"Stop motion,where have you been all my life?"
I know I said something like that about comics...but there you go: when you follow your nose you get to see where it leads.
I don't like a lot of stop motion.Maybe I don't like most of it. But then, I know what I like.
And I've come across a couple of others that speak to me -- avant garde, independent animators using a range of techniques:
Here's a sample from Breer, made in 1957 which I really like:
What has surprised me is how easy was my own initial efforts were to do. I've now packaged these as Punch TV.
There's a few features here worth teasing out.
- I can use the same visual language as I deploy for the comics. In fact one reason I was drawn to cut out stop animation was that I recognized how the comics I did and the techniques I used were reminiscent of Gilliam's Monty Python animations (and Breer is a Gilliam precursor).
- There's a logic in the process of creating stop animation that suits the panel-by-panel sequencing you follow with comics. I like it because there's no waste -- no fill. You have to be very dense and concise because creating a second of film at , say, 15 frames per second is gonna take you a lot of time unless you demand visual efficiency from the images you use. And stop motion is creating a lot of images. A 15 frames per second, say, that's 900 separate images per minute.
- More so than with comics you can play tricks on the viewer's eye and expectations. It's like sleight of hand in the same way that you can animate an object and turn it into a puppet. You have movement as a primary tool to play around with. It's a shell game.
- The irony is that because stop motion can utilize anything -- and I do mean anything -- to make movement happen it enriches the possibilities of comic making because you have a better sense of sequencing without being bogged down in brutal narratives. Anything is truly possible. It moves because you animate it -- give it life. Absolutely MIXED MEDIA friendly.
- The irony is that my present tools -- especially ComicLife -- make stop animation so darn easy to do. I make the panels in ComcLife then I use Smoovie to create the animations -- and it is ridiculously easy to turn a bunch of images into a video. I hope to get a usb webcam which will enable me to move away from my dependence on the computer screen. ret assured I won't being doing Leggo animations. They're banned from my desktop.
Because I am handicapped by chronic illness which has sabotaged my ability to do theatre, puppetry and sundry other performing artz, comic making and stop motion are a exciting sedentary substitute in a way that relying pure video, audio, painting, or photography are not.
The other plus is thats ince my drawing skills are so shallow and so rusty I can explore other means to make my comics and animations.
And since my daughter is studying animation at university...
I tell you: it's win, win, win.