Sunday, 19 February 2012

Stop Motion Animation

Howdy folks!

So I haven't posted a new bloglet in a while but I kind of actually have an actual, valid excuse. Sort of. 

Well, not really. I've been playing with my birthday presents (12th February if you missed it this year and would like to send something next time - don't worry, I don't have a 'special' birthday for a while - I'll remind you nearer the time).

Anywho, the present which has dominated the past couple of days is the 'Make Your Own Morph' kit sent in by Adam, aged 22 from Stevenage. Thanks Adam.

For anyone who didn't watch Morph as a child (and frankly your childhood was severely lacking if you were denied this pleasure), here is a picture of the little guy.

Happy little dude, isn't he?

Aardman, the creators of Morph (and later Wallace & Gromit) used stop motion animation to create short videos. 'Stop motion animation?' What the chickens are you on about, Becky? Well, folks, good old Wikipedia defines stop motion in the following way:

Stop motion (also known as stop frame) is an animation technique to make a physically manipulated object appear to move on its own. The object is moved in small increments between individually photographed frames, creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames is played as a continuous sequence. Dolls with movable joints or clay figures are often used in stop motion for their ease of repositioning. Motion animation using clay is called clay animation or clay-mation.

I decided it would be an excellent idea to have a go at making my own Morph video (which you can see at the end of this bloglet). If anyone else wants to try their hand at stop motion animation, here are a few tips:

1. Patience is a necessity - not a virtue - a necessity. My video takes less than 2.5 minutes to watch. It took 2 days to make. I don't have any fancy software which could speed up the process, but even if I did, the process of taking the pictures would still take a while and requires a lot of patience.

2. Only do it if you enjoy it. Sounds pretty obvious, I know, but it links in with the previous point: if you're enjoying it you're more likely to stay patient and the final outcome will be better.

3. Teeny tiny movements are the key. You'll see in my video that I don't always stick to this rule and Morph jumps from one place to another.

4. Less is not more. There are probably over 1000 pictures squeezed into my little video (I took around 860 but used some more than once). The more photos you take, the smoother the movement will be.

5. Lighting is vital. Because you're only making tiny alterations to the model's pose/position each time you take a photo, it can take a long time to make a scene. Your lighting should, therefore, be kept as constant as possible. Again, I failed at this in my video - at one point if you look out the window you can see the sun setting and rising as I use the same pictures in chronological and anachronical order.

Anyway, enough of me babbling. Here's Morph.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, glad you liked it - took ages!

  2. Very cute and funny! I must have been deprived as a child; I'd never heard of Morph before today.

    1. You're excused as I think he never made it across the Atlantic ;)