Announcing the 1st Ever StopMotionAnimation.com STOPMO JAM!

What is it?

An opportunity for animators to be a part of a stop motion experimental film.

How does it work?

You animate at home or in your studio. Your animation takes place on a simple white set. A white sweep is best. (see set examples below) Your subject(s) must enter frame at the start and exit frame by the end so that the next shot can be cut together with yours. One shot, no cuts, up to 20 seconds in length.

Deadline to complete animation is April 18, 2016. Once all entries are submitted, I'll cut them together and feature the final film here on StopMotionAnimation.com.

RULES AND GUIDELINES

I will update this as needed so check back occasionally.

Deadline: April 18, 2016 (extended from April 1)

Theme: Spring (all definitions of the word)

Shot length: Up to 20 seconds. One shot, no cuts.

Set Floor and Background must be white, a white sweep is a good way to accomplish this. Your shot must start with a blank white frame and end the same way.

Puppets can be made of clay, paper, foam, wire, sand, whichever materials you can utilize to create your design but it must be stop motion animated. Sorry no LEGOs, action figures, toys, or store bought items are allowed UNLESS it is modified (painted, covered with paper or clay, etc). The goal is to make a hand-made experimental film. Stop motion puppets, 2d cutouts, sand, painting, pixelation, all hand-made animation techniques allowed as long as it is against a white field. Depending on interest, there may be a LEGO JAM or a CLAY JAM in the future.

Audio, dialogue, sound effects are allowed but no music please. I will try to either have music composed or find music that fits the whole film if needed.

Content must be ok for kids to watch. Please nothing political. I reserve the right not to include your animation if it doesn't fit into these guidelines. If you have any questions, please post below.

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Technical Guidelines

Frame Rate: 24fps

Aspect Ratio 1920 x 1080

Compression Codec: H264 

Once your animation is complete, contact me and I'll provide you with a way to upload your finished Quicktime movie.

Title and Credit: At the end of the film, I will display a frame from your animation with the title and your name next to it similar to the sample credit card pictured below. Please no title or credits in your actual animation.

title card example

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This sound great! Is there a theme? Also, as long is it starts/ends on white can it use any stop motion technique (e.g. cutout, collage, sand)?

Here are a few ways to shoot your animation against a completely white background.

SWEEP: Below is an example of a white sweep as used on the Gumby Google Doodle. I bought some PVC sheeting at Home Depot. Great stuff. Perfect for clay and cleans up easily. A paper or posterboard background works too.  

BASIC TABLETOP: The Gumby.com Spot I animated a couple years ago was shot with a simple flat white background and white tabletop. In the photo below, you can still see the table's edge and the background lighting is uneven. 

After tweaking the lights a few times and adjusting the camera exposure, I was able to balance the lighting enough so that the line between the set and the background virtually disappeared as pictured below. 

DOWNSHOOTER: Alternatively, you can shoot your stop motion animation flat with the classic animation downshooter setup as seen in the photo below from The Little Prince. In this example, the airplane was animated against glass with the background lit evenly behind it. The camera is rigged from above pointed down toward the table. This is great for paper cutout, clay or sand animation.

EASY STOP MOTION DESKTOP OPTION: Here is a simple tabletop standup animation table. The wooden mini table is 2' x 2' square and sits on top of my desk. The combined height is about 44" which makes it a great standup height for me. Everything has been reinforced (taped and/or hot glued) to make the whole thing stable. I picked up 2 sheets of white poster board to make the sweep and lit it with 2 lights. Note: I usually use Dragonframe to shoot my animation but I was testing the Stop Motion Studio app on the iPad.

Here is the same set modified slightly by adding a 3rd light in the center. I am using Miniburst LED lights. Each light has a dimmer which makes balancing the lights super easy.

Sounds like fun. Any media/puppets??

Hi Edward, glad you are interested in participating. The theme is Spring. Anything you want to do just keep it G rated (so kids can watch it), any and every technique is encouraged! You could shoot it on a downshooter setup to animate sand and paper as long as the background is white.

Edward Ramsay-Morin said:

This sound great! Is there a theme? Also, as long is it starts/ends on white can it use any stop motion technique (e.g. cutout, collage, sand)?

Hi Justin, I think it's best to keep it all original designs and ideas. What do you have in mind though?

justin kohn said:

Sounds like fun. Any media/puppets??

I have participated in things like this before in other mediums like 2D, but they always had a unifying element - like a cat moving from shot to shot - or an idea or theme to keep the end result from being too disjointed. Just a suggestion, but you may want to consider this, especially if your final intention is to cut them together.

I see your point Lynda. I don't mind some disjointedness but let's say the theme is Spring. It is broad enough to encompass a range of ideas and may bring some unification to the final piece. 


Lynda Rollins said:

I have participated in things like this before in other mediums like 2D, but they always had a unifying element - like a cat moving from shot to shot - or an idea or theme to keep the end result from being too disjointed. Just a suggestion, but you may want to consider this, especially if your final intention is to cut them together.

Anthony this sounds like great fun.  I understand the white set and background being white,  but can we use Props in the scene that are different colors?

Hi Chris. Yes the puppet and props can be different colors. I would prefer that your first and last frame is just white and completely empty. Find an interesting way to get your characters and props on and off screen to avoid a jarring cut when all the shots are edited together.

Chris Johnson said:

Anthony this sounds like great fun.  I understand the white set and background being white,  but can we use Props in the scene that are different colors?

Perfect.

This is exciting.  I have been busy and have not moved a puppet for far too long. 

Game on!

Thanks Anthony. And the offer still stands if you get back to Michigan coffee or cocktails on me.

Thanks for keeping this great forum alive to promote the wonderful art of Stop motion animation.

I've got a lot on in the next few months, but I don't see how I could not do something for this!

Are you looking for any consistency in the lighting of the puppet?  I see your cubes are lit fairly softly, with the key coming from overhead and only very slightly to the right, and plenty of fill.  (Ok, film noir lighting on a plain white background is not going to work...)  But are you ok with different directions of light?

As long as it starts and ends with a white frame, does the puppet have to walk in and out from the side?  Or could it exit straight up in a balloon, vanish in a puff of smoke, or appear and leave in some other way? 

Looking forward to it!

This sounds like a lot of fun, I'm going to try it too.

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