Shift ENGAGE | Purpose Built Creative | Stop the Press!
Stop motion videos are honestly wonderful – awe inspiring and they make you wonder how it’s made. As our resident expert explains, “Stop-motion is an animation technique that physically manipulates objects so that they appear to move on their own. You take photos of their movement, frame by frame, and then animate those into a single sequence.”
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Stop the Press!

What does the creepy movie Corpse Bride and this Lobel’s Choice Assorted biscuits ad have in common?

Ignore the randomness of that question for a moment. Stop. Then start again…See what we did there? It’s the magic that is stop motion animation!

Stop motion videos are honestly wonderful – awe inspiring and they make you wonder how it’s made. As our resident expert explains, “Stop-motion is an animation technique that physically manipulates objects so that they appear to move on their own. You take photos of their movement, frame by frame, and then animate those into a single sequence.”

Because of the illusion of movement, stop-motion animation is a creative and different way to get an idea across; a method that fires the imagination in its youthful appeal. Each subtle movement is highly important, as every ‘tic’ can make or destroy the final effect.

Stop motion animation is used for comedic effect, to appeal to a youthful segment, to ignite customer imagination or to appeal to a childhood nostalgia. In a nutshell, objects or models are moved frame by frame, captured via photography, then pieced together with software. Changes in lighting, level surface or colour can upset the process, so plenty of time is required to get it right.

A local example we love is an oldie but a goodie; a Crystal sweets stop motion TVC using plaster models in the 90s. It was iconic, and probably took them days to do without today’s technology!

Don’t you mean time lapse?

Um, no, although we understand why anyone would confuse the two. With the time lapse technique, still photographs of a live surrounding are taken at regular intervals and combined into a continuous film. The frequency at which film frames are captured is much lower than that used to view the sequence. When played at normal speed, time appears to be moving faster and thus lapsing. With stop motion, the objects, not elements of the surroundings are being made to move.

Why is stop motion so cool though?

Each specific frame or ‘stroke’ contains many deliberate creative decisions. The spaces in between each ‘stroke’ are an opportunity for engaging the viewer’s imagination. That’s really the fun of stop-motion. It’s like watching something being made, slowly. And who doesn’t like seeing things move on their own?

Each video, regardless of how small, is time-intensive. So when considering creating stop motion video content, consider if it’s the right kind of project and also the right kind of client. What we mean is, there’s a charm to it that comes through when the context makes sense. When applied to irrelevant or completely unusual content (we’re beating about the bush here, we mean when it’s forced), the charm is lost.

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