online resources for the stop motion animation community since 1999
A while back some of you may remember that I created a motion blur technique to add to stop motion similar to RSMB, but at no cost. I've refined this technique to a very simple pre-set now, that can be reduced or increased depending on how much blur you want on a hand animated movie creation. Below , two links with the blur applied to the Valley of Gwangi Dino fight. And stop motion test footage from Jurassic Park 1993. Provided courtesy of Lionel Ivan Orozco. Question is. Do we need it ,or less blur effects to keep it looking like traditional work to a degree. And so on. Many animators have mixed views when it comes to bluring the line between stop mo and CGI. What do you think?
I posted an older version of this video quite some time ago.
I like to watch that and imagine what might have been, had Spielberg not been such a flibbertyjibbet. ;)
Motion Blur with moderation. The blurs only occurring at specific instances of sped up motion of whatever specific appendages and/or body parts. Study the plethora of CGI creature content films. They will teach us what not to do or, to tone-down (lessen) such as ,,, their hyper sped-up motions defying all manner of gravity & physics especially as applied to colossal sized creatures. A minority in CGI do get it correct and using restraint. Another formulaic element of CGI, is the excess of internal blubbery, jello filled motion. Look at wildlife documentaries, especially the larger animals, elephants, rhinos, hippos, giraffes ... slow lumbering movements with usually minimum motion blurs.
However, we must take into consideration, today's A.D.D., video gamer audience. They have been weaned-on and indoctrinated to the hyper quick edit/cuts and gravity defying movements of the creatures. IMO, stop Motion creature character animation can perhaps strike a balance between the Ol' Harryhausen'esque and the excesses of CGI formulaic creature animation.
It is a subjective and artistic/stylistic decision how much motion blur but what you have done so far Peter, I believe you are achieving that balance in your stop motion animated proof of concept results. Stop motion that has the Harryhausen flavor but with moderate enhancements (such as digital blurs & post compositing), to update the look ... what I sometimes call Turbo-charged Stop Motion and/or Dynamation. Realism style creature stop motion always has that surreal, weird or other worldly look as its signature. CGI going the opposite way making it too real ... one of Uncle Ray's mantras, critiquing CGI.
Yeah, like Lio's Nephew's Uncle says.
I think if you had a scene of a live actor crossing swords with a stopmo creature, if the actor's fast moves look motion blurred, then you'd usually want to blur your stopmo creature to match. They are meant to be in the same place, with the same reality. Even that could depend - is it a supposedly real beast like a dino, or meant to be an unworldly effect? Mostly I'd go for some blur.
I think your treatment of the Gwangi scene is excellent! The blur helps it, without completely removing the magical effect of stop motion.
But in a pure puppet film with a highly stylised look, it's entirely up to you to make the rules for that world. There is no live action to compare it to, so anything from realistic blur to no blur at all can look right for that film.
I think the following video is a case in point for stop motion with judicially applied post-blur effects.
This is some chump who thought it would be fun to replace Ray's Rhedosaurus, with a CG replica... Have a look...
Frankly, aside from the fact that it has a muddy texture, and nothing pops... It also has NO weight, or presence. Which is very interesting considering it is a direct mimic of the original stop motion animated performance. The other thing that is clear, is that the creator has gone NUTS with the motion blur.
This is a MASSIVE creature, being "photographed" from the ground. The motion blur would be NON-EXISTENT with that lens, and that angle, at that distance, and shooting a subject so large, at that aperture.
Blurring should be judicial, careful... and the thing most people don't realise is that you have to look at the PHOTOGRAPHY/CINEMATOGRAPHY of each shot, in order to judge how much blurring is applied. If you are not a good judge of how a given lens will behave, at a given arperture over a given exposure... Then, you are NO judge of how much blur to apply.
On films where the majority of the action is against greenscreen, there is a level of license that is available... But it is vital to be judicious.
I am about to blur a sequence between two VERY large stop motion creatures... I will blur it... But, you will be hard pressed to spot it in the stills! :)
The motion blur makes a huge difference.
I was thinking that it would be cool to see motion blur added to this footage but then it occurred to me that go-motion may have been used in the first place.
Personally I like the blur effect (you did a great job with it on the Gwangi clip Peter) ... but just cause I like it, doesn't make me like things with jerky motion, like Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, any less.
I don't think its selling out, its just another tool in the tool box.
I thought I could detect a teeny bit of strobe. It still looks so much more real than CGI to me and with the motion blur added it would be mind blowing.
Peter Andrew Montgomery said:
oh and the other clip above there. Nah, I'm pretty sure that's just real smooth animation with no blur. Phil may have added some to the faster shots?
Peter, I like your work. It is down-right awesome.
Stop-motion has a lot to say for itself.
There always has to be a nay-sayer in the bunch, so here it goes: While I respect Peter's work, I am more of a traditionalist when it comes to stop-motion, especially where dynamation is concerned. I think that the hand made quality of stop-motion is what makes it so appealing. Peter's motion blur technique is ingenious, but it turned one of Harryhausen's classics into CGI. If you are going to use motion blur on stop-motion, you might as well use CGI because the results are that similar. I personally like the "kinesis" of traditional stop-motion. I think modern movie goers will agree. They just have not been properly introduced to it. If Peter Jackson had used stop-motion for his Kong remake, we would all have jobs (as stop-motion animators).