This week I thought I'd show you how I create my paper cut stop motion animations. I started this project in my last year in college, and hope to continue it with more disastrous dates that i've heard. This is such a long process as it takes hundreds of photographs to complete. You can see the full videos here.
My top products to use when you are making a stop motion animation using flat objects are show above. These are a good quality camera, tweezers to move the little pieces of paper, blue tac to temporarily hold the pieces of paper in place, a tripod so you can keep your camera steady, a flat surface, and some sort of lighting (I usually try and use the daylight from the window, but you can get good lighting from amazon or you can make your own using white lightbulbs).
All of the stop motion ideas started out the same, with a storyboard. This is where I decided what I wanted the animation to look like. I wanted it to seem as if you're friend was talking to you or bitching about their terrible dates, and then little images that they we're talking about would pop up in the video as if you were imagining what they are talking about. Each of these videos took around 300-400 photographs to make and then put together with the voice overs, that I forced my friends and boyfriend to do.
To make different pieces of the face move, you have to move one of the pieces of cut paper a little bit and photograph it each time you move it. I wanted to keep it all about the expression in the face, of you looking at your friend when they are talking, so this bit was very important to get right. Each part of the stop motion is made from watercolour illustrations which are then cut out individually and made into separate moving pieces.
The titles are also the same process of using watercolour cut out letters and a hand drawn signature. I wanted the titles to seem messy and a bit of a disaster to match the theme of the animations. I originally had the titles coming in one letter at a time and really neat but it didn't seem right having neat and perfect titles when the rest of the animation was supposed to be about a disaster. I'd also thought i'd show you how I test these stop motions out on my phone (using an app called iMotion on the capture setting) before taking proper photographs. The iMotion app is so handy for when you want to see what your video will look like, or to see you idea come to life, roughly and quickly, so you can see if it will work or if it needs to be changed or altered in anyway. For me, I thought this title sequence was too neat to match the disasterous dates that were being told so I made it more messy. But here is a sneak peek no one else has seen yet.
This was always going to be a time consuming process, but the end result is always worth it. With having a 4 year old laptop, this was going to take a little bit longer than expected to match up the voices with each of the photographs in the sequence that I wanted, but I liked how it turned out in the end and I can't wait to make more. I've also added the little moustache test that I made with the iMotion app below.
Send your disastrous dates to: firstname.lastname@example.org and you might see them come to life in the same way!