Several months ago, Epic Rap Battles of History (previously) decided to try something new: They teamed up with Forest Fire Films to create "Zeus vs. Thor"... in stop motion LEGO [NSFW]. Here's a look behind the scenes (Parts One and Two) for some insight into both the stop motion work and the song writing process.
And now, because it's Tuesday: a stop-motion LEGO animation of The Cult performing their 1985 hit, She Sells Sanctuary.
Circle of an Abstract Ritual is the latest stop motion timelapse from artist Jeff Frost (previously)who creates short films that defy description. This latest work gathers hundreds of thousands of photographs taken over the last two years during wildfires, riots, and inside abandoned houses where he created a series of optical illusion paintings. Frost says the film “began as an exploration of the idea that creation and destruction might be the same thing,” and that it is in part “a way to get an ever so slight edge on the unknowable.” [via]
Morph is a plasticine man, star of many short animated films made for the BBC from the 1970s onwards by Aardman Animations, who would later use the similar techniques for Wallace & Gromit. A Kickstarter campaign last year has paid for 12 new one minute episodes. [more inside]
Butter Ya'Self (Vimeo; YouTube) is "basically ... the story of Drake and Lil’ Wayne [as told with an anthropomorphic banana, hot dog bun, and stick of butter]. ButterKrust is 100% based on Wayne – Nana Splits isn’t based on anyone real but his relationship to ButterKrust is based on Drake’s relationship to Lil’ Wayne. The most important thing I wanted to express in this video is the relationship between them, how tight they are and how much Nana Splits looks up to ButterKrust." That's the story from Julian Petschek, who is studying at The California Institute of the Arts. [more inside]
OMEGA - A Stop Motion Animated Short. "The mechanical life form Ohm inhabits a bleak and devastated planet. The thousands of mechanical creatures of this world share a single cycle of energy. In this cycle, Ohm is a rogue element. His nature is to devour and absorb others. When one day a gargantuan foreign object appears in the skies. Drawn in by mysterious creatures of light, the Ohm tracks them across the planet, changing the known order of matter, time and space." [Via]
Good Grief, an animated short film from Australia about the process of grieving and the lessons learned from adjusting to loss, made using stop-motion animation and recorded interviews with real people.
Jamestown Baloos (1957) [SLYT] by Robert Breer [PDF] (previously) "is a frenetic, three-part stop-motion animation that features an army of everyday forms and figures — geometric shapes, a piece of string, newspaper clips, a pin-up girl, even Napoleon Bonaparte — flashing across the screen. Placed in increasingly compromised situations and choreographed to a jingoistic tune, the figures essentially become puppets of their former selves. Such unrelenting visuals recall not only Fernand Léger’s early experimental film, Ballet Mécanique (1924), as Breer himself has mentioned, but also early twentieth-century Dadaist collage. Dada artists like Kurt Schwitters and Hannah Höch created witty, unapologetic works that reflected the chaos and violence of modern existence. Jamestown Baloos serves, as their works did, as a pointed indictment on the absurdity of war."
Junk Head 1 - Start with the stop motion animation look of an old Tool video, add in a bit of that Jeunet/Caro style humanity and humor, weave in some Cronenberg-like WTF creatures, and wrap the whole thing in an interesting story, and you have yourself a very cool short from Yamiken Hori.
Starting at age 15, on New Year's Day in 2011, Matt Perren took a shot of himself every day lip-syncing to Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now". 1100 days later, at age 18, the video is ready. [more inside]
It all started on Christmas Eve 1965 (Google books preview), as a cold and wet Michael Bond was doing some last minute shopping. He had missed a bus, and ducked inside a department store to get out of the sleet. It was there that he saw a small bear, all alone on a shelf. On a whim, he picked it up as a stocking stuffer for his wife. The couple named him after the Paddington railway station that was near where they lived at the time. A few months later, Bond turned to Paddington to break his writers block, and the Paddington books were born. Paddington was turned into the UK's favorite animated character thanks to the 56 five-minute long episodes and three longer specials that were originally aired in the 1970s and 1980s, and are online in one form or another. [more inside]
Making Of The Bear and The Hare - For the John Lewis Christmas advert Hornet/Blinkink directors Elliot Dear and Yves Geleyn took the two most traditional and time-honored animation processes – stop-motion and traditional hand-drawn 2D animation – and combined them to create something innovative and unique.
In the 1933 movie King Kong, the titular hero kills a group of sailors by throwing them off a log. But some were supposed to have survived the fall, only to meet a gruesome end at the bottom of the ravine. When King Kong was edited, this terrifying scene was lost. So director Peter Jackson decided to re-create it! The Lost Spider Pit Sequence [more inside]
Every frame of "The New America" was laser engraved into a block of maple then photographed.
Over four thousand photographs of three hundred and fifty people were used to create this amazing stop-motion(ish) music video "Young" by Australian band The Paper Kites [via] [more inside]
While at Cal Arts, before blogs and websites freely shared content, as animation students we would watch short films in a dark cage like room called the Palace. Projected onto the wall we screened “rare” short films, on bulky ¾ inch video cassettes or on mystical DVDs that a teacher had brought in. Of all the shorts we watched in the dingy palace there was one that was etched in my brain as both brilliant and completely insane. It was called “The Big Story,” and it starred three stop motion versions of Kirk Douglas: one as the young up and coming hero, another as the star in his prime, and the third the wise but curmudgie old man. [more inside]
Today saw the release of the first trailer for The LEGO Movie, and there are some interesting things to note about it. [more inside]
Vine is a smartphone app that makes up to six-second long clips that play back on a loop, which might not seem like enough to do much more than capture odd little moments. But Ian Padgham has elevated the format to an art, with a wooden figure animated in stop-motion, animated "postcards" of famous places, art in the making and moving art, and comedy on loop. And to answer the question, "how the heck did you do that?", Ian has a few helpful tutorial videos. (via)
Eine murul / Breakfast on the Grass is a stop-motion animation answering one of Art's most enduring mysteries: why are those people sitting like that? (SLVimeo, 4:30)
w.s.m [Worlds smallest movie]
Journey Through A Melting Brain (The Stratacut of David Daniels) David Daniels is the master of strata-cut animation, "a form of clay animation in which a long bread-like "loaf" of clay, internally packed with varying imagery, is sliced into thin sheets, with the animation camera taking a frame of the end of the loaf for each cut, eventually revealing the movement of the internal images within.... [I]n strata-cut, you build your imagery not just in X, Y, and Z space, but also considering time as a dimension, and the most important one." Daniels' films are mesmerizing explosions of color. In an interview with Art of the Title, he discusses the history of the process, his own trajectory, and how to make your own strata-cut animation (in a video demo at the bottom of the page).
Frank Howarth's woodworking videos are a joy to watch. Even if you know nothing about woodworking, the stop-motion animation he incorporates into them is a treat.
Dustincropsboy's first (and hopefully not last) stop-motion animated Lego film is a charming story of romance. He also made a poster for it.
Artmaking, a love story. How viral I Have Your Heart film brought two creators together from worlds away. [Different Kim Boekbinder video previously]
The Eagleman Stag is an award-winning stop motion animation film directed by Mikey Please with a striking visual aesthetic. The website for the film offers a "How It Was Made" video that is, in itself, highly engaging, but comes with a warning: "BEFORE WATCHING THIS, WATCH THIS. THEN ASK YOURSELF IF YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW." If that link puts you off "making of" media, then perhaps you can watch more of Please's work: Spectacular View, Zombiegotchi, Seven Legs, Animation Tag Attack EP-10, title sequence for The Rabbit Lover, Picasso Pictures Christmas Card, etc.
Micro-Macro, an animated short film that visualizes the nested scales of the physical universe (a la the Powers of Ten) using stop-motion-animated food. [more inside]
Jul!, a creative and delightfully disturbing animated advent calendar (some images possibly NSFW). Via.
Jan Svankmajer: "Succumb totally to your obsessions; Keep interchanging dream for reality and vice versa"
"Jan Švankmajer is a major figure of contemporary East European animation whose surrealistic, often macabre work owes more to the nightmarish visions of Kafka and Buñuel than to the sunny daydreams of Walt Disney and his creative progeny. Noted for investing otherwise ordinary objects with ominous overtones, Švankmajer reached his widest audience to date with a feature-length adaptation of Lewis Carroll's "Alice" (1988) which blended animated and live-action footage--a technique he had earlier used to hair-raising effect in "Down to the Cellar" (1983)." -- TMC. Often credited with influencing the Brothers Quay, they hadn't actually seen his work until relatively late in their careers, as they mentioned in an introduction to their documentary on Švankmajer (YT playlist). More of Švankmajer inside. [more inside]
Mysteries of Vernacular is a series of delightful papercraft animations about etymology, by filmmaker Jessica Oreck. Four of a projected 26 videos, one for each letter of the alphabet, have been completed so far: Assassin, Hearse, Pants, and Clue. (via)
Paris in Motion is a beautiful time-lapse stop-motion video by Mayeul Akpovi.
Homebuilding a 474mm tall model of "Robocain" from 1990's Robocop 2, complete with a working head. Clips of Robocain and the other Robocop prototypes from the movie. All photos from the project. Bonus music link: Front Line Assembly performing the Robocop 2 sampling Mindphaser live.
PCKTKNFE is an entertaining little stop motion short about what happens when video game characters escape the confines of their consoles. [more inside]
"Dinosaurs welcome us along our highways, and infiltrate the most private domains of our home..." [more inside]