From Timelapse to Stop Motion.
Having shooting timelapses for a couple of years now I decided to try myself in another form of art that id very similar to time lapses but not quite. It’s stop motion animation. It was a Pebble Coast Films production and I was involved a s a shooter and editor mostly. My friend Carla and I came up with an idea for a short stop motion film that would suit well as a promotional video for one of the Carla’s friends who happened to own a shop in Manly and needed a video to put on their website.
Here is the finished video we produced.
Even though it’s very short and looks simple the amount of work it required was more than we could have thought before we started. Pre-production and technique testing took a couple of days and after completing a story board we set the date of the shoot. The script required Carla to wear a wetsuit and pretend she was swimming in the ocean while lying on the floor. To pull it off is much harder than it might look from the first sight. First the wet suit she had was a winter type suit. Second, the temperature that day was in the mid 30s, pretty hot for a winter type wet suite. Third, we used a hot 1K lights to light the set which contributed heavily into already not so cold room we were shooting in.
After the shooting day the post production phase started. And here is the first and huge mistake we did. The background we were shooting on was white not green. It was my decision to use white instead of green as I though I will be able to pull a decent key using luminance channel but as it turned out it was a big mistake. The problem was that the mask Carla was wearing and the snorkel had glossy finish and areas that were reflecting white paper background were the same luminance as the background itself. Having noticed that I knew instantaneously I will have to spend a lot of time rotoscoping the subject from the background. So a 15 min easy job of pulling a key became a two day nightmare. After the key was pulled the rest seemed easy – just some After Affects magic, sound effects and here we go – final stop motion product.
Here are a few pick of how it all looked in camera.