Stop-Motion Filming and Performance

A Guide to Cameras, Lighting and Dramatic Techniques

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About the Book

Stop-motion animation has long been perceived as a technical practice rather than a creative, demanding art. Though stop-motion requires considerable technical knowledge, it also involves aesthetics and artistry that go beyond the technician’s realm. Just as important as puppet mechanics are lighting, filters, lenses, camera angle and placement, and dramatic pose and movement.
This manual is a complete guide to the aesthetics of stop-motion animation. Information is organized in an intuitive, easy-to-use structure, following the order an animator uses in setting up and then executing a scene. The first half concentrates on the aesthetics of lighting and cameras, a primary concern in any shot, with details of camera placement, various lenses and myriad lighting techniques. The second half deals with the process of performance art, an oft-overlooked aspect of stop-motion animation. Included is a commentary on body language, facial expression, gesture, movement and emotion—key concepts that are exemplified through the acting process. The work also offers an introduction to narrative form and a glossary of related terms.

About the Author(s)

Tom Brierton is an educator, independent filmmaker and stop-motion animator. He lives in Griffith, Indiana.

Bibliographic Details

Tom Brierton
Format: softcover (8.5 x 11)
Pages: 112
Bibliographic Info: 210 photos, glossary, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2417-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9008-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii

Preface      1

1. “The Play’s the Thing”      3

2. Motion-Picture and Digital Video Cameras      11

3. Light and Lighting Basics      19

4. Fundamentals of Animation Acting      33

5. Walk and Run Cycles      53

6. Creating Replacement Figures      69

7. Reading the Dialogue Track and Creating the Exposure Sheet      81

Concluding Remarks      89

Glossary      91

References      95

Index      97

Book Reviews

“interesting…worthy of your attention…a complete guide”—John Kenneth Muir, Reflections on Film/TV.