THE STOP MOTION ANIMATOR'S HANDBOOK

Introduction

I've been approached three times in recent years to write a book about Stop Motion. I've turned down all requests mostly because I can't really think of anything else to add to the multitude of books already written on the subject. Instead, I'd much rather put together something on my website.  That way, I can include videos, photos as well as words, when I feel inspired to do so. I am not sure when I will finish it but you can now take a look at what I have so far.

The Stop Motion Animator's Handbook will be a series of animation lessons using mostly easily attainable materials to explain animation techniques. Over the weeks and months to come, I will be adding new animation lessons to the Handbook, eventually getting into more advanced techniques. These are the chapters I've started so far:

ARMATURES 
The differences and benefits of Ball & Socket and Wire Armatures

POSING THE PUPPET
Finding the best poses for your puppet

ANIMATION BASICS 
Frame Rates, Ones & Twos, Ease In & Out, Anticipation, Style

WALKING AND RUNNING
Notes and examples on styles of Walk and Runs

In addition to these chapters, I've started a production blog where I'll be chronicling the progress of a new Gumby project. You can visit the GLog here.


SETUP NOTES

I will be working with a simple 4'L x 2'W x 4'H table with a white 4' x 8' PVC sheet creating a sweep lit by 3 lights, an Apple laptop running Dragonframe capture software, and shooting with a Canon 40d DSLR. If you are looking for frame grabbing software or puppet armatures, there are several options listed on the Resources page. For the first few lessons, I will be animating a Stikfas action figure. You can order Stikfas online from places like Amazon.com or you can use your own puppet. I chose Stikfas because they are inexpensive and easy to find, limited but fairly posable. They are small and light so they don't need tie-downs in their feet to secure them to the set, I will use things like White Tak and Stikki Wax to stick the puppet to the set and aluminum armature wire for flying rigs.

 



STOPMO JAM on Facebook

stopmo jam 2

The deadline for STOPMO JAM 2 is looming. August 15th. Get er done and once you do, send me a message here. I'll hook you up with a Dropbox to upload your JAM. Sorry...no late entries this time. 

BLOGS

Create a Blog for your personal page. Go to My Page and click on Blog Posts. Access all Blog Posts here.

MESSAGE BOARD CATEGORIES

STOPMO NEWBIES
basic stopmo discussion

ANIMATOR TALK
experienced animators looking to improve

CAMERA & STAGE
animation camera, lighting and moco rigs

ANIMATION TOOLS & EQUIPMENT
animation tool and rigging discussion

STOP MOTION & COMPUTERS
frame capture, editing, and post-production

STORY
script, storyboarding and storyreel discussion

SOUND
lip-sync, sound effects and music

YOUR STOPMO FILM PROJECT
discuss your stopmo film

ARMATURES
ball & socket and wire armature discussion

MACHINE SHOP
metalwork tool & talk

SCULPTING
sculpture information and advice

HAIR & COSTUME
materials, patterns and technique

CASTING
foam, silicone and resin

CLAY
clay puppet construction

GENERAL PUPPET MAKING
other puppet fabrication issues

STOP MOTION SETS
set design and construction information

MODEL DEPARTMENT
miniature prop discussion

MATTE PAINTINGS
glass matte paintings and backgrounds

GENERAL SPECIAL EFFECTS

STOP MOTION FILM DISCUSSION

FAVORITE STOP MOTION CHARACTERS

PRO ANIMATOR DISCUSSION

FILM FESTIVALS AND EVENTS

ANIMATION SCHOOLS

STOP MOTION BOOKS

STOP MOTION ON VIDEO

JOBS & PROJECTS
post here if you are looking for talent to hire

SWAP MEET
stop motion items for sale

CHAT BOARD
general discussion

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report bugs, comments and suggestions here

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