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Stop Motion Animation

I’m always wishing I could score more video. Animation has always intrigued me, stop motion in particular (think Wallace and Gromit). I got my first hands on taste of creating stop motion working with Eric while volunteering at Camp Bright Feathers. For years I have been looking for artists to create the visuals for me, so I can focus on the sounds. Volunteers are still welcome, but I’m through just waiting.

I’ve had visitors staying with me 3 of the last 4 weekends. This long weekend I decided to hole up in the house and get creative.

I’ve got my new camera (Canon T1i) that I bought for a trip to India, but will now be using to photograph where ever in South America you all send us while traveling with The Hostel Life instead. I’ve got iStop Motion installed on my little mac mini (got this really cheap from the 2007 MacHeist)and I went to the store around the corner and got some clay. I also grabbed a little wire framed fisherman toy that my mother gave me a while back.

I’m studying Latin rhythms a bit to get ready to travel to South America with The Hostel Life. I taught myself how to play the Timbao rhythm on a djembe (don’t have congas). I didn’t record that though….not there yet. I grabbed some samples of a Samba rhythm and built off of that for the score. I, of course, threw a break beat over the samba to funk it up and then added some individual hits from a kit drum on top of that to give it some heft. Then I recorded some acoustic, electric, classical and bass guitar before layering pads and assorted bits with my new little Micron synth (It’s a bit digital for my taste…I need to get my Virus fixed soon) and a few other soft synths.

What ended up on the video is a 30 second edit of the 2.5 minute track that emerged. The edit was taken at an early stage while the song was still fairly empty. The full track starts out fairly organic and beautiful then takes a sudden turn for the darker before it ends back on the samba groove.

The focus of this stop motion test was to learn about how to sync movement with sound. This is fairly easy to plan when the numbers are simple. If the music is 120 beats per minute and the video is shot at 10 frames per second then I know right away which frames will land on a down beat. The music here is at 115 bpm and the video was shot at 14 frames per second. This is not as simple or consistent. I’m figuring out tricks as I go. I did decide to upgrade to the ‘Express’ version of iStop Motion as this allows soundtracks to be imported and video to be imported for rotoscoping.

What we have here is a 33 second clip comprised of 468 frames made from 431 individual photographs taken while enjoying a glass of red wine (note the drip running down the side of the glass once it is empty).

I’m guessing it’ll be 5 years or so before I’m making anything truly impressive to look at. Owen begs to differ pointing out how the mind links different arts such as music and sound. I’d agree, but things will go a lot faster once I get people like him on board to collaborate.

Here’s the full track:

right click to download

  1. 我很高兴