How to become a master in stop-motion animation

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Many people went back to digital school to either learn new skills or to upgrade their existing skills during the lockdown. Online education is the new normal. Speaking of increasing your list of skills, have you given a thought about applying for stop motion animation courses? It is not for the faint hearted as it can take a really long time. It involves using models, clay or puppets to create animated movies and advertisements. When you pour your heart into it, you can help bring to life beautiful content.

Some examples of stop motion animation in cinema are Henry Selick film Coraline and Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, a hidden gem. And who can forget the captivating animation of the movie Kubo and the Two Strings. It accrued notable praise from critics as well as audiences.

So if you are thinking about pursuing a career in stop motion animation, there are many online animation courses you can explore. But once you get your training, the next step is to become an ace animator and for that you will have to go beyond the obvious skills. Below are a few attributes to consider that can help you on your journey to mastering this art.

1. Being observant

The job of an animator is not easy. You have to understand how people or things move in order to recreate the same way. Details like how a hat is placed on the head or how a person puts one foot in front of the other while walking will help you create an accurate representation through stop motion animation. An ace animator often notes such things around their surroundings.

stop motion animation
Picture courtesy: www.signals.org.uk

2. A driven animator

It takes a lot of patience to stage every frame, strategically. The art form’s time-consuming nature can also get repetitive. So it works best for those who have the passion for it. This is not a short-term project, so to complete something that takes time you have to be driven to achieve your goal.

3. No cheering squad

Stop motion animation involves capturing a lot of frames without people telling you that you are doing a great job. It is like running a marathon but no crowd to cheer you on. You have to be able to work with that vibe.

Stop-motion
Picture courtesy: www.cateater.com

4. Noticing the details

It’s like they say, the devil is in the details. An out-of-focus shot, change in lighting, inconsistent placement of characters, etc. are enough to throw off the flow in the frames. It is one of the first things you will learn when you study stop motion animation. Everything has to be planned so that it does not lead to a poor end result.

5. Keeping it steady

The characters of such animation are often delicate and fragile. They must be handled with utmost care so that they don’t fall from your hand, break or even get worn out. You must have a steady hand to ensure that the shots do not seem inconsistent. It is like playing a game of operation – shaky hands lose first.

Animation characters
Picture courtesy: hindleenvironmentalheroes.blogspot.com

6. Getting back to the house

Every piece of art is subject to reviews or feedback, be it from your boss or a client. It can be difficult to hear that your job is not up to the mark after working on it for hours or even days. You have to remember not to take it personally and use the constructive criticism to do a better job. With the same enthusiasm and meticulous precision to create a compelling story and captivating stop motion animation.

 


 

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