ICM 504: Module 4 Project - Stop Motion II

ICM 504: Module 4 Project - Stop Motion II

The Project

After creating two storyboards for a linear and non‑linear stop‑motion animation story, and doing some more research on production techniques (specifically on sound/music and animated text), we were tasked with creating a full‑length (10-30sec, 60sec max) stop‑motion animation:

  • Come up with 2 different stop-motion animation ideas: one linear, one non-linear.
  • Film and complete a video for ONE of these ideas.
  • Add effective audio to your animation (possibly ambient audio for a sense of place; sound effects for realism; music for tone and feeling)
  • Use After Effects to add some animated text to your animation, specifically intro titles/ending credits.

The Storyboard

Linear Story Structure - Recap:

For the non-linear story structure, I thought it would be interesting to take a "stay-at-home-vacation" on-screen; 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.

Professor Golden had suggested that I could use a paper format with a cutout in place of my actual self, and I actually did start using a drawing technique called "rotoscoping" for the beginning sequence of me staring at my desktop. However, I had taken videos instead of still shots (since the format of rotoscoping is drawing over video shots), but I realized...not only were the video files a completely different size than the still shots, but I didn't really put much thought into the fact that I would have to draw over at least 120 stills...

Rotoscoping 1

I love drawing, but that would be enough to perhaps kill me. So I went with my initial idea: have my boyfriend sit at my tripod and just snap the shutter repeatedly.
It worked out pretty well, and ended up having some cool effects—the macro focus on the remote with the blurred depth of field was purely [admittedly] coincidental, but I really like the effect it had. Especially because it added to the transition so well! I pulled up the "dream sequence" stills in Photoshop and painstakingly erased the background from all of them to simulate having traveled to different places...If I ever have to do something like this again, I'll be investing in a green canvas or finding someplace that already has a greenscreen—that's for sure.

The Final Product

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