Thursday, 6 December 2012

Stop Motion Animation Formats

Stop Motion Animation Formats


Clay animation is probably one of the most frequent uses of animation, it has been seen within many television programs, advertisements and films such as Wallace and Gromit. The way that Claymation works is by making clay sculptures and gradually taking photos of them to create the motion An example of this within an advertisement would be an advert for Obamas campaign for president. The advert contains all of his plans for the US for example a clay model of a hospital rises up then lowers down after it says "Quality, affordable healthcare for everyone" The possible target audience for this advertisement was probably the American voters during the campaign time. This advert was made using the typical stop motion method by taking a photo each time the clay model is changed very gradually to create motion. The possible reason for this being Claymation all the way through the advert is because it makes this campaign that Obama is running seem quite fun and exciting, it has not used real footage filmed of him explaining his terms. The next example shall give a personal opinion on our account with using clay in a practice animation. 

Another example of a claymation television show is Pingu, this was a claymation television show that was aimed at young children. This show was created by using stop motion claymation. This is similar to the Obama campaign advert, whereby clay models are made and to generate motion they are changed slightly in each shot that is taken. For example in the picture below, one of the characters could pick something up on the table and eat it, this would be done by gradually changing the movements of the characters arms and taking a shot of each stage. I feel the reason for this entire program being shot with Stop motion Claymation is because it makes the show much more enjoyable for children, also the other option for a show like this would be drawn animation. However stop motion claymation is really an advancement of drawn animation. We have also tested this format of animation ourselves and found that it was rather easy to generate the idea of motion especially with the idea we had to test, we found with using round clay you can create an easy motion of movement. As the image above shows, however similarly to the format below which i shall later explain, it is also very time consuming and has to be professional and carefully done because of clay being a very delicate material it is very easy to dent with your fingers. In our groups opinion we feel that we shall not be using this format of animation for our final piece, the reason for this is because we do not feel that it is safe enough to be doing it in stages (which our group shall do) As the clay can be altered very easily by someone.

Paper Animation

An example of paper cut-out animation would be the television program South Park, this show is aimed towards young adults. This technique is used in order to generate flat characters, backgrounds and props. However in the present day South Park is created using computer animation. Stop motion animation was initially used for this programs as it was because it was cheap and easy to make. Also most of the comedy from this show actually comes from the voice overs of the characters. The characters don't have to do anything technical in terms of their bodies moving. We have tested out this format of animation and have found that it was rather difficult to generate motion without showing rubber markings on the paper that was drawn. Our group do not feel that this will be the chosen animation format to use for a our final piece for the Crisis charity.

Lego animation 

Another good example of stop motion animation would be Lego adverts. Lego is another great material or prop used in order to generate stop motion animation. These adverts are generally aimed towards young children who like to play with Lego. The way that these adverts are made is using a technique similar to the claymation, whereby making a model or a sculpture, and then changing it ever so slightly to create motion. These lego adverts are generally created in order to sell their products, however the way that they promote their products within adverts is well done seeing as they only use their own lego and stop motion animation, I feel that this is used purely because it makes the children want the product even more as it show what it can do. So sometimes animation isn't always just made for entertainment purposes, it can be used in order to promote a company's product. Our groups own personal experience with this format of animation we feel that this is our favorite format to use of animation, the reason for this is because it is very basic to do, to create motion it is very easy as the character can stand themselves up. There are also lots of props to use that are also lego and depending on what our idea is for the final project in animation these could prove themselves very helpful. The image above shows our experience of lego animation we enjoyed how was it was to generate movement of the character and car and especially how easy it was to generate good continuity shots throughout the practice animation and not any bad continuity.

Whiteboard animation

Next, another example of another stop motion animation format would be a whiteboard animation, an example of it being shown within advertising would be a Blackberry advert where the piece is predominantly done all on a whiteboard. In my opinion I feel that this one of the more creative ways of generating an animation, however I also feel it is very hard to do especially if the animation is going to be over a span of days, you would have to make sure that the work done on the day must be documented at each step or photo, and the last drawing done on the whiteboard must be kept safe in order to pickup where you have left off otherwise you may face things such as continuity errors in the animation piece. The way this animation format works is by drawing with a whiteboard marker an image or images and gradually changing them each time a shot has been taken of it to generate the idea of movement. The example below shows the hands pull in the keyboard slowly and start to type, the creator would have drawn small pieces of the keyboard into the shot slowly and taken a shot of each time it had changed.

Sand/Tea animation 

Lastly Sand and Tea animation is in my eyes the most creative and innovative way to create an animation, there is an example below of a woman showing her skill of sand and tea animation and it proves to show how creative you can be with this format of animation. However in our groups eyes, when testing this animation format, it was likely to be our most disliked format. Our reasons for this is because it is even more delicate that doing a clay piece. Sand/tea must be extremely carefully moved when generating an animation especially for our project. The slightest bit of air could displace sections of the sand or tea, which would be extremely stressful and time consuming no matter how far into it you are. Our experience with this format was very poor and we strongly disliked it due to its delicateness and its very time consuming, which means it would most likely need to be created over a 2 day period and unfortunately there wouldn't be a way for us  to save our progress with this format. This image below shows an extremely professionally done sand animation, the image shows just how creative you can be with sand animation.


  1. Stop Motion Animation Formats: PASS
    You have described different techniques in stop motion animation using appropriate terminology.
    For MERIT:
    You must explain all stop motion formats (including sand, whiteboard etc). You must use examples from your own animations to fully explain the different formats.

  2. Distinction:
    You have comprehensively explained all stop motion animation techniques