Stop Motion Animation

A classic technique, stop motion animation brings objects to life on screen through the process of capturing movement in a series of still images. It’s the only way to bring static objects that aren’t digitally created or animated to life. Stop motion works by moving the objects in increments and only filming one frame per movement. When you string all the images together, viola! You have an animated sequence.

The long history of stop motion animation

First used in 1897, stop motion animation has historically been popular in the worlds of claymation, puppets, and miniatures. Their small size and easily repositioned figures make these objects ideal for the format. 

However, stop motion animation is a labor of love. As you can imagine, the frame-by-frame technique is time-consuming. As a result, stop motion isn’t used as often in full-length features today. That’s a shame, because stop motion was the driving force behind some truly classic films. It bought the gorilla to life in the 1933 film King Kong, and built the worlds of modern day movies like The Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) and Kubo and the Two Strings (2016). And who could forget the timeless stop motion film The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993).  

That said, stop motion animation can act as a “supporting role” in film as well. In the era of movies like Star Wars – A New Hope, stop motion acted as a stop-gap to create special effects before CGI technology turned the world of VFX upside down altogether.

Stop motion in the modern world

Even with modern animation technology and techniques, stop motion still has a valuable niche in video production. With its unique effect and hyper-realistic textures, stop motion animation is still wildly popular for short films, commercials, and stylized marketing campaigns. Here are a few reasons stop motion animation remains popular today:

  • Versatility – stop motion animation helps make truly extraordinary videos that explain concepts and information in a fun way. 
  • Branding – creating simple, but creative animations, stop motion helps make your content more memorable. It can also enhance brand awareness going forward. 
  • Messaging – using this process to present a clear and engaging message, especially when the subject-matter is a little confusing or tedious, stop motion helps make necessary information more meaningful to the audience.

Creating impact with the right equipment

Typically, stop motion animation is filmed using DSLR cameras. DSLRs, while not as flashy as cinema quality cameras, can give real-time previews of your stop motion sequence. That allows you to align each image perfectly from the last. ECG Productions makes it easy to create stop motion video with the right equipment set up, like combining our workhorse camera Sony a7S ii with the Wenpod MD2, a 3-axis gimbal stabilizer specifically designed for smaller cameras. 

With our wide practical knowledge of equipment, understanding of how to properly light assets for animation, and extensive experience in compositing, ECG is a one stop shop for producing stop motion animation. From set-up to final editing, ECG is here to help get your concept to the screen. 

Learn more about our animation services and contact us today to begin discussing your next project.