ICM 504: Module 3 Project - Stop Motion

ICM 504: Module 3 Project - Stop Motion


After doing some reading and researching on the subjects of animated storytelling and stop-motion animations for Stop-Motion I, we were tasked with the following:

  • Come up with 2 different stop-motion animation ideas: one linear, one non-linear.
  • Completely fill out the Pre-Production Summary Template provided by Professor Golden.
  • Create a short "test" animation using stop-motion techniques.

The Storyboards

Linear Story Structure - Techical Distraction

For the linear story structure, I took some inspiration from PES' Game Over stop-motion animation. I've come to find that, over the years, being tech-savvy has been my both biggest advantage/talent in life and my biggest downfall. Since technology is so easy to use nowadays, and we're constantly surrounded by it in various forms, it becomes hard to get away from—and hard to stay away from. I chose to use the mouse as the "protagonist" because one's computer mouse is the vessel of transportation through the Internet and one's computer—a computer without a mouse or trackpad is as good as useless.
The biggest problem I foresee with this project is time—since this one is 16 "beats" long, this project could end up having upwards of 192-384+ frames. I'll probably stick with 12fps since I enjoyed the look it gave with my Test Animation, and also because I don't know if I'll mentally be able to do the acrobatics of filming/shooting this project over the course of an entire week. Considering I use my desk/mouse/tablet/desktop on an hourly basis, I know I want to try and film this over the course of a single day.

Linear Story Structure - Escape...

For the non-linear story structure, I thought it would be interesting to take a "stay-at-home-vacation" on-screen; I first thought of doing a fashion-show similar to DEV's music video that I posted, but the idea of a "green-screen" background behind me came to mind instead. Sometimes I get bored of browsing the Internet, or I'll even get burnt out if I draw too much in a day (they always say too much of one thing can be a bad thing), and I haven't gone on vacation in years. So I decided to project myself to various scenic spots instead. But how could I go on vacation to all these places for this project while still seated in my chair? That's when I thought of using a remote—to change the background "channel". Given that one can't actually travel physically to faraway places via remote, I wanted to shatter the illusionary dreamscape by cutting to me waking back up in my chair, in my original setting. Happy, fluffy endings tend to bore me, and I find interest in the realistic (I'm not a pessimist, I'm  a realist)—so I decided that the ending shot would be me shrugging in a defeated, but accepting, manner. Sometimes life sucks, but we move on nonetheless.
The biggest challenge I forsee with this project is getting my boyfriend to help me—I have the utmost faith and trust in him, but he is by no means artistically or photographically inclined... (I still love him more than anything, though ❤)

The Test Animation

Eyeshadow Sequence

Given that this was my first attempt at stop-motion, I'm not terribly upset over the result. However, I definitely know for next time to block out all natural light—I really wanted that beautiful bright blue overlay that you get from natural light (to emphasize the beauty makeup brings out, as opposed to the ugly, harsh, stagnant yellow light from incandescent bulbs... I hate incandescent bulbs, and I look terrible under them). Although I shot this animation all at once, and in a "relatively" short amount of time, you can definitely see the brightness from the outside light dim and brighten. I also realized that masking doesn't solve everything—I cropped this video because I had included a tape measure, for my own purposes, to make sure that I had kept the eyeshadow containers in a relatively straight line the entire way through the animation. Using a frozen mask image like in a Cinemagraph didn't work, and using the "Spot Healing Brush" yielded different results that varied from shot to shot.
The output is obviously fun to watch because it's something I can proudly say I created...but I definitely wouldn't call this my favorite art form.

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