Before the start of this project, during the summer, I was taking early steps to prepare with my honours project. I wanted to include stop motion animation in the project but did not know how or what I’d be looking at.
I worked on a stop motion animation project on the side during the summer and during the first several weeks of the semester. Although the work I created for this project was not applicable to the honours project, without that work, the honours year research project would probably not be where it is today. I do consider the skills developed to be applicable to this project.
The side project involved studying the use of cinematography and editing techniques by re-creating existing media in stop motion animation using Lego bricks. I chose to look at a trailer for the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice movie, out of personal preference and as something that contained a lot of challenging sequences.
Through creating various shots, I learnt how to translate real world filmmaking techniques into something practically achievable through stop motion. Stop motion has its limitations but working with them gives those animations a certain charm.
Some techniques I tried out are:
Using additional lights to add visual effects such as lightning or explosions.
Adding lights to illuminate certain objects in a scene.
Following the path of action in a character, the camera “lags” behind the movement by a frame or two to feel more natural, as if a person was filming in real time.
Removing something in post production to make it look like something is flying or in the air during an action. By keeping the flying object as close to its actual position in the scene, the lighting on that object will keep it feeling real within a scene. Artificial shadows can be added to emphasise this.
Avoiding digital backgrounds where possible. The use of printed backgrounds in this scene actually gave it a more charming quality to the animation, emphasising the physicality of the real world set.