Weekly Log 3 (Tuesday 19th January 2016 – Thursday 21st January 2016) – Stop-Frame Animation Project

Continuing on from Weekly Log 2 of the Stop-Frame Animation Project, Weekly Log 3 expands further on what kind of research I did from the second week onto the third week of this project.

Research / Context

Following the work I did in the second week, I continued work on the development of my sock puppet, and during this time, I wanted to make sure to get my character to stand, as well as sewing on the eyes for my sock puppet, based on the research I did on the adverts, for instance, the C’mon Chase puppet advert by Vauxhall.

The research I did on the Vauxhall puppet advert relates to my experiments, as you can see in the advert that the puppets walk in a human-like fashion, and I feel this advert, based on the further research I’ve done on some other adverts or television programmes, for instance, Shaun the Sheep, relates to my experiments, given that I’ve made sure to make my sock puppet character stand up so that it can move around a lot easier during the stop-frame animation film process.

To develop my own understanding of the whole idea of stop-frame animation, I did some further research on the stop-frame animation television series, Shaun the Sheep, as I wanted to get a genuine idea as to how anthropomorphism works with characters like him, especially with Wallace & Gromit. I used Shaun the Sheep and Wallace & Gromit to develop my sock puppet character in an anthropomorphist form.

Practical Tasks Done

At this stage, after doing some research, I wanted to find out how stop-frame animation works, especially when it came to researching the hit television characters, Shaun the Sheep and Wallace & Gromit, given that all three were developed and produced by Nick Park, who worked for Aardman Studios, but back to the subject though, I researched anthropomorphism, as all three characters connect to it, but I did a bit more research and wanted to find out more about how it works. I found that anthropomorphism represented a character that had human-like characteristics that made that peculiar character human-like, but in either a human or animal form.

What I thought was difficult was that when it came to making changes to the sock puppet, I wanted to get it to stand up, but it was difficult to do so with wire, because it would mean I would have to cut the tied piece of the sock off, in order for the wire to be stuck into the inside of the sock, in order to get the sock puppet character to stand up.

What worked well, however, was I was able to get my character to stand up, given that earlier on I did a bit of stop-frame animation test film with two students from my group, and after the test film was done, I had made sure to get my character to stand up by getting a pair of pliers, and some wire, and I had made sure to cut the wire, and this, in turn, although albeit it wasn’t easy to do, I was able to bend the wire and manipulate it into a different shape to get my sock puppet character to stand up.

To improve on this in future, I want to make sure to find out how I can make a moving character work, in other words, I want to make sure my character is anthropomorphic, and that it can walk with human-like features, so that it has a clearer representation that has similar connections to the anthropomorphic characters, Shaun the Sheep and Wallace & Gromit.

Critical Analysis

When it comes to the composition of the sock puppet, I wanted to make sure that the sock puppet would have anthropomorphic features, which would give my sock puppet character a better appearance that would stand out during the filming process. I also wanted to make sure that my sock-puppet character would have anthropomorphic features, as I wanted my sock-puppet character to have a lifelike appearance that makes it appear like a human, only in sock form.

I have felt that because of the research/contextual studies I have gathered, I can apply these to help me develop my own experiments in stop-frame animation, and because I have gathered the relevant amount of research at this stage in the stop-frame animation project, I feel that I can apply these to develop my own experiments with anthropomorphism.

This brings the third Weekly Log for the Stop-Frame Animation Project to a close. Please make sure to check back soon for the fourth Weekly Log from the Stop-Frame Animation Project.

Alex Smithson

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