What is the stop motion technique?

motion technique

Regarding animation, we can say that there are different techniques that have different applications, and one of them is the stop motion technique.

This form of animationis a technique that has become very popular in recent years, and has been promoted in a very powerful way by very famous films, such asFantastic Mr. Fox or The Nightmare Before Christmas,by Tim Burton, or series likeWallace and Gromit. But what is stop motion? What does it consist of? We show it to you.

what is stop motion

Stop motion is ananimation and video technique that is characterized by the video recording of images, which arestill, which,recorded one after another, give thesensationthat in realitya single moving image is being recorded.

Basically, thisway of animatinguses still photos of objects or models without animation, and they are placed together in such a way thatplaying them all at high speed gives a great sense of movement.

If we take the examples cited above, the scenes in which the characters participateare created frame by frame, and the designers move each model inch by inch in ways that can simulate movement, lines of dialogue and facial expressions.

Although the work ofmaking stop motion movies can be tedious and expensive, the resulting pieces are easy to create and execute as part of a video strategy.

But let’s see a little more aboutstop motionand its origins, about how it works and what are the most suitable ways to use it.

History of Stop Motion

Actually stop motion is not a sought after video technique.It was born, so to speak,by chance and by accident. In 1896, during a filming with a camera of the movement of carriages and people in Paris, specifically in the Place de la Ópera. During the recording,the shutter stoppedand instead of recording normally, what the camera recorded were scenes in which the images that would appear in them changed one by another. The result gave theimpression that the people and carriages in the video were changing into each otheras if by magic. The recording was made by George Mèliés, who, upon seeing it, also gave it the name that the technique has today. Although then it was also known as stop action.

After a few days, Mèliés tried to makeother stop motion recordings, this time on purpose. He managed to magically turn a man into a woman in images, and make objects suddenly disappear on screen as if by magic. With this he obtained a quite remarkable success.

It didn’t take long for stop motion to make it to the big screen. The first times it was used wasby directors Stuart Blackton and Albert Smith. As early as 1897 they used it to animate the toys and other elements of the movie Humpty Dumpy Circus.

From then on, stop motion began to evolve, until this type of three-dimensional animation tooktwo paths. On the one hand, there isits European branch, whichled to the shooting of films for childrenand others by independent artists. On the other,the Hollywood traditionof stop motion, which on many occasions is hardly appreciated. Despite this,it is used numerous times in long films, known as feature films, in special effects.

This type of animation includestwo types of technique: the one that is carried outwith puppets and dolls, andthe one that uses objects and artifacts. The first usesarticulated dolls, orscenes in which some dolls are exchanged for others. They are made of different solid materials that are animated in many cases by means of a metal-based structure to move it and, if necessary, also to support it.

For several decades of the last century,puppet animationhas beenassociated with various countries in the area of ​​Eastern Europe. However, it wasGeorge Mélièshimself who already used it in his films at the beginning of the 20th century. He was also used by a Spaniard, Chomón y Ruiz, one of the pioneers of cinema at the beginning of the last century.

As for animation in Hollywood, towards the middle of the 20th century its greatest exponent wasGeorge Pal.He is credited with creating and improving the substitution technique. He came up with it when he was in charge of designing and using several hundred parts just for the expression and movements of the characters in various Paramount movies.

Pal was later a producer of science fiction films in Hollywood, and came to work with animations of this type in the famous1953 War of the Worlds. From then until now, puppet animation has gained much popularity in America as well, thanks to animators such asHenry Selick. Thus, they have appeared in titles such as James and the Giant Peach (1996) and, more recently, inTim Burton’s Corpse Bride (2005).

How to make a stop motion?

Thanks to the advent of portable devices such as tablets and smartphones,creating stop motion is no longer limited almost exclusively to film studios. It canbe done with a mobile device on which you have aspecific app installed to create this type of video, and with all kinds of elements with which to create the scenes for stop motion.

For example, withplasticine. With this paste you can make models of the characters that will appear in the video and record each scene and change the position of the characters to record the next action of the video.

You can also usepuppets, which takes less time because you don’t have to create personal ones. All you have to do is move them in front of the camera and make them perform the action you want at all times. In the event that you use articulated dolls, you will have to change their posture for each frame.

You can also generate stop motion from photographs of successive movements of people. To make it easier for you, and more realistic, if you have a suitable camera, you cancapture them with what is known as burst shooting. Unlike time lapse, in which the frames that make up the video are taken consecutively and with a fixed time between each image,in stop motion the photos are taken when the way the camera wants. It doesn’t matter how much time passes between shots. For each one you have to prepare the scene you are going to photograph, and so on.

As for the app you need for stop motion, you can use one calledLifelapse. It has all the options and functions you need to achieve it. In a short space of time, if you have decided on the scenes and the changes to be made, you will have the stop motion ready.If you want to prevent the image from vibratingor having strange and sudden movements,nothing better than using a tripod.

What is the name of stop motion with people?

In a stop motion video not only characters created with plasticine or dolls appear. This video technique can also be used with videos featuring people. Only then it has a specific name.

Indeed, creating stop motion videos featuring people is known aspixilation. It consists oftaking photos of a completely still person,with a posture for each frame. The result will make the person or people seen in the video look like puppets, due to their movements.

Tools to make a stop motion

As we have just seen with Lifelapse, there are various tools that you can use for the creation of a stop motion. They are the following:

Stop Motion Studio

Althoughavailable only for iOS, this tool allows the generation of stop motion videos even in HD. Lets you import images that you have already taken or extract them from a camera connected to the phone. It has all kinds of effects and allows the adjustment of the frame rate. Is free.

jelly cam

Another free application, but in this casefor a Windows or Mac OS X computer. It allows you to take photos with a webcam or integrate others that you have stored on the disk into the video. It even allows you to add a soundtrack in MP3 format.

Stop Frame Animator

It is a tool thatdoes not require installationand that you canaccess with a web browser, since it is in the cloud. When you have it on the screen, simply drag and drop the objects that are in your library onto it. Of course, it is a tool that, although it is free, is quite basic, which does not make it suitable for professional stop motion videos.

How can we use stop motion?

In recent years we have seen how stop motion videos have left the screen tobe applied to marketing campaigns. Ads and shorts that make great use of the stop motion technique. This is because the shorter pieces make using it more functional and cost-effective.

While professionals use everything from clay figures and miniature models to puppets and even robots, you’ll usually need something simpler. One of the most useful and versatile formsof stop motionthat you can use in your own videos is to create an animation of your product or service.

Incorporating real characters is a great way to do stop motion.

Using people to make a video of these characteristics is a technique that is widely used. It is enough to use, for example, a simple background, with clouds and blue andincorporate a real character.In this way, you can simulate that it is flying or plummeting.

In this case, the shots are taken from above, while the background is below. This allows the person to move from side to side and simulate flight while passing over the bottom.

If this style of video works for you, this could be a good type of stop motion video to make. However,it takes time to create and move the backgrounds around the actorsto simulate movement through space.

Combine visual effects with stop motion

This technique is a bit more complicated, and you will probably need more complex technical means than for the previous technique.

It is about adding a person within an environment created with stop motion, adding irregular movements to himself,as if he were animated using more frames.

This type of video will likely incorporate some visual effects as well, which increases the production value and cost of the video. However, it is a great creative resource. In a business format, using stop motion can help you stand out from the crowd, but because it’s such a specific option,you need to make sure it fits the message you want to send.

A world of options at your disposal

The videos created with the stop motion technique are pieces that can be applied to the sector you want. They allow you to create the most suitable content for you, whatever it is, thanks to their versatility.

About Kushal Enugula

I’m a Digital marketing enthusiast with more than 6 years of experience in SEO. I’ve worked with various industries and helped them in achieving top ranking for their focused keywords. The proven results are through quality back-linking and on page factors.

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