[ANI] A1: Loop-D-Loop Animation, or Wow, We Respect Animators Even More Now (like x1000)

Assignment

Loop-De-Loop: Shoot a stop motion animation that tells a short looping story in 30 seconds or less. Be prepared to present in class 2. 

Brainstorming

My partner Sammy and I met up on Friday to discuss and share our individual vision, expectations, and wants. I wanted to do something human and Sammy introduced the idea of making a mini-set, which I loved. The talk of a mini-set grew into a talk about Henry David Thoreau, an American writer, philosopher, and transcendentalist, who is largely known for his book Walden and his essay “Civil Disobedience”. The book is a collection of his thoughts and observations during his time away from society, and the essay is what inspired Gandhi and MLK Jr. on their path to non-violent resistance against oppressive governments. I heavily suggest reading into Thoreau because he is more “woke” than most these days, including myself. This way we got to our idea of having a peaceful day by the shore and reading the aforementioned Walden.

Process

  • First the set had to be made. We found a laptop cooling pad on the junk shelf, we put some paper over it and attached a wooden frame to make it look like a stage.
The stage frame!
  • Next, we needed a background and our characters for the stage. I was painting the background with some watercolors we got, and Sammy was making the characters out of wires as well as designing the stage with moss as grass and miniature trees.
  • And after a few meetings, it was pretty much all done and ready for the shoot!
The set!
  • I was keen on aiming for 24 frames per second, and as our assignment asked us to make it 30 seconds or less, we figured we would need around 720 frames.
  • As we are not experts on stop motion, we were liberal with how many shots we would take for an action. I wouldn’t say that we went randomly at it, we decided to make about 2-3 shots. Largely we followed this structure, although sometimes we purposefully let some actions “sit” for a few more shots. Sometimes it was also a time saving approach.
  • We started our shoot at about 10-11 pm and finished by 4 am.
  • Finally, after the export of the video we stabilized it in Adobe Premiere Pro.

The final result: Walden

Ideally, we want to include sounds and character sounds. Nevertheless, we hope you enjoy:

no sound
this one with sound
Walden at 12.5 fps

It does loop as a gif, but the red is absent for some reason. It’s a very big uncompressed gif. Please download it from here.

Compressed version is here!

Conclusion

Loop-de-loop stop motion animations are not an easy feat, but they are quite enjoyable to make. It was rather fantastic working with Sammy. His creative input and serious-yet-tranquil approach to our collaborative project impressed me and allowed me to have my own agency in this project.

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