I finally got around to seeing the film Coraline! Whilst I wanted to see it at the cinema, I somehow missed the opportunity. I managed to get a copy on DVD with both the 2D and 3D versions included (along with 4 pairs of 3D glasses), but I have only sat down to watch it in “2D” so far.
Coraline is a visually stunning stop-motion film. I could not believe how fluid and beautifully animated the characters were. The visuals were quite similar to the style of The Nightmare Before Christmas, but thankfully it isn’t another stop-motion musical! (Phew! I hate those). Whilst the look is quite similar, it does feel a lot less exaggerated and a little more refined. Coraline definitely has it’s own look.
The story is about a young girl (Coraline) who doesn’t get enough attention from her parents. As they had just recently moved into a new home (an old house), she stumbles across a hidden door which leads to an alternate universe. Everything is suddenly “better”. Her parents give her undivided attention and come across a lot more loving and caring than her “real” Mum and Dad. The only weird thing is that everyone there seems to have buttons for eyes. Obviously, something isn’t quite right and we are treated to a very dark, yet incredibly imaginative story.
I highly recommend you check out this film, not only if you are a stop-motion loving nut like me. Coraline is a great film which is beautifully animated and definitely worth anyone’s time. Go see it, and let me know what you think
Whilst not actually animating myself, I like to spend my time looking at stop-motion videos created by others. It helps inspire new ideas and styles for creating my own.
Whilst visiting a few blogs earlier this week I stumbled across this video named Balance. It is just over 7 minutes long, but is definitely worth your time. It features a concept which is brilliantly executed in quite a dark and surreal way. I love the fact that there is no dialogue and that each person displays a range of emotions and characteristics.
I really hope I can make something this good myself one day.
Let me know what you think
EDIT:The video keeps getting removed and re-uploaded due to copyright issues. You will now need to search for it yourself. Sorry for the inconvenience.
This evening I spent some time drawing again. My chosen “subject” was Scarecrow from the Batman universe. I’ve always been a huge fan of Batman (particularly the Joker), but have never really attempted to draw this villain before.
I started off sketching him on paper and then scanning it in. I must admit it was a bit of a rushed job, with no pencilling and proper shading. I will try to spend a bit more time on my next drawing working more on proportions, shading, and doing more than just a head.
Once scanned in, I made a few layers for the colours and overlaid the black outline on top to allow me to work more freely. I also tried adding a little bit of texture to the image.
I was actually very indecisive about how I coloured and textured Scarecrow, so please check out the other variations (and larger image) after the break and let me know which one you prefer.
I feel a bit bad just calling him the “weird boy”, but I’m terrible at coming up with decent names for my doodles and blog posts. I really like to try and come up with something imaginative and different to “doodle number 3″, so maybe someone can help me come up with a few ideas for interesting naming conventions..?
This is now my second attempt at a doodle using my new method of scanning in a drawing and colouring it using photoshop. My first picture was just done on plain white paper with a pencil, but for this one I used canvas and went over the pencil with a pen. I think the natural grainy texture of the canvas really suits this image (although I imagine it could still be easily achieved with a photoshop filter).
It seems this experimentation has paid off as I’m quite pleased with the finished result. I think next time I will try and attempt something a little darker and more complicated using a similar style. In the meantime, please feel free to submit your own experiments in drawing and/or photoshop in the “Gallery” section of our forum.
PS. If you think you have an interesting name for this little character, please share your ideas in the comments section
I had originally planned to start animating this week. However, I have spent most of my time sketching out ideas, reading tutorials, and watching videos for some inspiration. As all of my previous animation has been purely experimental, I really wanted to make my next stop-motion video a little more meaningful or entertaining.
As part of my research, I’ve decided to buy a book. I used to think that all the information you could ever want was freely available on the Internet, but it seems that claymation and stop-motion animation might be a bit of a small niche, even for the word wide web. Sites like animateclay.com are good, but they just don’t seem to go into enough depth, or suggest alternative ways of doing things beyond the scope of products they sell in their e-shops.
The book I purchased (and will be eagerly awaiting for in the post) is called Stop Motion: Craft Skills for Model Animation. There are a few others that I’d like to get my hands on, but I’ll try reading this one first and pass on any good tips I find.