In this Stop Motion Tutorial Trisha and Jay P show how to use Replacement Animation to create an action packed animation for your videos. Using paper objects they show you the step by step process to create stop motion photography animation that can be used in social media, commercials and films.
Let’s talk about replacement animation, why it is so important and what it is.
A lot of times in animation, what you’re really doing is just moving an object, taking a picture, moving the object again and taking a picture. But sometimes you want to add a little bit more umph to your video, like “BAM” and “WHAM”. What you can do is, instead of moving the same object, actually create a duplicate object that’s a little bit different. So it kind of has a more animated feel because it’s the same, but it’s not the same. So what we’re going to do is we’re actually going to take one of these action words, like “POW”, and we’re going to grow it and create what looks explosive. It’s going to have this explosive feel that we create by actually switching out small pieces of paper to bigger pieces of paper. And we’ll add some clouds and stars effects to explode out of our word. Then it has this really nice explosive feel.
I’ve used this in many scenarios. I created a short film a long time ago. And in one of the scenes, there’s this girl, and she flies through this tree, and these birds fly out. So what we did is we actually created 10 birds for each bird. So 10 frames. So every time we shot, the bird was actually a different piece of paper. So we would replace 10 different cycles of the same bird to make it look like it’s flapping its wings. So it really is a fun thing to use in paper animation if you want to really give a cool animated effect.
Every time I am getting ready to do an animation and I have my background down, before I take any pictures, I really want to solidify that surface. So I will tape down the corners of everything, every time I use a background.
I use these wood blocks to give depth to my scenes. I think it really helps with shadow and it gives an extra layer of dimension. So we’re going to put that “POW” on the woodblock. And that is going to be our end piece. It’s going to go “POW”.
We’re going to start by actually focusing on the end “POW”. And then when we shoot the video, we’re going to start with these smaller pieces lower to the ground and they’re going to grow up on these blocks as we get larger. But what we’re going to do is not really worry about the focus on these other planes, because it’s all about growing to this moment. So it might be a little soft as we get down, but it’s going to look awesome.
So I focus on the end frame first. The very first frame we’re going to take is just blank. So we take our first frame, and then we’re going to add in a little yellow star as our very first little addition to the frame. You’re going to aim to get the star right in the middle.
And then we want that star to grow in size. So we’re going to add a larger yellow star. We’re going to put a little lift underneath it, and then add our little yellow star. And then we’re going to put a little white star above it. And the reason I’m doing this is because that’s how we’ve created these bigger paper pieces as it goes yellow, white, and then red. So we’re introducing those colors. We’re introducing those colors as we grow larger. So we’re actually going to use two of the stars together to make it larger and a little bit taller. Then we’ll add white to the middle and we’ll take another picture. We’re going to build up our next layer. And we’ll take a picture.
Now we’re going to take these pieces totally off and we’re going to add this assembled piece in. But now we want to add in our explosion pieces. We don’t just want this to just grow, but we also want it to be explosive coming out on the sides. So we’re going to add in a little blue star. I like the white puffy clouds. So we’ll do a little puff cloud over here. And then a red puffy cloud coming out from underneath the bottom. So this is kind of going to add to that frenetic, explosive energy that the paper is trying to give out. And then we take another picture. We’ll add in this small wood block on top to raise it up. We’ll add in our big paper piece right here and do some good balancing. And then we’ll move all of our little paper pieces to have a little more of an explosive look. And then we’ll take another picture. Then add in our big paper “POW”. We’ll move out our little explosion extras and take another picture. And then once the “POW” gets there we want it to move again. And we’ll move out our little pieces and we’ll take another picture.
So we just took all of our frames for our animation. They’re here in our timeline. And now we’re just going to watch the 10 frames for one second. It looks awesome. So it grows and just hits you.
So now what we’re going to do is we’re actually going to copy those frames, and then we’re going to paste reverse. And now we have the whole thing laid out so that it grows and then it diminishes. What we could do is we could actually film it going back down. But it’s really easy to just copy, paste, and then we have an extra second of animation that we just kind of cheated for. So here we go.
You can make a gif that you can keep on your social media or put on an Instagram story or something really fun. So it’s a really short really fun thing. But a great exercise for someone learning to really start to understand the basics of replacement animation. Replacement animation does just what it says, you replace the objects that you are animating.
There are so many applications there. I mean, you always think about a little toy car driving by or you’re animating objects of some sort. But the idea that you can create motion that expands by making something larger or smaller is a really fascinating principle. Paper is easy. But you could do this thing with other objects like a small toy car becoming a larger toy car. It’d be fun kind of thing. So replacement animation is really a more advanced technique.
If you want to learn about these kinds of principles, and much, much more, if you go to TheSlantedLens.com Tricia has a great download there. It’s an online course about Stop Motion. Go to our website and click on online courses to get that stop motion download. It’ll teach you everything about basic stop motion into really advanced techniques and a lot of stuff like this and things on there, you really need to know. There’s a lot of information packed in from years of trial and error and I made it easy for you. I just gave you the information.
So there you have it. Go over to TheSlantedLens.com and click on online courses.
So keep those cameras rollin’ and keep on clickin’!
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