We tried this once with me as the director, and some of the guys did their own dance party earlier as well (see video on the server). Feel free to work out another one.
What makes a good group video in stop motion? Flow, a story, and simplicity.
You may have noticed a credit in movies for Foley artists. These people produce sound effects using real objects, movements, etc. that simulate a real sound in a movie. For example, if someone is zipping up their hoodie in a movie, a Foley artist may be called on in post-production to make that sound more audible on the sound track - usually by simply placing a microphone next to a zipper that can be worked with and recorded more easily than an actor on set. Foley artists may make the crunching sound of someone walking in snow, or an animal supposedly scratching on a door to get in or out, or the screech of fingernails on a blackboard.
A Foley artist's primary function is not to call attention to what they're doing but to make sure the audience isn't distracted by what's missing in the soundscape of what's being seen. So, when a director watching a scene realizes that something is missing from the soundscape, that sound must be added to what's already there.
It's easy for sounds to be missing when shooting live action. Microphones are typically located in a shot off camera so as not to be seen, but also to optimize the pickup of dialog between the actors. Other sounds may occur in the scene, but the mics may not be able to "hear" them. Foley artists are usually assigned the task of filling in these sounds. Check out this rather unusual example on the files page
Animators face this issue all the time. Visual elements are almost never recorded in sync with audio elements. Dialog is usually the first thing recorded, even before scenes are shot. On the other hand, sound effects are almost always added in post-production, after scenes are shot. This makes sense. Dialog often determines dramatic action (e.g. facial expressions, body mannerisms, lip syncing, etc.) while sound effects are timed to precede action, accompany action, or follow action. So, in the first case, the action follows the sound, while in the other cases, the sounds depend on the action.
They key to good sound is that it must not be a distraction. It must enhance what is being seen only enough to not be missed. It mustn't become the unintended focus for the audience, but it must be present at precisely the right time and in the right amount. Notice, I didn't say it had to be precisely realistic. It simply has to help evoke the mental imagery you intend. Too much is as bad as too little. Finding the balance is what makes film making an art. Check out the video to the right.
(updated 4/26/12) Have you noticed how many movies are made about fairy tales and comic book heroes? It's quite a list! We've recently seen (or soon will see) films in theaters that tell the stories of:
It just goes to show that Hollywood is very good at mining the riches of popular stories that have already proven themselves in other media. When thinking about what to do for our next projects, there's nothing wrong in thinking like a Hollywood producer and starting from established story lines. The two Snow White movies coming out in 2012, for example, take the standard story and either modernize the characters a bit (Mirror, Mirror), or focus on a part of the original that hasn't been focused on before (Snow White and the Huntsman).
Storytellers have been doing one of two things for centuries: rely on the standard stories, myths, legends and fables of a culture and tell them in a compelling way, particularly using new media; or rely on the standard plot lines in all stories and reshape them with variations of character, setting, outcomes, and surprise. There really aren't that many different kinds of stories in the world, and the variations in character attributes are fairly few as well. Take a simple hero's quest story, though, and tell it using simply a different setting, or a different cast of characters, and you immediately see the potential for variations that can make an old story intriguing in new ways.
If we look at Tangled, we can see that Rapunzel is now a far more interesting character than she is in the standard fairy tale. She has a driving desire (to see the lanterns), and she has a weakness (her isolation). The prince in the standard story becomes a "prince of thieves" in the updated version. The magical element is taken away from the original witch (who now has no apparent powers) and given to the power that transforms Rapunzel's hair. Much of the original story is missing considering it focused first on the parents of Rapunzel and how they offended the witch. Nevertheless, the updated version is in many ways more interesting for modern audiences.
Create a "Studio Logo" with the following requirements:
1. Must have a background other than the table
2. Must spell out the name of your "studio" in an animated way.
3. Must include your First Name and Last Initial (only!) at the end.
Bring in Studio name in a smooth way
Bring in your name in a smooth way
Keep it under 45 seconds.
Not sure if we'll have class on the 16th, but if we do, we'll try to gather everyone's videos for a little film festival. If not, please be sure you've sent me all your final film versions so I can compile them onto a DVD.
I put up two more animations that I had buried on a separate page for some reason. Check them out. They're very clever!
I should have posted this earlier, but here goes!
Cutout Animations are a little like pixillations and a little like replacement animations, but the key is that the cutouts are movable pieces of whole things, such as the eyes and teeth in Terry Gilliam's Conrad Poohs and His Dancing Teeth, the limbs of the Portrait Artist, the mouths, wings, feet, arms, eyes, etc. in Miracle of Flight, and A Cutout Animation, as well as the lightning bolt. Cutout animations were among the earliest examples of animation films because they drew on the older (and well-known) tradition of shadow puppetry that used cutouts with movable limbs and features to tell stories in front of a light that projected the resulting moving shadows onto a curtain or shade.
A popular company on the Web called JibJab makes money creating computer-generated cutout animations using either images of celebrities or your
Check out this link
Preston Blair was a long-time Disney animator, and was even responsible for training other animators. This chart is his way of describing mouth positions for each spoken sound, but it's not the only way that we can look at mouth shapes. You can look in the mirror and see how your mouth is shaped when you say these vowels.
Okay, so you didn't do this last week when I was gone, so we'll do it again this week.
Don't forget to save your completed videos to the Animation folder on the server, or use the Upload page on this site, and I'll move them there for you.