insight about what it’s about? Nick: Well, it’s um, we thought we’d really write a kind of romance really. This time what’s original about it is it’s now a romance for the dogs as well – Gromit’s actually got a girlfriend as well. Interviewer: Wow, well actually, we’ve been joined by some of the cast. Nick: We have, yes. I: Can you introduce us? N: Yeah, well, you probably know these two guys – this is Wallace and Gromit. And this is Wallace’s new love interest Paealla Bakewell, but she also has a little pooch, the lovely Fluffels. Person Number 3: The thing that I loved about the Matter of Loaf and Death which has been, the case of all of the Wallace and Gromit stuff, it’s incredibly cinematic. You make these animations look like properly lived big screen films. N: Yeah, I mean, it was a new thing for us […]
By |June 21st, 2011|Nick Park|0 Comments

Robot Chicken – how it all started..!

Strictly for adults ,robot chicken is one of the funniest examples of irreverent stop motion animation on the planet. I watched a very informative interview by Kevin Rose of G4TV with Douglas Goldstein and Tom Root, Head Writers for Robot Chicken, a stop-motion show from Adult Swim on Cartoon Network. I have transcribed some of the interview here for your reference. Interview Copyright of G4TV “Kevin: Now stay tuned because when we come back we’ll have an exclusive look at Robot Chicken with the head writers Douglas Goldstein and Tom Root. Robot Chicken is the newest member of the Cartoon Network’s adult swim cult series. It uses stop motion animation and well, as you can see toys. It’s full of random pop culture digs and is one of the funniest things that we’ve all seen in a while. In the studio today we are proud to have the head writers of Robot Chicken; Douglas Goldstein and Tom Root. Hey guys! Tom: Hey Douglas: Hey Kevin: Thanks for coming on the show, I have to say I’ve watched all the clips and they were hilarious! Awesome stuff, where did you guys come up with the idea? Take me from the beginning, how did you put this all together? Douglas: Well, a long time ago, Tom and I worked for a magazine company that produced many general entertainment things about toys and comics and Seth Green was a huge fan and he asked all of us, Tom and I and executive producer Matt Seritch […]
By |August 28th, 2010|Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Making of Cletus Clay Stop Motion Game !

I found a very interesting computer game under development called “Cletus Cay” that uses our favorite form of animation – stop motion. It’s a very unique approach to gaming using stop motion in this way. The lead artist and designer of Cletus Clay gives some excellent insight in to how this stop motion method was designed in to the game using clay ( Claymation) characters and set props. I have reproduced his interview below from YouTube. The InterView – Behind the Scenes – The Making of Cletus Clay Hi, I am Anthony Flack. I am the lead artist and designer of Cletus Clay. Why are you making a game out of clay? I started out making regular stop motion, animation for TV video. When I started making games, it seemed a good way to make sprite games. It was a good method that I had for making 2D sprites. But what we’re doing now is quite lot more complicated than that. And it has become more about the challenge of how close can we get to create a convincing illusion of the stop motion animation, as opposed to using conventional CG methods. I think the in building the models by hand and photographing them in a way that captures the little idiosyncrasies of the model. It gives the whole look of the thing, an intimacy I guess, that people respond to like they respond to a handmade thing. What is the process? So, this is the process that we go through in order to create our models […]

Animation – Despicable Me!

Refreshingly we have a studio that is bold enough to make a super villain the lead character in a film, especially an animation for children. Let me introduce you the the very excellent new animation in 3D of course  “Despicable Me”. This is a ploy that plays on the notion that children are more fascinated with the villain in a film than they are a goody two shoes superhero. “Despicable Me” is the first but will not even be the last animated film this year to place a super villain in the lead. Later this year Will Ferrell will voice headline another evil-doer story, “Megamind.” But to call these characters really is a farce when you get down to it. In “Despicable Me” Steve Carrell voices Gru who has the physicality of a James Bond villain from the Sean Connery era but seems to be as threatening as a kitten when it comes to personality. To further humanize Gru three orphan girls are placed in his care as part of an evil scheme. The interaction between Gru Margot, Edith and Agnes achieves this in terms of character and is also satisfying in terms of entertainment. That being said, however, Gru’s minions are what every kid, and even most of the parents, will be talking about after they see this film. I would say that they are what everyone will be quoting but they speak their own sped up minion language that is difficult to understand, let alone translate. But you do not have to understand the minions to get the full effect. Think three stooges, only there are hundreds of […]