Something Somewhere Sometime – Stop Motion Final Project

15 04 2010

It’s finally time!

My final stop motion video is completed, and it’s ready for its’ debut!

The music that goes along with the video is Something Somewhere Sometime by Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore.

Get ready for some adventure…and if you’re interested in seeing the ‘dark’,  I’m-going-crazy-talking-to-plasticine-worms side of stop motion animation, stick around for the bloopers at the end.


I chose to do a stop motion animation film because I became fascinated with it this semester while learning about digital storytelling.  Films like Her Morning Elegance and The Olympus Pen Story inspired me with their elegant beauty.  There is something unmatched about seeing every small motion a person or object makes.  I found it made me think harder about the films and pay closer attention.

I think stop motion would be a fantastic way to explore digital storytelling and the science of motion with students, even students of fairly young ages.  In this video, a ten year old boy adds his break dancing action figure using stop motion.  I learned a  lot about movement making this video.  It is certainly a challenge to think of everything in terms of isolated actions.

I won’t deny there weren’t frustrations along the way.  Making a stop motion film is a tedious process. Over 1500 pictures make up the 2.5 minute video I’m presenting, and little plasticine worms don’t always do exactly as you’d like all by themselves!

The process I used to make the film is perhaps a bit different.  Because I don’t have a well functioning camera, I used my video camera to take running film, in which I would step out of the frame, rearrange the scene, step out of the frame, rearrange the scene…etc (see the bloopers section), and then captured over 1500 still frames from the running film using FlipShare technology once the videos were uploaded to my computer.  I imported all of the photos into iMovie and set the pictures to appear for .03 seconds each.  I found iMovie really easy to use and it was a great way to put this stop motion together, especially because there are so many editing options.

Last week I ran into a standstill and could not get much filming done, but I was lucky to have some great help from my cousins Emily and Lauren, who (naturally) were naturals at this kinda stuff.  Thanks ladies!

To view other videos and steps in the process leading up to this final product, see the blog category Final Project.

Thanks for checking out my final project!  Let me know what you think!


Potato Famine/Failure – Stop Motion Update

30 03 2010

I thought it was pretty clever when my dad suggested that I make my stop motion video (for the final project) about Potato Famine, only in my video the characters would all be Potatoes…dealing with a food crisis.  I couldn’t help but go ahead with it!

I got the potatoes (making sure to have diversity of potato ages and skin colours).  I made some little outfits for the main family.  I constructed a ridiculous set with synthetic lawn pieces and green blankets…..and then I realized I hadn’t yet come up with a way to make the potatoes stand up, let alone stand well enough for me to reposition them every frame.

Mistake!  I tried nails to help the potatoes stand, but found them pretty finicky when the potatoes were ‘frolicking’ on my soft grassy set.  Can you see how this is turning into a gong show already?  It gets even better.  I attached clear thread to the tops of the heads of the smaller potatoes, so I could easily make them jump around.  Apparently ‘clear’ does not mean ‘invisible’ (who knew?) and thread=too wimpy to hold up jumping potatoes.  I could go on.  So the point it, I gave up on the Potato Famine stop motion pretty quickly.  Actually, the real point is, I learned a lot.  I am refining my technique and learning more and more about the finer details of motion in general each time I go through this process.  I’m on to plan B (or is it C?) and it’s going really well!  Tedious and time consuming, but too fun and neat to not put the work in.  Can’t wait to share it when it’s done!

Though I only completed the first little bit of the video and stopped, I though I may as well put it together to show my progression with stop motion.  Without further ado: Potato Famine Failure!

Socks in Love

25 03 2010

Ok.  I haven’t gotten much less lazy with the stop motion technique…but I have gotten a little less lazy.  I’m still moving the objects myself (aka they aren’t totally inanimate), but at least I didn’t ‘cheat’ this time and just film something already moving and then turn it into a bunch of snapshots.  Here is my first real deal stop motion (just another experiment), True Love:

…And here is a way better sock love story I found in stop motion, made by cilsong on You Tube.  They’re so gosh darn expressive!

Rogan Licks

25 03 2010

I am in the process (the long, tedious process!) of creating a stop motion video for my final project.  When I noticed that my FlipShare software for my Flip video camera allows me to take snapshots of very specific frames throughout a video, I thought I’d try to take a real video, and then collect several snapshots from it and turn those into a stop motion video.  Is this cheating in the stop motion world?  Probably. I won’t be doing my final project this way, because I want to make inanimate objects move, and they aren’t just going to get up and dance on their own!

Still, it was a neat experience for several reasons: to experiment with the amount of frames needed for just a few seconds of video (about 140 for this 12 second video), to experiment with using iMovie HD to create a stop motion, and to experiment with the various effects that can be added using iMovie HD.  Safe to say, an experimental project! It was also very neat to explore motion by looking at each individual frame in the video.  I think I wish I would have taken fewer snapshots from the one video, because the stop motion looks more like slow motion…a little ‘too’ smooth in this case.  I am getting a little nervous at the prospect of just how many pictures I am going to need to create my stop motion, but am ready to lunge FULLY into it this weekend and see how far I get.

Below are two versions of “Rogan Licks”, the first is without effects and the second contains a few too many…but hey, it’s an experiment, right?