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 This is Stop Motion Works cleaned up & improved version of the Original from StopMoShorts (about 2006)
'Forbidden Planet' ID Monster in Stop Motion / Fan tribute created by Dan Anderson           
Attack of the ID Monster in Stop Motion by Dan Anderson

First I'd like to thank Eric for contacting me and asking if I would be willing to share some of my animation. Thanks Eric!

The Id monster started as an idea to build a puppet that was more realistic - something akin to the Harryhausen style. I also wanted a puppet that would only have two appendages - easier to animate. Then one night I was watching Forbidden Planet and found my inspiration. I took frame captures from my Forbidden Planet video and printed them out to study what the monster looked like. I wanted mine to resemble the Josh Meador version but also wanted it to have a 1950's monster style to it.

                                                      Original 2D Animated----------------------------------'Fan' made Stop Motion                       
    Original 2d cell ID animation    Stop Motion ID monster 

I had some old armature parts lying around, which I recycled - head, neck joints and back. I made new legs and the tail. The armature is made of 2024 aluminum and steel. The steel being the rods and of course the ball bearings. It's made of 1/2", 3/8" and 1/4" bearings. There is a small rod at the end of the tail. I used 8/32, 6/32 and 4/40 screws. The hole on the top hip area is drilled and tapped for a 1/4" threaded rod which can be used to support the puppet in running scenes.
head armature   hips & tail armature

The sculpture was done in about six sittings using oil-based clay. I wrapped the armature in plastic wrap and scotch tape to protect it from the clay. A four piece mold was made using Ultracal. The big tusks are made of epoxy putty and screwed into the jaw of the armature. I sculpted around them but removed them for casting. After it's cast in foam, I cut a slit at the jaw and attach them again to the armature, then glue the foam back together. After awhile, my puppets have quite a few slits in them at the joints where I tighten or loosen the screws while animating but you never see them.
head sculpt    finished head

The puppet was cast in foam latex, which came out excellent - no air pockets etc. I painted it with water based acrylics mixed with Pros-Aide. I thinned it down to a very watery consistency and basically painted the puppet in a series of washes.
Final finished puppet  Full clay sculpt  Full armature

I started doing some animation experiments with the puppet and composting it against backgrounds shot on video. Then a member of the online forum at Stop Motion forum suggested that I composite it into footage from 'Forbidden Planet'. Sounded like a good idea!
Click on the images above to view test footage
Note: This was about 17 -18 years ago ... computers had low resolution CRT monitors (screen) & video players were much smaller

'Forbidden Planet' footage was brought into my computer and I timed out each scene. Animation was shot blue screen and composted into the FP video footage. The puppet was shot as large as possible in the frame and later during compositing was reduced to match the background. I did this to have as many pixels as possible to work with when compositing.

More time was spent on the computer eliminating as much as I could of the drawn Id monster than animating. To accomplish this I used AfterEffects and PhotoShop. The backgrounds had to be basically rebuilt. I learned as I progressed and the differences can be seen. The most difficult scene to do was when the Id monster picks up a person. PhotoShop was used to silo (isolate, cut-out) the person, and then each frame was brought into AfterEffects as a separate layer and animated to match the movements of the Id monster. The final scene is far from perfect but I settled. ReelSmart Motion Blur was used to add blur to the animation.

Resources used:
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe After Effects
Primatte Keyer
Composite Wizard
Frame Thief
Canon XL1
14x Zoom Lens
Video Lunchbox
ReelSmart Motion Blur

A Canon XL-1 with a mechanical zoom lens was used. The frames were saved as uncompressed tiff files using BTV Pro and FrameThief for capturing. FrameThief allowed me to use its rotoscope feature to see through to the original footage and match up movements, as in the scene where the monster pushes a person from left to right. I also used a Video Lunchbox.

The AfterEffects plug-ins Primatte Keyer and Composite Wizard were used. Composite Wizard is a wonderful tool and really brings composites to a professional level. I added glows and strobing effects to the monsters using Wizard. Some people that have seen my Id monster experiment have asked how I got the laser blasts to show up over the monster. It was real easy. The monster was kept at about 60% opacity. This allowed the lasers to be seen and over the dark background the monster remained opaque enough.

End Result: This project was a good learning experience and enjoyable to do. I guess the best praise I've received is when I've shown it to someone not familiar with the original and they don't know what I've done. They just think that's how it was originally. - D

©Dan Anderson 2004-06  /  Website Animation Daddy Studios

This LINK shows original 2D Cel Animated ID Monster



Planet (1956) Copyright Warner Studios - All Rights Reserved


"Thank you for allowing us to host your work, Dan. This is very inspirational for me since I have similar plans for my own animation. I can only hope to come to close to your level of expertise! Great sculpt for the Id Monster, very detailed. I think the animation fit perfectly when composited." - Eric Scott

"Awesome! I love all of the old Sci-Fi movies. Too bad they couldn't release your version of the ID Monster on the DVD." - Josh


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