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The Art of Stop-Motion Animation

Book Description

Through the magic of stop-motion animation, inanimate objects seem to spring to life. With true artistic passion and finesse, a stop-motion film evokes the nostalgia of childhood when imagination could bring toys to life. Stop-motion retains the art and performance that are the heart and soul of captivating animation. Beginning with a history of stop-motion animation, The Art of Stop-Motion Animation takes you on a unique journey - uncovering the origins of this art form and examining what continues to draw viewers to these films. Through several hands-on exercises, you'll learn how to create puppets and how to bring them to life as you create your own stop-motion film. Interviews with industry professionals offer a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look into the undying art form of stop-motion animation.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
    1. Dedication
  2. Foreword
  3. Acknowledgments
  4. About the Author
  5. Introduction
  6. I. Overview
    1. 1. Appeal and History of Stop-Motion Animation
      1. Appeal of the Medium
      2. The Beginnings of Stop-Motion Animation
      3. Cut-Out Animation
      4. Dinosaurs to Dinosaurs: The Life and Death of Creature Effects
      5. Miniature Worlds on the Big Screen
      6. Stop-Motion on the Small Screen
      7. Feature Presentations
    2. 2. The Stop-Motion Industry
      1. The Production Pipeline
        1. Step 1: The Idea
        2. Step 2: Concept Art and Design
        3. Step 3: Storyboarding
        4. Step 4: Sound Recording and Exposure Sheets
        5. Step 5: Story Reel
        6. Step 6: Designing and Building Puppets and Sets
        7. Step 7: Animation
        8. Step 8: Post-Production
      2. Opportunities
    3. 3. An Interview with David Bowes
  7. II. Creating Animation
    1. 4. What You Need
      1. Cameras
        1. Film
        2. Video
        3. Digital SLR Cameras
        4. Webcams
        5. Tripod
      2. Computer and Capture Card
      3. Software
      4. Set
      5. Lights
      6. Supplies
    2. 5. Basic Animation
      1. Timing and Spacing
      2. The Problem of Gravity
      3. The Bouncing Ball
      4. Overlapping Action and Follow-Through
        1. The Animated Vine
        2. Bouncing Ball with Pigtails
      5. Anticipation, Action, Reaction
      6. The 80-Frame Morph
      7. Basic Performance
    3. 6. An Interview with Dave Thomas
    4. 7. Building Puppets
      1. Character Design
      2. Evolution of a Character: Hamish McFlea
      3. Other Characters with Doll Armatures
      4. Ball-and-Socket Armatures
      5. Wire Armatures
      6. Building a Simple Wire Puppet
      7. Molds and Foam Latex Methods
      8. Latex Build-Up Puppets
      9. Clay Puppets
      10. Other Techniques
    5. 8. An Interview with Anthony Scott
    6. 9. Puppet Animation
      1. Posing
      2. Walking
      3. Action Analysis
      4. Facial Expressions
        1. Blinks
      5. Dialogue
      6. Motion Blur
    7. 10. An Interview with Larry Larson
    8. 11. Sets and Props
      1. Setting the Stage
        1. Securing the Set
      2. Interior Sets
      3. Exterior Sets
      4. Alternative Set Methods
        1. Chroma-Key Compositing
      5. Props
    9. 12. An Interview with Nick Hilligoss
  8. III. Showing Your Stuff
    1. 13. Making a Film
      1. Ideas and Film Types
        1. Narrative Films
        2. Objects with Personality
        3. Characterization Films
        4. Abstract Films
      2. Storyboarding and Editing
        1. Shots
        2. Angles
        3. Camera Moves
        4. Composition
        5. Lighting
        6. Editing
      3. Getting It Made
        1. Format
        2. Sound
        3. Titles
        4. Schedules
    2. 14. An Interview with Lynne Pritchard
    3. 15. Distribution
      1. Demo Reels
      2. Personal Web Sites
      3. Internet
        1. www.stopmoshorts.com
        2. www.atomfilms.com
        3. www.ifilm.com
      4. Festivals
        1. Spike and Mike’s Animation Festival (www.spikeandmike.com)
        2. The Animation Show (www.animationshow.com)
    4. 16. Conclusion
  9. A. Suggested Supplies for Stop-Motion Animation
    1. Basic Animation and Simple Puppet, Set, or Prop Building
    2. Ball-and-Socket Armature Construction
      1. Suppliers for Ball-and-Socket Armature Kits
    3. Foam Latex Puppet Building Supplies
      1. Suppliers
  10. B. Stop-Motion Animation Studios
    1. USA
    2. Canada
    3. UK
    4. Elsewhere
  11. C. Stop-Motion Animation Courses
    1. USA
    2. Canada
    3. UK
    4. Elsewhere
  12. D. Timeline of Important Events in the History of Stop-Motion Animation
  13. Glossary
    1. A
    2. B
    3. C
    4. D
    5. E
    6. F
    7. G
    8. H
    9. J
    10. K
    11. L
    12. M
    13. O
    14. P
    15. R
    16. S
    17. T
    18. U
    19. V
    20. W
    21. Z
  14. Bibliography and Further Reading
    1. Books and Publications on Stop-Motion Animation
    2. Other Useful Books About Animation and Puppets
    3. DVDs with Behind-the-Scenes Features on Stop-Motion Animation
    4. Other DVDs Worth Viewing
    5. Web Sites for Stop-Motion Animation
    6. Other Web Sites