Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Making a set

Timelapse: Building set for "sweet dreams" from Kirsten Lepore on Vimeo.

Notice how the animator builds her set.

What is needed:

Ground area
Background (sky, buildings, forest?)
Details (buildings, trees, benches, houses, etc.)

We can make our sets out of paper, clay, found objects or other materials found in the art room. Let's use our imaginations and create some great sets for our films!

Information on animator:

Timelapse by Kirsten Lepore

One photo taken every 30 seconds for 3.3 hours during the construction of "beach set 1" for the animated film "sweet dreams"

Music - "Magnum Opus" by Thrust Lab

Cinematic Terminology

We will be using this terminology and these techniques while creating our stop-motion animations.

When we create art, we "compose" the images visually within the frame. The same is true with animation. However, since multiple views and angles are used to give visual interest, we have names for them:

Aerial Shot: A shot taken from a crane, plane, or helicopter. Not necessarily a moving shot.

Bridging Shot: A shot used to cover a jump in time or place or other discontinuity. Examples are falling calendar pages, railroad wheels, newspaper headlines, and seasonal changes

Extreme Long Shot: A panoramic view of an exterior location photographed from a considerable distance, often as far as a quarter-mile away. May also serve as the establishing shot.

Fade in:
A punctuation device. The screen is black at the beginning; gradually the image appears, brightening to full strength. The opposite happens in the fade out

Dollying: A tracking shot or zoom which follows the subject as it moves.

Master Shot: A long take of an entire scene, generally a relatively long shot that facilitates the assembly of component closer shots and details. The editor can always fall back on the master shot: consequently, it is also called a cover shot.

Medium Shot:
A shot intermediate between a close-up and a full shot.

Pan: (abbreviation of panorama) Movement of the camera from left to right or right to left around the imaginary vertical axis that runs through the camera. A panning shot is sometimes confused with a tracking shot.

Point of view shot:
(Often abbreviated as 'pov'). A shot which shows the scene from the specific point of view of one of the characters.

Pull back shot: A tracking shot or zoom that moves back from the subject to reveal the context of the scene.

Visual Grammar | The 4 Basic Elements | The Big Picture from Birth of Image on Vimeo.

Other important terminology:

Camera Angle:
The angle at which the camera is pointed at the subject: Low High Tilt

Cut: The splicing of 2 shots together. this cut is made by the film editor at the editing stage of a film. Between sequences the cut marks a rapid transition between one time and space and another, but depending on the nature of the cut it will have different meanings.

Continuity cuts: These are cuts that take us seamlessly and logically from one sequence or scene to another. This is an unobtrusive cut that serves to move the narrative along.

Deep focus: A technique in which objects very near the camera as well as those far away are in focus at the same time.

Editing: Editing refers literally to how shots are put together to make up a film. Traditionally a film is made up of sequences or in some cases, as with avant-garde or art cinema, or again, of successive shots that are assembled in what is known as collision editing, or montage.

Flashback: A scene or sequence (sometime an entire film), that is inserted into a scene in "present" time and that deals with the past. The flashback is the past tense of the film.

Flash-forward: On the model of the flashback, scenes or shots of future time; the future tense of the film.

Focus: The sharpness of the image. A range of distances from the camera will be acceptably sharp. Possible to have deep focus, shallow focus. Focus in, focus out: a punctuation device whereby the image gradually comes into focus or goes out of focus.

Framing: The way in which subjects and objects are framed within a shot produces specific readings. Size and volume within the frame speak as much as dialogue. So too do camera angles. Thus, for example, a high-angle extreme long shot of two men walking away in the distance, (as in the end of Jean Renoir's La Grande Illusion, 1937) points to their vulnerability - they are about to disappear, possibly die. Low angle shots in medium close-up on a person can point to their power, but it can also point to ridicule because of the distortion factor.

Scene: A complete unit of film narration. A series of shots (or a single shot) that takes place in a single location and that deals with a single action. Sometimes used interchangeably with sequence.

Shot: In terms of camera distance with respect to the object within the shot, there are basically 7 types of shots;

* extreme close-up
* close-up
* medium close-up
* medium shot
* medium long shot
* long shot
* extreme long shot or distance shot

* Source: Wikipedia

Writing the script for your stop-motion animation

A Script Should Contain:

- Short character descriptions
- Dialogue
- Words to describe how dialogue should be spoken (ex. angrily)
- Actions/movement
- Sound effects
- Description of how the scenes will be framed (close up, long shot, panning, etc.)