Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Dear Bear: Stop Motion Animation

Hey everyone!

Are you ready for the most over-used line on blogs.... 'I know I haven't been posting for a-'.. yeah yeah, let's just skip all that. 'I've been busy. lazy. etc. I'll try to do better. ' ok done. 

Now onto more exciting things!

From January to April of this year I was busy working on my thesis. If I haven't mentioned it before, I studied Media, (what a stupidly broad term) and ended up making my thesis about stop motion animation. Luckily this didn't just entail reading and writing about stop motion animation, but actually the creation of my own animation: Dear Bear.

I've shared a few of my mini stop motion animations here before, but keep in mind that these previous works were usually created in a matter of hours. My goal with this animation was to create something more intricate and to really take time to build the set, create the characters, craft a story, and then bring it all to life.

The majority of my time was spent in the planning and building of the animation. Despite the strict mental deadline I set for coming up with a story, my brain refused to cooperate. This was a less than ideal start to the project, and actually even thinking about that time now makes me feel anxious! But anyways, obviously I came up with a story and then I was really able to get all the wheels in motion.

Painting the cottage (exterior set)

The exterior set in progress

For the animation I built two sets, one exterior and one interior. The exterior was for the most part made from cardboard and newspaper-mache  (is that a thing? do I need to specify that it was 'news'? :D.. anyways.-_-) as well as some natural sponges for the trees, and Popsicle sticks. For the inside I used a variety of cloths, Popsicle sticks, oven-hardening clay, wood and cardboard.
Building the back wall of Bear's home

The main character in my story, Bear, was made with a simple wire armature and a wooden ball as his head, covered with clay. I had originally dreamed of a furry more intricate character, but well basically, building puppets is hard! And with all my time constraints I just had to let go of that dream.. but you know what, I still loved my Bear. Oh and I was able to create 6 different heads for him! <3 (a little bit of explanation: I've been fascinated with the replacement head method since seeing the making of the Nightmare Before Christmas, so this was all pretty exciting to me :P)
And finally, filming!

My gosh,  I think writing a whole thesis about this animation has made me incapable of just sharing it without a lengthy prequel of information. So without further ado, here is Dear Bear.

I'd love to hear what you thought! <3 And what do you think of stop motion in general? Is it a visual style you enjoy watching or not? And if any of you have created stop motion animations please share them with me!

Oh and please go over to youtube and give Dear Bear a thumbs up was well! ^^


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