Thursday 10 February 2011

Part III and All About It

Here's the third instalment of Arbitrary Stopframe, followed by a lot of verbosity relating to the clip:

Sam asked last week whether the episodes are going to fit together to form a bigger story.  The answer is: to be honest, I have no idea.  As of now, I'm not planning a bigger story, but as I go along I might start spotting connections.  Watch this space, basically!

I rambled on last week about the problem of YouTube series that start well but fall apart on or around their second episode, and listed Problem C as being when there are two instalments, and every indication that the series is set for a long and excellent run, but it somehow vanishes into thin air and Ep 3 never shows.  I've managed to avoid that one, as you can see from the presence of Episode 3 above.

I might not do one next week, as I'll have a guest staying, and it'd be a bit antisocial to ignore them for a day just to get a bit of animation done.  Normal service (i.e. Ep 4) will resume on the week commencing Monday 21st.

But having avoided Problem C, I've discovered something much more worrying:
  • Problem D: you're busy animating, and after a few moments squinting into the viewfinder you suddenly find that you can't focus one of your eyes.
That happened to me yesterday while I was shooting Inkjet, and persisted for several minutes.  I couldn't get my right eye to focus on some normal-sized text on my monitor from about two feet away.  Very worrying.  As a visual artist, if I lost the use of my eyes then every worthwhile skill I've ever had would evaporate instantly, and life on this planet would become a blank, both literally and metaphorically.

On a brighter note, in case anyone's wondering what all that stuff says on the computer monitor in the clip, here's a transcript:

How to Animate in Confined Spaces
Without Going Totally Insane

Contrary to popular belief, it is in fact possible to execute a stopmotion animation in a very small and hard-to-access location (such as the inside of an inkjet printer) without going stark staring bonkers in the process.  There are three main ways of achieving this.

The first way to avoid going stark staring bonkers during your animation session is if you are already stark staring bonkers to begin with.  Many of the best animators take this approach, and are always careful to remove any lingering traces of sanity and leave them at the studio door before commencing work.  While there is no reliable scientific evidence, it is widely believed that this is the approach taken by Henry Selick, director of The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline.

The second approach is to channel in
impending insanity through your characters instead of bottling it up in your own brain and allowing it to ferment there.  This is particularly effective if you are animating a character who is already deranged (e.g. Ron Haggard), or at least moderately eccentric (e.g. Wallace).  The results from this technique can sometimes be impressive – see for example the relative collectedness still exhibited by Nick Park after all these years – but they are not always reliable, particularly for method directors.

The third approach is not recommended, as its primary ingredient is paracetamol, in a dose which would be lethal to most known human-based life forms, even animators.


Mea culpa: there's a typo in the third paragraph.  It was meant to say 'channel any impending insanity'.

And finally, on an unrelated topic, here's another painting I finished the other day:

#006: Arbitrary Strata

No relation to Arbitrary Stopframe, despite the similar-sounding names.  It began life as a random pattern of leftover watercolours dribbled onto the canvas, and then added to with acrylics.

- The Colclough

1 comment:

  1. I was going to pause the video to read the text so thank you for putting it up!! =)

    Also, I watched this round my friend's house and my two friends like your animations =) One of whom being Rosanna who is one of my Doctor Who mad friends that you met =) fyi etc =)