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Stop Motion: Craft Skills for Model Animation, 2nd Edition

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, you will learn about developing a story, making models, creating set and props, the mechanics of movement, filming, postproduction and how to set about finding that elusive first job in a modern studio.

Susannah Shaw is Programme Development Manager for the Animated Exeter festival. She was head of the Bristol Animation Course from 1996 to 2000 at the University of the West of England and former camera assistant at Aardman (working on 'A Close Shave' among other films).

Table of Contents

  1. Front Cover
  2. Half Title
  3. dedication
  4. Title Page
  5. Copyright
  6. contents
  7. acknowledgements
  8. chapter 1 introduction – playing God
    1. what is stop motion?
    2. nature and caricature
    3. what this book is for
  9. chapter 2 getting equipped
    1. what do you need?
    2. choosing a camera
    3. lenses
    4. animation software/frame grabbers
    5. tripods
    6. lighting
    7. the animator’s toolkit
    8. editing/sound
    9. glossary
  10. chapter 3 getting animated
    1. animating familiar objects as a first approach
    2. setting up for the first time
    3. notes on movement
    4. timing: single frame or double frame?
    5. squash and stretch
    6. the dope sheet/X-sheet
    7. planning
  11. 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
  12. chapter 5 coat-hangers for armatures – making your own model
    1. character design
    2. working with modelling clays
    3. making your own puppet
    4. 1. simple wire and plasticine puppet
    5. 2. durable clothed puppet
  13. chapter 6 model makers – the professionals
    1. the maquette
    2. ball-and-socket armature
    3. mould making – hard and soft moulds
    4. casting
    5. coloring
    6. costumes/dressing
    7. model-making masterclass – ScaryCat Studio and the Duracell bunny
    8. glossary of model-making materials
  14. 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
  15. chapter 8 sound advice – the voice track
    1. pre-production
    2. recording dialog
    3. sound breakdown
    4. lip sync
    5. music and effects copyright
  16. 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
  17. chapter 10 animation masterclass – Teresa Drilling
    1. the model
    2. on what creates a character
    3. first position
    4. the extreme downward position
    5. on Vinton’s
    6. beginning the upward move
    7. slowing down at the top of the move
    8. settling into the final position
  18. chapter 11 the performance
    1. character animation
    2. comedy and comic timing
    3. subtle character animation
  19. chapter 12 the production process
    1. lighting
    2. health and safety issues
    3. setting up the camera
    4. shooting with a rig
    5. special effects – tips and hints
    6. final checks before you hit that button
    7. interview with Tim Allen
    8. glossary
  20. chapter 13 post- production
    1. timecode
    2. the picture edit
    3. sound
    4. titles and credits
    5. exporting your final film
  21. chapter 14 getting the job – the business of animation
    1. know where you stand
    2. different work, different studios
    3. commercials
    4. series
    5. TV specials and features
    6. applying for jobs
    7. your showreel
    8. starting out as a runner
    9. festivals
    10. sending proposals to commissioning editors
  22. bibliography
  23. appendix 1 software and recording equipment suppliers
  24. appendix 2 manufacturers and outlets
  25. appendix 3 calendar of animation festivals and film festivals incorporating animation
  26. appendix 4 animation courses that include or specialize in stop motion, and related organizations and websites
  27. index