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Stop Motion Animation

My children began experimenting with stop motion animation about a year ago (at 7 and 4.5 years of age).

So far, most of their films are quite short...fewer than 200 frames. They use a card table for the set and Playmobil dolls for the characters.

If you own a computer, getting into stop motion animation is fairly inexpensive.

We are using an IBM PC camera (one of those little USB cameras for video e-mail) and some free software downloaded from the net. (Anasazi Stop Motion Animator). When I ran the software it automatically detected the camera and we were set to go.

If you don't have a camera, they aren't terribly expensive $30-$50.

Van Aken Plastalina is the clay to use for animation work. It is widely available at art supply shops. The kids love to work with it, but have yet to use it for making a film.

Longer films require some planning...storyboards are essential. Storyboard forms are available for download at Project Storyboard (pdf file).

If you see a general ad for Amazon, please refresh this page and the proper book information, including price, should appear.

Timing for Animation
Harold Whitaker
ISBN: 0240517148, Published by Focal Press, 148 pages.

Book Description

Written by two internationally acclaimed animators, this classic text teaches you all you need to know about the art of timing and its importance in the animated film. This reissue includes a new foreword by John Lasseter, executive vice president of Pixar Animation Studios and director of 'Toy Story', 'Toy Story 2', 'A Bug's Life' and 'Monsters Inc.' He sets the wealth of information in this classic text in context with today's world of computer animation, showing how this is a must-have text if you want to succeed as a traditional drawn, or computer animator.

Learn all the tips and tricks of the trade from the professionals. How should the drawings be arranged in relation to each other? How many are needed? How much space should be left between one group of drawings and the next? How long should each drawing, or group of drawings, remain on the screen to give the maximum dramatic effect? The art of timing is vital.

Highly illustrated throughout, points made in the text are demonstrated with the help of numerous superb drawn examples. 'Timing for Animation' not only offers invaluable help to those who are learning the basis of animation techniques, but is also of great interest to anyone currently working in the field and is a vital source of reference for every animation studio.

John Halas, known as the 'father of animation' and formerly of Halas and Batchelor Animation unit, produced over 2000 animations, including the legendary 'Animal Farm' and the award winning 'Dilemma'. He was also the founder and president of the ASIFA and former Chairman of the British Federation of Film Societies.

Harold Whitaker is a professional animator and teacher. Many of his former students are now among some of the most outstanding animation artists of today.


The Animator's Survival Kit
Richard Williams
ISBN: 0571202284, Published by Faber & Faber, 352 pages.

Book Description

The definitive book on animation, from the Academy Award-winning animator behind Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Animation is one of the hottest areas of filmmaking today--and the master animator who bridges the old generation and the new is Richard Williams. During his more than forty years in the business, Williams has been one of the true innovators, winning three Academy Awards and serving as the link between Disney's golden age of animation by hand and the new computer animation exemplified by Toy Story.

Perhaps even more important, though, has been his dedication in passing along his knowledge to a new generation of animators so that they in turn could push the medium in new directions. In this book, based on his sold-out master classes in the United States and across Europe, Williams provides the underlying principles of animation that every animator--from beginner to expert, classic animator to computer animation whiz --needs. Urging his readers to "invent but be believable," he illustrates his points with hundreds of drawings, distilling the secrets of the masters into a working system in order to create a book that will become the standard work on all forms of animation for professionals, students, and fans.



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Such animation often do I find - William Wordsworth




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