Stop Motion Animators

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 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 […]

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 […]

Stop Motion – Making of ..

A Danny Turner from SunnySideUpFilm youtube channel posted a very nice stop motion and a behind the scenes movie called “The adventure of Olga’s Story” on our forum today. I watched the behind the scenes documentary with great interest. I always love to see how stop motion animators create their movies. The approach they take , materials, sets etc. And the behind the scenes movie below. Great work Danny..oh and Olga..nice job 🙂

Stop Motion Music Videos

Coldplay just released (August 2nd 2009)  their new music video to their song “Strawberry Swing”. It uses some very cool stop motion animation. The stop motion features Chris Martin on a large blackboard floor with chalk drawings making up the scenes, backdrops and drawn characters. It was directed by a group of visual artists that go by the name “Shynola“. Originally formed in 1994 while at college in London (Gideon Baws, Chris Harding, Richard Kenworthy and Jason Groves), they have collaborated on a number of well known music videos. (Gideon Baws died due to Viral myocarditis on October 11th, 2008. He was 33.) Chris Martin spent a week in Los Angeles making the stop motion. The animators used a guide “pre-made” animation to recreate the scenes with Chris lying on a large blackended floor. The drawings are all sketched around Chris as he moves frame by frame inline with the Directors instruction as they use the premade animated version as a guide. Richard Kenworthy (Kenny) mentions in an interview on the Colplay site.. “we had pretty much all of the animation roughly blocked-out beforehand using computers. It was just a matter of taking one frame at a time with our grid for reference. Luckily, you only need to draw or rub out the bits that have moved since the last frame. We also had this cool portable monitor while filming, which showed you a live feed from the camera, blended with the previous take and our pre-vis.” The finished result of a lot of hard stop motion work […]

Claymation – Just plain funny

It really goes to show that the animation, be it stop motion brickfilms or claymation is secondary to the story. It’s just the method or technique to get across a good story. It’s never more true than in very simple claymation videos such as  Robert Benfer’s (aka KnoxsKorner ) collection of very very funny animations. Take for example the “Pancakes” claymation below… I’m a fan not necessarily because of his expertise at his claymation (although he is very good) but more for his sheer humour. Yes there is a common thread running through his videos. A bunch of clay guys getting in to trouble despite the fact that the danger is staring them in the face. Classic comedy. Forty six thousand plus subscribers agree he is a great comic who happens to use stop motion techiques. So here’s to you  Robert! ..may you get more subs..visit his channel here

Stop Motion Puppet – Recession Buster !

I came across a nicely described page on how to make a stop motion armature puppet recently by a guy called Kevin Forbes. It’s a real straight forward no nonsense how to tutorial on creating the puppet on a budget. He kindly agreed to allow me to reproduce some of his tips here. Thanks Kevin. Kevin used plastilina, some hardening clay for eyeballs and teeth, two tubes of plumbers epoxy, two spools of armature (aluminium) wire , some wooden dowels, a plank of wood, some nuts and bolts and some modelling /scupting tools. I like the way Kevin has laid everything out here ready to make is claymation puppet. Really well organised. The first step in the process is making the internal armature.  Kevin uses aluminium wire though he does not specify the gauge. ( Marc Spess sells this type fo wire on his Claymation Website )Normally you use annealed aluminum armature wire 16 or 18 gauge. But I am not sure what he has used here. Either way you begin by winding the wire on itself to form a double layer. Typically you sketch out the character size on a piece of A4 paper and match the stickman to that figure. Kevin shows us his sketch of the below with the stop motion armature completed.  Kevin hot glued the wire together from three double wrapped lengths. One for the legs, one for the body and one for the arms. He also wrapped and glued in a pair of nuts to use for tieing down the feet. There is an alternative this using tie downs and then […]

Some of My Favourite Stop Motion Brickfilms

Brickfilms website is home to hundreds if not thousands of stop motion animations made with LEGO® bricks. Nathan Wells is a longstanding member of that community and some of his brickfilms are held in very high regard by that community. I would echo that sentiment and have one paticular brickfilm he completed in early summer 2007 called Driven that is excellent.. Copyright Nathan Wells (One Brick Studios) The camera work, lighting, sound  all excellent ..well worth the 5 minutes to view. Nathan has moved over to BricksInMotion now because of the commercialisation of Brickfilms dot com website.   Then there one of the very first stop motion LEGO® animations called “Portal” by Lindsay Fleay. Lindsay created in Perth, Western Australia between the years of 1985 and 1989! Here is a link to the movie.. and website.. A very modern brickfilm from  Keshen (youtube name) Custard Productions called “Legolibrium 2”  The action sequence here is a stop motion take on the Matrix. Smooth movement..good effects and music etc.

Stop Motion Alive and Well

CGI has it’s place in animation ..thats a given. But stop motion animation still has its place also in media and entertainment. It’s alive and kicking everywhere. I stumbled upon a really good professional animator today called Kirsten Lepore. She’s based in the US (New Jersey). She graduated in 2007 from Maryland Institute College of Art with a BFA in Experimental Animation. “Sweet Dreams” from Kirsten Lepore on Vimeo. Its worth spending the 10 minutes or so to watch the above “Sweet Dreams” stop motion. The two things I like about Kirstens animations and this one in paticular are 1 – they are fresh and 2 – the sound. Fresh – the colors used, the imagery , the camera angles, the simplicity ..all perfect. The Sound – I am a real fan of good sound effects and appropriate mood music etc. In the example above Kirsten could not be more accurate. Perfect. We hobby animators could learn alot from Kirsten. Long live stop motion animation…