Thursday, 10 May 2012


This lesson we had a brief presentation on how to use Stop Motion Pro V6.5, then were presented with plasticine and allowed to be 5 years old, creating our own strange plasticine creatures for our animations. We watched an episode of Trapdoor for inspiration, an old program that uses the media of claymation to make a series of shorts. I think their animation was done very well, and they used sound very much to their advantage. They did this by using voice acting and music / sfx to minimise the amount of movement necessary. Sadly we were just doing a brief skim-through of claymation, so I didn't have time to incorporate sound. Either way, we were working with our groups that we are in for the short story animation, so I was working with Ruby and Jess. Ruby made a little circular creature with long arms and a basketball hoop and ball, whereas Jess made a large blue monster with a wide body. I myself made a chihuahua-esque dog with a wire-jointed head and large eyes, along with a smaller blue counterpart dog that fits nicely on it's head. Making models without a clue how they are going to be used or how they will work together is always a risky move, but I find that in this nonsense type animation it was probably for the best, and it was in working out how they could work together that the plotline emerged. Perhaps being thrown in at the deep end of this type of thing is the best way to spark ideas and engage imagination. Ruby and Jess liked the idea of a ball game between their monsters, but I didn't think that this could incorporate my model very well, and I liked the idea of taking advantage of our workspace and using the computer (i've always been fond of the idea of the characters / monsters etc. coming out from the screen?), then I had the idea. I thought we could include both if it were to be the monsters playing the game, then a cut to the dog watching the screen, with the last frame of the ball-game animation full screen. (giving the effect that it is watching a tv show or film.) This is followed by the screen blacking out, sending the dog into a state of confusion, at which point the monsters appear from behind the computer ('coming out of the screen'), continuing their chase. At being left alone the dog's ears and tail droop (giving the sad effect with minimal movement), until baby-dog appears and climbs onto it's head, which makes the dog happy and it follows after the monsters. A simple idea, but an innovative insight into using claymation as a media for animation. I think we used it quite well, and if we weren't planning to do flash i'm sure we could have made a fun claymation. Sadly I think that, with the complex character design and vibrant colours / lines needed for our animation, flash is the only option. Despite this, this lesson was a valuable learning experience and I had fun.

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