August 18, 2014
Have not had much interest from the mainstream tent pole genre films releases, for the consumption by the general public/audiences. IF I do decide to watch any of them, it is not at the theaters but instead, I wait until they are available for rental or down-streaming.
I see only one, that is an all puppet stop motion feature ‘The Boxtrolls’ from Laika studio in Oregon, USA. Of course since Stop Motion works, is ‘Stop Motion’ centric , I would be remiss if I did not do a post about ‘The Boxtrolls’. Laika Studio is not exactly typical mainstream tinsel town and I would consider more ‘Independent’ and not part of corporate Hollywood-esque.
Here is one of the trailers ….
Below are a few links that may be of interest if you like behind the scenes & making-of:
From Animation Magazine, lots of photos … Behind the Scenes with Boxtrolls
From Cartoon Brew … How Laika Pushed 3D Printing to New Heights with ‘The Boxtrolls’
Mini-rant – All this hype about 3D printing, I still have some mixed feelings. If you read above article, the numbers of printed faces are reaching hyper-mega numbers to over 52,000 printed face parts?? I LIKE stop motion ‘replacement’ animation techniques. It is NOT a new method … GEORGE PAL did this in the 1940’s where the puppet parts where ‘hand-made’. Today for the very minority few of studios that do high-end stop motion and if they have the budget …. using 3d printing methodology is essentially first doing ALL the facial animation IN THE COMPUTER, then they are printed-out as individual plastic face parts. So essentially, the creation of the facial animation is based in the CGI technique.
July 30, 2014
A good read ….
Stop Motion Works mini-editorial – Return of Practical Effects? Disney’s new Star Wars features/episodes claims so but possibly only small percentage may be practical. For those that follow cinema special effect gossip & buzz, IMO, the production is hyping the traditional special effects. I see this as a marketing technique and this is perhaps a clue that audiences are maybe becoming jaded with the empty visual eye candy calories of CGI excess. In North America maybe audiences getting fatigued with the formulaic, saturation, & monotony of CGI aesthetics, whereas International audiences may still go Ga-Ga with anything that comes out of Hollywood/Tinsel Town and the studios know this … they are looking to new audiences who are not yet bored of their movie products.
July 22, 2014
This is a cool revelation, thanks to The Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation … After about 76 years we are finally able to examine a detailed photo of one of Ray Harryhausen’s early armatures used when he was just a young 17-18 years of age. The youthful Ray at that time, teaching himself stop motion and undertook an ambitious Evolution of the World stop motion animation project which was never completed and only some unfinished scenes remained. In the scenes, there was a triceratops, an allosaurus (I think), and a brontosaurus.
For Stop motion geeks into the technical minutiae: It is known that Ray’s parents were very supportive of Ray’s pursuit in model animation. His father, Frederick, was a machinist metal-worker. He assisted his son, Ray with the design & fabrication of stop motion skeletal armatures. Interesting to see Frederick using the principle of ‘Universal Joints’ with the ball/socket, which is not as common and a little more advanced than the standard sandwich-style ball & socket joints. So, herewith enclosed is a pristine photo of the Bronto armature used (click on photo below for super large size) by Ray.
Here are the brief scenes of the never completed ‘Evolution of the World’. Remember, this is a very young Ray Harryhausen who was just beginning to grasp stop motion but you can see glimpses of his signature dynamic character animation style starting to develop. NO digital-schmigitidal, mouse-clicking computers, frame grabbers in 1938-40 … the model miniatures & puppets, & other elements, composited (combined) & executed IN the camera ….
July 13, 2014
This is from Adam Savage’s website – blog (one of Mythbusters host- USA program) spotlighting an animator, Marty Cooper. I thought it was fresh & unique what this artist-animator is creating. It is kind of free form having spontaneous quality. No mouse clicked CGI or involved post-production. Take a look at his inventive & resourceful creative process, all shot directly on his smartphone.
June 16, 2014
Here is a cool video reminiscing and spotlighting Phil Tippett and his association with the original Star Wars trilogy. IMO, Phil created or contributed to a unique creature character signature choreography style. Thereafter in so many subsequent other genre movies, a plethora of & countless other animation CGI’ists & studios have now copied the Tippett’esque creature motion style.
As a side note … while watching the video, I was very surprised to see that Phil still has in his possession and sitting in his studio office, one of my armature creations used for pre-production on Starship Troopers (1997) The Warrior insect armature sits next to the full size Rancor creature maquette (Return of the Jedi – 1983) . Take a look of screen image capture from the video.
Tippett Studio office …
From Stop Motion Works website …