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Stop Motion Animation

Early examples of animation Techniques used in animation Stop Motion animation today

Christopher Usher

on 25 October 2012

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Transcript of Stop Motion Animation

Early Examples of Animation Hey guys Introduction

Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images to create an illusion of movement. the images found in animations are usually accomplished with a camera and a projector or a computer screen. Today, animation can be made either by hand, computer generated imagery or 3d objects, for example puppets or clay figures. Each object is positioned in relation to the positioning in the previous and following images so that the objects appear to be fluidly moving independently. Artists in Ancient Egypt have been trying to depict the idea of motion in they're drawings for burial chambers over 4000 years ago. Then in 1824 Peter Mark Roget formed the basis of the principle of vision theory. And it wasn't until 1829 that Joseph Plateau firmly established this theory and the illusion of motion by inventing the Phenakistoscope. The Phenakistoscope is a spinning disk that was attached to a handle. Arrayed around the disk was a series of drawings in different phases of animation. They also had equally spaced radial slits in between each illustration, the viewer would spin the disk and look through the moving slits in a reflection on a mirror and would see a rapid succession of images that appears to be a single moving picture. Almost immediately after the invention of the phenakisoscope many similar inventions were created. First in 1833 William Horner invented the Zeotrope which was a cylinder as opposed to a disk. The zeotrope consisted of a cylinder with a slits cut vertically on the sides, and the images were found on the inner surface of the cylinder. The same method of viewing was used (veiwing through the slits as the cylinder was spun). Much later in 1877, French inventor Charles-Emile Reynaud created the Praxinoscope. Like the zeotrope it also had images rotating around a cylinder but unlike the zeotrope it replaced its veiwing slits with an inner circle of mirrors. Someone looking at the mirror would then see a rapid succesion of the images on the outer cylinder. This was an animation device a lot brighter and less distorted than the zeoptrope. When stop motion animation was first created it was often used to show objects moving as if by magic which baffled all viewers. The first stop motion film using the technique of using photographs on a reel can be credited to Albert E.Smith and J.Stuart Blackton for The Humpty Dumpty Circus (1897) where they animated a toy circus of acrobats and animals who come to life. Then in 1902 Edison studios used the same stop motion trick to create Fun in the Bakery Shop. Photograhic pioneer Eadward Muybridge 2 years later invented zooproxiscope which was essentially the first film projector. It was very similar to the Phenitiscope Stop Motion Theory and Techniques The persistence of vision is a theory about human vision that played a big role in inspiring and encouraging early animators and film makers. The theory states that the reflection of an object on the retina persists for approximately one-twenty sixth of a second in our brain after the object is taken away from eyesight. This means that when we look at a moving object we see it where it is and a fraction of a second where we saw it before. In the early days of film, it was determined that a frame rate of 16 frames per second would still cause the images to flicker and that is why modern theater films run at 24 frames per second for a fluent and coherent animation. Claymation Frame rates Traditional Animation This technique basically accounts for any animation drawn on paper; cell-animation, classical animation, hand-drawn animation. One of the earliest examples of classical animation is Out of the inkwell by Max Fleischer, where he animates characters and doodles flowing in and out of his pen. Traditional animation was a painstaking and arduous process where you have to hand draw every frame on a separate sheet of paper. Nowadays transparent paper called cell sheets have improved working hand drawn animations because the artist is able to see the previous frame underneath the current drawing. Puppet Animation Cutout In clay animation objects, characters and backgrounds are hand sculpted using a pliable material like plasticine. Then each frame for the animation is shot individually inside a miniature film set. These days some claymation animators use a rigging such as an armature or just some basic chicken wire in some characters to prevent any breakages. A great example of clay animation is morph who had no chicken wire or armature involved whatsoever and was animated simply by reforming morph in every single shot. Cutout animation is a technique using flat props, characters and backgrounds cut from materials such as paper, card, stiff fabric or even photographs. Cut out sets can either be flat on a surface and is shot in Birdseye or sometimes the cutout set is propped up with cardboard beams and other materials A good example of cutout animation is seen in the first series South Park where characters and environments are made from cutout paper. Now the South Park episodes are made in digital software but they still respectfully look cutout. Puppet animation is perhaps the most widely used form of stop motion used in the film industry today. It requires a big team to pull off as different components like armatures, silicon skins and set props are all done by appointed specialists. Paranorman is a great example of puppet animation today. This is how they make they're puppet : The characters are first created in pencil sketches, converted into computer generated 3d models, and later turned into maquettes. From there, they use the maquette statues to decide which parts will move, which will be painted, costumed, etc. Silicon skin is used for all the body skins, this material is soft but also keeps its shape. Underneath the puppets are an intricate armature, a metal skeleton that can he moved in each of the joints. They require constant maintenance and “surgery.” While this has not been drastically changed over the years, some of the large characters have gears. The animators can turn a key hidden in the back of the character to move and animate. Norman’s fat friend Neil has a gear in his stomach which allows his belly to move. Frame rates are the rate or frequency at which an imaging device produces consecutive images called frames. frame rate is often expressed as frame rate per second (FPS) and also expressed in scan monitors as hertz (HZ). Because the human eye and the brain interface which makes up our human visual system, can process 10-12 separate images per second, percieving them individually. The visual cortex holds onto one image for about one fifteenth of a second explained above in persistence of vision. So if another image is received during that period an illusion of continuity is created, allowing a sequence of still images to give the impression of motion. Early films had a frame rate from 14 to 24 FPS which was enough for the sense of motion, but it was perceived as "jerky". By using projectors with dual and triple-blade shutters the rate was multiplied extensively as seen in by the the audience. Thomas Edison said that 46 frames per second was the minimum, and anything less will strain the eye.
When sound film was introduced in 1926, variation in film speed were no longer tolerated as the human ear is more sensative to changes in audio frequency. So 24 FPS became standard for 35 mm sound film. Today there are three main frame rate standards in the TV and movie making business:24p,25p,30p. However, there are many variations on these as well as newer emerging standards reaching up to 300FPS.
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