During our on-going CLASH OF TITANS contest, we wanted to come up with a series of animated videos, encouraging our campaigners to promote and those interested to take part in the contest. However, regular animated videos cost about 300-600 per second. This was too expensive for us and we decided to try something else. We decided on Stop-motion animation (also called stop frame animation) and we wanted to do this on our own!
What is Stop-motion?
Stop-motion animation that is captured one frame at time, with physical objects that are moved between frames. When you play back the sequence of images rapidly, it creates the illusion of movement. It is a lot like early 2D drawn animation (Think of early Disney) works, stop motion is similar, except using physical objects instead of drawings.
We wanted to make this video to promote CLASH OF TITANS. We decided to have an animated war between the quirky characters we created for this contest. Our characters are fighting with each other to design and sell t-shirts using their cute, little creative weapon – a pencil! We were going to use stiff paper cut-outs.
We are not specialised in stop-motion animation and we don’t have any experience in it. This was our first attempt and we decided to keep it very short.
The basic process of stop-motion animation involves taking a photograph of the paper cut-outs of characters, moving them slightly, and taking another photograph. When you play back the images consecutively, the objects or characters appear to move on their own.
Cut-out animation is a technique for producing animations using flat characters, props and backgrounds cut from materials such as paper, card, stiff fabric or even photographs.
- First we made a story board and wrote the story out. This is the first step in the creation of any movie. This is where we decide the story sequence by sequence. What is the first scene, what is the next one? Which character comes first and which follows that? This is where the story is written out and decided.
- Based on the storyboard, we sketched the characters out. We used the same characters and backgrounds that we had made for our website mydreamstore.in/contest. We drew the characters in different poses, holding different accessories, based on the activity they will be doing in the animated video.
- First, we filled colour in the sketches using Photoshop. We then took printouts on glossy stiff paper and made the various cut-outs. We were now a few steps away from making our stop-motion animation movie.
- Once our paper cut-outs were ready, we then followed the story-board and placed the cut-outs on our background. Following the storyline, we placed the first character cut-out in its designated position and followed it with putting the next character it its position and so on and so forth.
- We moved these characters and took a picture for each frame using Canon 1200D DSLR. You can use any high-quality camera; just make you use a tripod. Using a tripod while taking the pictures is a must, so as to avoid tremors and shaking.
- Once we had taken all the pictures according to the storyboard, now was the time to bring all these frames together to create the video. Our designer Maninder used Adobe After Effects to create the video. You can use any video editing software that you or your team is comfortable with.
- We used two functions within this software called ‘Time Stretch’ and ‘Color Correction.’ Time Stretch is used to put some time and space between the frames to make the video slower and more understandable. Color Correction was used to tweak the colours of the background and characters.
- We looked around for suitable music and edited it using Adobe Audition. If you are looking for free music, select any one of the resources in the following link to use in your video, http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/royalty-free-music/38475
We are now ready with our video! The time we took to complete the entire process is about 7 hours. Check out the Animation!
This is the first time we made a stop-motions animation video. With the time and resources we had, we did a very good job (if I may say so myself). We are very happy with the final cut.
Check us out here!