Monday, September 19, 2022

Stop Motion video

Of late I have been trying my hand at Stop Motion animation and found it very interesting and challenging. This morning I saw this crocheted Unicorn that wifey just completed and was wondering "how can I animate this?"
I almost gave up the idea when I found that the tail was touching the ground and that gave me the idea of how to make the tail swing.
I have been using the toys and items used by my grandchild and every item has a potential of being in the stop motion video. For example this auto rickshaw can go very well with the lego toys.
One of the soft drinks that comes in the tetra pack is another item that you can play with. If the drink was in a darker colour like red or orange, the visual appeal would have been greater. To make it more appealing I stuck Mr Buster moon on the backdrop.
I wanted some heavy weight that would go into the M&M's container (so that it would not shift its position every time I rotated it). After searching high and low in the house, I found my cylindrical power bank which fitted perfectly in it.
Keeping the object back in its original position is very critical and that was a tough call for me to snip off a section of the tetra pack and keep it back after every shot.
The usual practice for any movie is to write the story line and then animate accordingly. But for me I keep changing the story as I shoot. For example this station master was waving the green flag as the engine was approaching but as the engine passed him, his flag fell down.
As I had fixed the flag delicately with a toothpick in his hand, I was in no position to refix it, as the slightest disturbance to any of the items in the scene would require reshooting the whole story from start. So I changed the story wherein he goes to his cabin to get a new flag.
Another example of changing the story was that I overlooked the blue bowl on the left side of the screen while making the M&M's video. So I included it at the end of the story by adding it in the right side of the frame.
Shooting a stop motion video is easy and any one can do it provided you have the patience. (yes patience is the key word) You don't need any high end camera. It can be captured even with your mobile camera and with the help of the light from a reading lamp.

Some basic tips:

All non moving parts should be fixed/taped down. If using a mobile camera, keep it on Airplane mode and the Auto lock to 'Never'

Adding the right sound effects makes a lot of difference, like the steam engine approaching or the popping sound of the lid of the M&Ms container.

I used the Stop Motion App to make these videos I have not used any props / armature for these videos and plan to proceed this way. It is the idea that matters.