Stop Motion Animation of Falling
In this assignment you will create a simple stop-motion animation of a falling object. It can be a simple as a ball bounce cycle or (preferably) something more interesting, like a flour sack or a water balloon falling to the ground. Because you will have to pose your object at different heights, you'll either need to suspend it from a string or have the motion occur on the ground with the camera positioned directly overhead.
There are also many free and low-cost apps for stop-motion, such as StopMo Studio; SJSU alum Marty Cooper recommends Stop Motion Studio Pro for iOS devices. If you use a smart phone or tablet as your camera then be sure to use a tripod to hold it steady.
An alternative is to shot a sequence of photos (not a movie!) with your digital camera and to combine the photos into a movie file. This is as simple as using cut/paste if you have Quicktime Pro. But here's what SJSU alum Sean Petrilak recommends, "Generally speaking, any software that has any timeline capability can be used for stop motion. Using Adobe products would be the easiest. I treat my single images in Photoshop, batch rendering the single images (Photoshop does have a light animation timeline). Then import them into Premiere or After Effects." Finally, if you want to use professional software you could download a trial version of Dragonframe (http://www.dragonframe.com/).
Your animation should be composed of at least a dozen different images, though you may want to use the same photo in one or more frames to get the timing right. Try to make the motion as physically correct as possible; because it is difficult to go back and make corrections in stop motion animation you'll want to plan out your object's positioning ahead of time.
Your assignment will be scored on both the believability of the object's motion and on the creativity of your animation. You can adjust the timing by putting the same image on more than one frame (e.g., "shooting on twos") or deleting some frames. But don't hesitate to simply reshoot your animation; often that's easier than trying to make corrections. For tutorials on stop-motion animation, visit: http://www.nfb.ca/playlist/stopmostudio/
Here are some good examples from previous semesters:
While I encourage you to work with your classmates and help each other out, for this assignment each person needs to create their own animation. Finally, describe in a brief paragraph how you created your animation. Post your animation clip to your blog in an entry entitled "Stop Motion Animation of Falling."
* Plan your scene, especially the timing, spacing, path of action, anticipation, etc.
* Your animation needs to have an object that appears to be falling in a believable fashion. You may make it as simple or as complex as you'd like.
* Photograph your object in a sequence of images suitable for combining into an animation.
* Create a video clip with at least a dozen unique frames.
* Adjust the timing by adding or removing frames; if needed, re-shoot your animation.
* Post your animation to your blog in an entry entitled "Stop Motion Animation of Falling".
* In your posting describe in one paragraph how you created your animation.
40 points (if late, 20 points); the top three animation clips in the class will receive a bonus of 40 extra points.
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