Stop motion today and an homage

Stop motion animation has been around since the early days of motion film entertainment. Katie Nestor, my colleague at KGO started this series of stop-motion station identification. She discovered that the time between exposures, much could happen. I assisted the final compilation process by stabilizing and color correcting image sequences.

Making something like these takes a bit of skill on how one executes the element sequence. The easiest way to do a build ON... is to take it OFF and run then exposures backward. This is not a new ground breaking solution, rather it's a tribute back to the way Ray Harryhaussen would work scenes. This stop motion goes back well before him. I consider him the grandfather of the real elements in animation; Disney had done cel animation for years before. This is a similar process to cel animation. A bit more difficult when one factors all the variables. Object stop motion takes much more time to shoot than the few seconds it produces. Subtle errors appear from lighting changes, items on the set could move... so much minutia to track. And the timing of the elements pulled in the scene could be wrong. Only solution is to a restart; so many things to consider.

Katie is a natural at the timing and how the elements will look, backwards to what she physically moved, the final timing of these IDs were perfect. Katie’s a perfectionist. Love that part too.

Thanks for including me on the project Katie. I had fun adding my tech savvy to her creative genius.

more detail on Ray Harryhausen from the A.V. Club

more bio for Ray

I was lucky enough to meet Ray Harryhausen before he passed in 2013. While I worked at the Academy of Art, Ray and Phil Tippet (Tippet Studios) sat on a panel together. They presented an historic perspective and then answered questions from the students. These two are not only geniuses in the creative arena; they are also smart businessmen to keep this sort of film art in production for the number of films produced. The labor in this kind of production is much higher than shooting a voiced scene with actors. Like any special effects work, it’s expensive. From what Phil said on that panel, he didn't believe himself a genius sitting next to the great Harryhausen... but he is.

I'm looking for my archive photos with both of them. Looks like I photo bomb... but no, I had a very nice chat. I'll udate this post when I uncover from the archive.


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