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Stop Motion: Craft Skills for Model Animation

Book Description

To make great animation, you need to know how to control a whole world: how to make a character, how to make that character live and be happy or sad. You need to create four walls around them, a landscape, the sun and moon - a whole life for them. You have to get inside that puppet and first make it live, then make it perform.

Susannah Shaw provides the first truly practical introduction to the craft skills of model animation. This is a vital book in the development of model animation which, following the success of Aardman's first full-length film 'Chicken Run',is now at the forefront of modern animation.

Illustrated in full colour throughout you are shown step by step how to create successful model animation. Starting with some basic exercises, readers will learn about developing a story, making models, creating sets and props, the mechanics of movement, filming, post production and how to set about finding that elusive first job in a modern studio.

Table of Contents

  1. Front Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. Focal Press Visual Effects and Animation
  4. Title Page
  5. Copyright
  6. Dedication
  7. Contents
  8. acknowledgements
  9. elements of an animation shoot
  10. chapter 1 introduction – playing God
    1. nature and caricature
    2. what this book is for
  11. chapter 2 getting equipped
    1. what is your aim?
    2. recording formats
    3. film
    4. video/DV
    5. animation software/frame grabbers
    6. essential and non-essential extras
    7. the animator’s toolkit
    8. lighting
    9. editing/sound
    10. rough guide to film/video or DV recording budgets
    11. glossary
  12. chapter 3 getting animated
    1. animating familiar objects as a first approach
    2. timing: single frame or double frame?
    3. notes on movement
    4. first experiments: the bouncing ball
    5. the dope sheet/X-sheet
    6. planning
  13. chapter 4 keep it simple – developing your story
    1. idea – script – treatment
    2. planning your shots – basic film grammar/composition of shots
    3. the storyboard
    4. editing – animatics and story reels
  14. chapter 5 coat hangers for armatures – making your own model
    1. character design
    2. working with modelling clays
    3. making your own puppet
  15. chapter 6 model makers – the professionals
    1. the maquette
    2. ball and socket armature
    3. mould making – hard and soft moulds
    4. casting
    5. colouring
    6. costum es/dressing
    7. glossary of model making materials
  16. chapter 7 four walls and a sky – sets and props
    1. research the look
    2. design and building of sets
    3. interior sets
    4. exterior sets
    5. forced perspective
    6. making props
    7. rigging
    8. glossary of materials for sets
  17. chapter 8 sound advice
    1. pre-production
    2. recording dialogue
    3. lip sync
    4. sound breakdown
  18. chapter 9 the mechanics of movement
    1. studies from observation
    2. posing the model
    3. timing
    4. weight
    5. anticipation, action and reaction
    6. walking and running
    7. the illusion of speed
    8. animal and bird movement
  19. chapter 10 the performance
    1. character animation
    2. comedy and comic timing
    3. subtle character animation
  20. chapter 11 filming
    1. filming information
    2. motion control
    3. lighting
    4. health and safety issues
    5. special effects – tips and hints
    6. final checks before you hit that button
    7. sending your film to the labs
    8. glossary
  21. chapter 12 post production
    1. timecode
    2. sound
  22. chapter 13 getting the job – the business of animation
    1. know your limitations
    2. different work, different studios
    3. commercials
    4. series
    5. TV specials and features
    6. applying for jobs
    7. your showreel
    8. festivals
    9. sending proposals to commissioning editors
  23. bibliography
  24. appendix 1
    1. software, camera and recording equipment suppliers
  25. appendix 2
    1. manufacturers and outlets
  26. appendix 3
    1. calendar of animation festivals and film festivals incorporating animation
  27. appendix 4
    1. animation courses that include or specialize in stop motion and related organizations and websites
  28. index