Early Creations

Below are the practice stages of the 2D stop motion process.

Steps:

Basic cut out

  • A basic template was used for the body
  • Cut out of the different parts
  • Parts were joined with thread
  • Once all parts were joined, the body was flattened out with weight
  • White background was used
  • iPhone camera was stationary to take the pictures
  • The paper doll was moved slightly for each shot
  • iMovie software was used

Results:

  • Approximately 20 shots were taken to make about 3 seconds of film
  • Each clip had a duration of 0.2 seconds

Videos:

Trial 1:

  • 23 pictures with a duration of 0.2 seconds
  • Goal: Paper doll was to swing arm while still, tilt head up & down then begin walking forward

Trial 2:

  • 19 pictures with a duration of 0.2 seconds
  • Goal: Have paper doll walk diagonally out of frame while swinging arm

Amendments for future:

  • Use wire to bond the parts
  • May need thicker paper for silhouettes
  • Parts
    • a movable neck is not necessary
    • Legs: need thigh & calfs
    • Forearm is needed
  • Need professional camera with stand
  • Sufficient lighting needed for foreground and background light

Artists’ Styles: Tone & Mood

Lotte Reiniger

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  • a German filmmaker who produced lush, elaborate scenes using stop-motion with excruciatingly detailed silhouette cut-outs. Even more impressive was the duration of her films—which qualify as features—made ten years before Disney’s Snow White, which is generally recognized as the first animated feature film
  • Made the first fully animated feature in history which is also the first feature-length silhouette film in 1926, The Adventures of Prince Achmed
  • Reiniger transcended the flatness of silhouette animation by pioneering the multi-plane Tricktisch (trick table), in which layers of glass are inserted into a table so that images with layers and depth can be shot through the table’s central hole
  • Inspiration: Reiniger’s cut-out style was inspired by Chinese silhouette puppetry
  • Method:
    • If a figure needed to make some complex or supple movement, it would have to be built from 25 or 50 separate pieces, then joined together with fine lead wire
    • If a character needed to appear in close-up, a separate, larger model of the head and shoulders would have to be built–as well, possibly, as larger background details to stand behind it
    • Reiniger cut out exquisitely detailed character silhouettes, joined their limbs with thread or wire to make the puppets movable, then positioned them on the surface of a light box and photographed each frame individually, stopping between frames to move each figure a few millimeters more with her hands
  • Documentary “The Art of Lotte Reiniger
  • Video examples of her work:

Sources:

Fritz Lang

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  • a German-Austrian filmmaker, screenwriter and occasional film producer and actor
  • film noir
  • “dark visionary whose meditations on human loneliness where punctuated by a stark visual style and an obsessive work ethic”
  • created cinematic nightmares as well: crafting terrifying frescoes and mad (but sometimes all too true) visions of a world of crime and war
  • made a number of acclaimed silent and talkie films
    • “Metropolis” (1927)
    • “M” (1931)
  • ultra-noir hues of high-style black and white cinematography

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Source:

Edward Gorey

  • American writer and artist noted for his illustrated books
  • Style: pen-and-ink drawings often depict vaguely unsettling narrative scenes in Victorian and Edwardian settings

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Source: http://valfre.com/blogs/blog/13986205-idol-edward-gorey

Time Burton

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  • After studying at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), he worked as an animator at the Walt Disney Studios before breaking out on his own. Taking inspiration from popular culture, fairy tales and traditions of the gothic, Burton has reinvented Hollywood genre filmmaking as an expression of a personal vision
  • “I always felt much more connected to creatures than, say, people”

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  • “stitching was always a very symbolic thing for me. A feeling very much schizophrenic or compartmentalized, or falling apart or not together…symbolic or meaningful”

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  • On humor & horror: “it’s always such a head on collision of comedy and tragedy in light and dark. In most good dramas there’s a perversely funny element to it, usually as well. They’ve always been more connected than not”
  • On colors: “The color blue I find is the most calming to me…Red is a good emotional release…it’s a strong quick emotional color”

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  • Inspiration:
    • “What I really responded to in movies was German Expressionism…with the shadows and the light and dark…like Friz Lang…those old films that really captured a spirit and feeling of like being in a dream scape or inside of somebody’s mind
    • Examples: The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories (1988)

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Sources: http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/2009/timburton/index.php

Exploring other mediums:

Limbo

Elements:

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  • black-and-white tones (monochromatic color: colors (tints, tones, and shades) of a single hue)
  • using lighting
  • film grain effects
  • minimalistic
  • minimal ambient sounds to create an eerie atmosphere often associated with the horror genre
  • Dark presentation: describing the work as comparable to film noir and German Expressionism