This is the final version of the film I made with my group for the Pixilation project.
Dragonframe is stop-motion software. It was used for ParaNorman, The BoxTrolls and Disney’s Frankenweenie.
Notes for using dragonframe.
-Create new scene
-Capture- videos setting- scale to 1920×1080 – RGB 24.
Cinematography and focus the camera.
onion skin: opacity down and frames up
Motion trails: use pencil and draw an arc where he is going to move (select- red- thick) increment editor – choose frames per second – start slow and end faster to give illusion of speeding up. (two curve tools with extra points in the middle to create pacing and guidelines)
Press Enter to take the a picture/ frame.
If you need to delete a frame you can do it on the exposure sheet (to the left) and the frames will organise themselves.
Export image sequence – format PNG – change the name – and the exposure – four digits – choose location – export.
Charles Huettner is a freelance artist and animator who lives in Pennsylvania, USA. He is part of the Late Night Work Club which is a collection of indie animators who do independent, non-commercial work. Its basically an excuse for awesome animators to come together and make personal, experimental or even vital animation that just needs to be made!
Love love love love love! This is an amazing piece and has a really strong story which is told really effectively. I really like the style of the animation and how it looks and feels in general.
Black Forest is the life-cycle of a little blob guy and could be looped infinitely. I really like the character design and the sound and look all work really well to create a bit of unease, the audience is not sure what’s going to happen to this guy when he is created, but he is super cute and interesting.
Another super cool loop aniamtion called Hallucinator about a bird and its life-cycle.
Link for Late Night Work Club peeps: http://latenightworkclub.com/?page_id=10
Link for his website: http://charleshuettner.tumblr.com/
I have been looking at various animations as inspiration for ‘found object’ animation, this post is all about that.
York Found Object Animation – This is a 30 second animation using found objects, the wires make up the tree and the colourful stones are the leaves, the wind is simulated by some white material and by moving the objects around. This animation uses the ground as the background, so this is probably not what we are going to do for ours, as we intend to build a set for our animation. The animation is simple, and so is the story, probably too simple for me as all that happens is the leaves are blown around and off the tree. It shows that they can animate something, but its not funny or anything really, and i think we could probably do a little more with 30 seconds really.
Stop Motion Found Object Animation – This is a 21 second animatin of a bird made out of scissors and other found objects. Like the last animation it doesn’t tell much of a story, the bird just keeps dipping its beak into the water.
PES is a great example of using found objects for animation. So here are a load of them that i watched for inspiration, they are really cool but dont use a lot of toys as characters or anything, which is more what we will be doing.
Western Spagetti by PES
Washington State Lottery by PES – An advert made by PES for television.
Coinstar by PES
Scrabble by PES – Uses some toys to represent the words used in the scrabble game. Really cool little 34 second animation telling a story about scrabble using found objects.
We are going to be designing our own sets for this project, so i have decided to have a look at some existing sets used for various animations and post some cool reference pictures here.
Things to think about: Props for the set, which will dress the set. Lighting, and consistent lighting. What will house the set, will it be portable, will that be a problem? Continuation issues, so making sure we are ready to film and have everything organised and ready.
Sets from ‘Fantastic Mr Fox’
Set from ‘Paranorman’
Sets from ‘A Town called Panic’
I really like the use of painted skies in all their exterior sets.
Various other sets:
Various ideas for things to use and styles for sets and things:
A reminder that anything can be used to make the set if you use your imagination.
A simple snowy set.
Really cool paper set, the background sky is a very simple one colour so as to not distract from the colourful mountain set and presumably the characters when they are animated.
A cute little forest set with paper grass and a simple background.
I really like the way this set looks, the whiteness and cleanness of the lines may not work for all stories, but it definitely gives it a really unique and stylistic feel to the whole set.
For this set they have also painted a background, to make it appear as though the forest goes deeper and further than it does to create more realism and depth to the animation.
Project 2 – Elimination
Using found objects and in groups we have been tasked with creating a 30 second stop-motion animation which tells a story using the three act structure of how two objects eliminate the third. I am in a group with James Hodgkinson and Max Jacobs.
Stop-motion is the animation technique of moving objects frame by frame to create the illusion of movement, often in stop motion animations puppets which are designed to move and emote are used, but we will be using found objects, which limits us to what we can actually do, but it also informs the kind of story we will come up with.
‘A Town called Panic’ is a movie that perfectly represents the style of found object animation that we will be trying to achieve for this project.
“I told you we should have bought him a hat!” -Cowboy
The zaniness of the style matches the zaniness of the story in A Town called Panic, which goes from silly to ridiculous but keeps you entertained throughout. We will only be making a 30 second film, but I cant help but think if you took some 30 second snippets out of this film you would actually be able to tell some pretty hilarious little stories.
The Cravendale advertisements use a similar style to very similar effect, with using found objects and comedy. In fact adverts are normally around 30 seconds and have to tell a story of sorts which people remember because the company wants their product to be associated with a good/funny commercial.
Robot Chicken is a stop-motion animated TV show which uses some found objects in the form of action figures and toys. The animators use mouths and eyebrows drawn on paper and stuck onto the figures to create the illusion that they are talking and to form simple emotions on their face.
The story for this project features three characters, Two of which are trying to get rid or eliminate the third.
#1 A band of three friends, (a drummer, rhythm guitarists and lead guitar and vocals), two of which want to get rid of the third. Could be comical with the music, maybe the third guy only wants to do songs about butts, and the other two just cant take it anymore!
#2 Three climbers are climbing a mountain. Then they fall because of an avalanche (or something) and are suspended by their guide ropes over the edge of a big cliff. Then the guy at the top wants the guy in the middle to cut the guy on the bottom off the rope so they can get back to safety and finish climbing to the top of the mountain. I imagine the explorer guy trying to convince his loyal but kind sidekick to cut the rope and save themselves. Maybe when the rope is cut the joke is that the third guy doesn’t fall far and is fine!
#3 Two characters must escort a third to be sacrificed to the Halloween Pumpkin!
#4 Some naughty characters try to lure another to his death, but ultimately fail every time, maybe even resulting in them ending up in a very precarious position at the end of the story.
#5 Story using food as the found objects (maybe with googly eyes or something) who all try to not be the one chosen to be eaten. Until one is finally eaten by a giant hand from the sky to much rejoicing, and right at the end the characters all become suspicious of each other again. (so they end up back at square one and the cycle continues).
This is a variation on idea #2 about the climbers. We spoke about it as a group and went over a few different versions of this idea about characters being suspended by ropes together end making the tough choice to cut the rope. This is a rough animation of that idea:
I know that two characters are eliminated in this version, and the brief asks for two to eliminate a third, but I think that this works well and the whole joke is that the character ends up cutting the wrong part of the rope and being eliminated, when had he done it right he would have been fine.
I like the joke in this idea. The fact that in this tense dramatic life-or-death situation this character can make such a silly mistake and the other characters reaction to that mistake. The silence and stillness at the end of the film after the rope is cut and the last guy is left standing at the top alone holding the rope is supposed to starkly contrast the previous drama and also really punch home how big of a mistake that was. Then it cuts away. If anything the audience should then reflect on their own lives and how completely quickly life can be taken away. But I’m hoping that the audience will see the joke and feel for the guy who is left all alone at the top, and for the moron who just sealed his own fate, and actually also the poor mule who’s fault the whole mess was in the first place!