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Stop Motion and Design Evidencing

Part of the Experience Prototyping course, October 2010


Download the full course document and schedule: 2010.stopmotioncourse.pdf

In this 5-day workshop we will use various media to develop and communicate designed products, ideas and concepts. We will look at film-making, cinematography, animation techniques and other time-based techniques that allow designers to explore ideas that wouldn’t otherwise be possible through other prototyping or visualisation techniques. The workshop will be led by Timo Arnall (Oslo School of Architecture & Design) and Matt Cottam (Tellart).

The introduction of stop-motion to IxD students aims to refine their skills in creating and manipulating time-based media in order to communicate new concepts. It is also a great opportunity to temporarily break-free from pixels, screens, digital tools and interfaces. Clever use of simple objects, tools and techniques, often from the analog world, can expose new ways to see, understand and communicate IxD work.

Monday Oct 4

  • Introduction
  • Animation history and inspiration session
  • Fundamentals of photography
  • Review of the gear and equipment available: cameras, lights, tripods, etc.
  • Introduction to Dragon Stop Motion, download PDF manual
  • Project 1: Time

Tuesday Oct 5

  • Filmmaking as design evidencing tool
  • Project 2: Expression

Wednesday Oct 6

  • Storyboarding and Treatment writing
  • 15h00 Timo lecture in the Green Room

Thursday Oct 7

  • Own work, group tutoring with Matt and Timo (book time)

Friday Oct 8

  • Exporting and Publishing
  • Final Screenings at 14:00 in the Art Studio
  • Feedback/Post-Mortem session, notes

Instructions for Final Renders

(sent from Timo Friday evening)

  • Add credits to students, Umeå and tutors. Don't need to add title unless there is a really good reason, and a good title! UID logo, UMU font instructions
  • At least three of the films could do with some of their middle sections tightened up a bit. Some of the shots in the headlamp film and the dance sequence in the radio film for instance.
  • Tweak the colour balance slightly in after effects. Dragon seemed to output stills that were more pink than the previews suggested. Adding an adjustment layer and pulling the red channel down slightly in curves or levels helped enormously.
  • Set the render settings to create final films with a width of 1280 pixels. Height will vary depending on aspect ratio. Crop to 16×9 if anyone wants to go for traditional HD resolution of 1280 x 720.
  • Set the output module to create quicktime mov files with .h264 compression. At high or best quality. Set the audio output if required to AAC compression, 44.1khz.

This should create files suitable for Vimeo. Once your video file is ready, upload it to Gone Tomorrow under the Stop.Motion.finals.for.Vimeo folder. Also please upload all of your preliminary exercises in the Stop.Motion.exercises folder. Name your file sensibly, with your group members' names. I'll upload them directly to the UID Vimeo account.

Final Movies

Erik, Jakob & Kirim
Jenn & Yangchen
John, Fevzi & Jingjing
Lauren & Roy
Joachim & Benjamin
Nirvana & Tatiana


Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen by Steve Katz

The Five C’s of Cinematography by Joseph Mascelli
A basic but valuable introduction to cinematography, a sort of practical ABC of film grammar

The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler
A great in-depth introduction to stories and storytelling, structure and narrative

Making A Good Script Great by Linda Seger
A simple book for creating good scripts

The Technique of Film Editing by Karel Reisz/Gavin Millar
An old but still valuable book that places film editing at the centre of film craft, with lots of examples.

Animator’s Survival Kit by Richard Williams
Great overview of animation and animation techniques.

The Complete Animation Course by Chris Patmore
Very comprehensive introduction to animation process and techniques.

The Illusion of life, Disney Animation
A beautifully illustrated overview of Disney’s animation development and techniques

Understanding Comics by Scott Mccloud
Absolutely essential reading for any animator, designer, or communicator.

Stop Motion Craft for Model Animation by Susannah Shaw (2nd edition)

courses/2010_exp_prototyping_week40.txt · Last modified: 2010/10/14 16:10 by camille