The Endless Fascination for the Stop-Motion Genre – The Hindu | Episode Movies

WSpecial effects artist Steve “Spaz” Williams digitally created a T-Rex for Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park, stop motion filmmaking was still evolving. Spielberg’s film as shown in one of the Netflix episodes The films that made us, branched out a new norm of filmmaking in which animatronics, miniatures, and stop-motion techniques were used only to complement digital creations. Reduced to a subgenre of filmmaking, stop-motion found a major player with the help of production houses like Aardman Animations (which made it into mainstream cinema with the help of Spielberg’s DreamWorks banner) and Will Vinton Productions (which later became Laika). in animation). Thanks to these production houses and filmmakers like Henry Selick, stop motion continues to scale the graphics, with creators reaching the absolute heights of realistic designs and motion through CGI, but with an eye on the past.

The stop motion effect

There is a spectacular irony here. For decades up until the late 90’s animation moved in search of realism. Filmmakers strove to introduce motion blur into their stop-motion creations to make them look real. The transitions and cuts also had to be realistic, and experiments with claymation (stop motion using playdough) as in Will Vinton’s earlier shorts came closest to the transitions. And now, for reasons like consumer-driven interest in authenticity and craftsmanship, filmmakers want their CGI-driven projects to have the “stop-motion effect.” The Lego Movie, for example, had the makers bring real Lego sets and digitally constructed sets together to create this jerky effect. The fascination of finding fingerprints and the reason that the frame rate does not go above 30 FPS – apart from the enormous effort that a higher frame rate in stop motion requires – stems from this. Interestingly, stop-motion also seems to be the immediate refuge for filmmakers like Spielberg, who dread the “Uncanny Valley” phenomenon, which refers to the unsettling feeling created when a computer-generated character is too human.

Though the modern animation industry benefits from hindsight, it has yet to accept some undeniably important arguments as to why the incorporation of stop-motion techniques is relevant. In the early days of stop motion, the medium influenced the form. Filmmakers had to work around the inherent limitations of stop motion. For example, in order to solve the problem of motion blur and avoid continuity errors between frames, characters had to be designed in a certain way. At Aardman Wallace and Gromit series, Wallace has no hair. Gromit the dog and Shaun the sheep have smooth coats. That’s how it was with Henry Selick James and the Giant Peach. The minimal facial features should not only please children. The music had to overemphasize the drama to offset the alleged artificiality. Such quick fixes made things easier in an already tiring film-making process.

The nature of the medium sometimes even influenced the narrative. For example in Will Vinton’s Oscar-winning short film closed on Monday (1974), the main character was conceived as a drunken old man, since Vinton had not found a way for the plasticine models to hold a pose calmly for long. But in the post-CGI era, anything was possible. Brave‘s Princess Merida has beautiful hair. That Shaun the Sheep Movie, a spin-off of Wallace and Gromit, has characters with distinguishable fur. movies like coral and Kubo and the two strings Effectively combine CGI and stop motion for spectacular results. Still, most of the characters in these CGI-influenced movies seem a little…too perfect. And that has more to do with the shifting mindset of some storytellers.

The CGI influx

Now that it’s possible to create anything near perfect, funny-looking clay characters like Wallace or Gumby (from Art Clokey’s popular franchise) may become rare. Far from indicating a lack of innovation and creativity, this does indicate that the focus is now more on making the characters look cool and making the special effects unique. As Vinton, a pioneer who coined the term claymation, said, “Back then it was more about character and less about ‘clay.'” Besides, if you could create anything out of a computer, why would you create one closed on Monday, about a drunken old man’s experience in a bizarre museum? Probe a little more and you would turn to the audience. Would you like to see a film about a drunk man visiting a museum?

While technology has opened up a world of possibilities, it has also expanded the creative horizons. Also, production houses are rightly reluctant to invest so much in smaller experiments that may not have an audience. It’s pointless to think of this as a purist’s defense against technology. Even the great Vinton was impressed by what technology could do and he would agree that the Moon Beast was in Kubo and the two strings looks very cool. Stop motion is arguably at its best in a way too. It is true that over the past two decades, nearly six out of the ten stop-motion CGI-enhanced feature films from the West have been made within the last seven years. And yet, non-CGI movies are still around and continue to grow.

The Myth of Meticulousness

Thanks to the Tim Burtons, Laikas, and Henry Selicks, stop motion has a certain artistic aura that many say relates to how real they feel. Exactly what does Burton mean when he says, “There’s a stop-motion energy that you can’t even describe. It has to do with giving life to things.”? Author James Clayton of Den of Geek believes this has to do with how meticulously stop-motion films are made: “I believe that the extra effort and scrutiny that goes into it ensures that the end result is captures more of their character, their psyche and their essential inner essence. ” he writes.

Well, if that’s far-fetched, the Jurassic Park Animator Steve Williams – one who arguably started it all – says listening to Bach may have played a part during what was then the painstaking digital process. Artists like Haruki Murakami have demonstrated that meditative exhaustion helps channel your thoughts. Even if you want to dismiss this as mere romanticism, there is no denying that it is this indescribable, mythical nature of art that has shaped all of history. The endless possibilities of CGI takes a visual artist away from that feeling, which could ultimately erase all of the above differences.

The public has started to appreciate this as well. Stop motion has the rare ability to engage the audience for what it is. While it may be true that the medium or sets shouldn’t affect the storytelling experience, stop motion seems to be catching on. People are more willing to watch a stop-motion film because of the heavy handwork it entails. These manifest themselves on the internet in the fascination for claymation films with fingerprints on the characters. Movies aside, stop-motion television continues to go strong. The passion for classic puppet and clay animation still has a place that never closes on Mondays.

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