Harder Than It Looks: How to Make a Great Stop Motion Animation

Ever find your­self watch­ing a great lit­tle stop motion ani­ma­tion and think­ing, “Hey, I could do that?”  What’s that? You made one with some friends in mid­dle school? Great! Maybe you should bang one out tomor­row morn­ing, slap it up on YouTube, and brace your­self for the onslaught of pub­lic ado­ra­tion that’s so damnably dif­fi­cult to avoid when one’s cre­ation becomes a viral sen­sa­tion overnight.

Hold your hors­es, Gum­by. Film­mak­ing has grown increas­ing­ly demo­c­ra­t­ic in the dig­i­tal age, but a real­ly elab­o­rate stop motion ani­ma­tion is still a ton of work. Care to con­sid­er all that goes into one?

Try 382 Mole­sk­ine note­books; days of painstak­ing, no doubt bor­ing, labor; a cam­era dol­ly, a green screen, and a live, albeit less-than-pro­fes­sion­al, cat and mouse team. These are the pri­ma­ry ele­ments of Dutch “graph­ic motion design­er” Rogi­er Wieland’s “A Year in Full Colour,” a cun­ning salute to old-school dai­ly plan­ners. Unsur­pris­ing­ly, this flight of fan­cy was com­mis­sioned by Mole­sk­ine, a brand whose inroads into the iPad cov­er mar­ket would like­ly not be enough to keep things in the black should jot­ting things on paper go the way of the dodo.  Per­haps instead of mak­ing a stop motion of your own, you could pour your cre­ative efforts into record­ing your upcom­ing appoint­ments in a Mole­sk­ine clas­sic.

As to which you should view first—the fin­ished prod­uct (above) or the equal­ly brief, but high­ly illu­mi­nat­ing Mak­ing Of  (below)–we leave that in your capa­ble hands.

Relat­ed Con­tent

Spike Jonze Presents a Stop Motion Film for Book Lovers

Going West: A Stop Motion Nov­el

Ayun Hal­l­i­day’s plan­ner of choice is the Sling­shot Orga­niz­er  Fol­low her @AyunHalliday

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