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Hypercinema Week 6: Stop-Motion Animation

This week we created a very short animation using StopMotionStudio and Photoshop. I worked with Lindsey Sun and Isaiah Bayas to create a small animation of a football player being getting hit by a ping pong ball. The overall goal was to play with several different techniques of creating an animation using different tools.


The idea was to combine 2D animation with stop-motion photography of real objects however we ran out of time at the end of the day and had to settle for a static image.


We didn't have a green screen, so we decided to shoot the video on a ping pong table in order to make it easier to cut the background out. We shot the original animation using StopMotionStudio, but I personally found it a bit difficult to use. We ended up shooting the frames in StopMotionStudio, then bringing the raw images in photoshop for their final processing.



As it turns out, this was still quite difficult in photoshop to remove the background and we ended up doing much of it by hand.



With the background and string removed, we ended up with frames that look like the image above.


After that we added in a background to achieve the final animation:



It's rather silly but we wanted to create something with objects that we had on hand and not think too hard conceptually so that we had more time to play with the tools and get an understanding for how it all works.


Takeaways


- We didn't plan the sequence out very well and had trouble initially figuring out how we wanted the helmet and ball to react after we knocked the figure over. But as you can see it's a bit choppy at the end and we had to superimpose the helmet on the figure due to continuity issues with the frames themselves, which dampened the comedic timing at the end of the day.


- We had trouble getting the camera to be steady as I pressed the button to shoot a new frame. This led to the images not aligning with each other in the animation and required me to manually go through each image to make sure that the images align. Next time we definitely need a more stable camera than my soft iPad case


Every single frame in our animation in one document. I did this to align the images to make sure there was no vertical jitter between each frame


- We should have shot on a continuous green screen for easy matting. Unfortunately that table was not good enough and we had to manually extract the objects from the scene, which took a long time and didn't give us the best results.