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Paper Crease Animation

Someone inspired by artist Simon Schubert’s Paperwork series has created a mesmerizing gif using only creased paper. The achievement of light, depth and motion is dazzling and we’ll bet you can’t watch just once. Some viewers say it reminds them of the video game Doom or the music video for a-ha’s Take On Me. It may not be true stop motion animation but it’s some much-needed eye candy on The Planet after some of the non-PG material that’s been popping up lately around here!

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Uploaded by YouTuber Lee Hardcastle.

Lee Hardcastle will be the first to tell you that his stop motion animations are not for children. Whether it’s recreating sixty-second claymation versions of horror films such as The Exorcist and Texas Chainsaw Massacre or using claymation cats to retell Evil Dead II, Hardcastle is always pushing the boundaries unlike any other stop motion artist.

Put the kids to bed and turn out the lights before watching Curtains, described as “Room One of (the) creepy horror claymation series Spook Train.” Better yet, watch on a bright afternoon and queue up a couple of puppy gifs to follow up with for a thorough eye bleaching. Seriously for all you youngsters out there, this is rated R.

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NINJA CYBORG / The Sunny Road

Uploaded by YouTuber NinjA Cyborg.

French synthwave musicians Antiphon Martin and Botté Marc of NinjA Cyborg turned to Freaks Motion Studio for their kick-ass stop motion music video for The Sunny Road. The video was released in early December and was directed by Jef Durbana with assistant director Olivier Hernandez and setting designer Matthieu Andro. Click the links to learn more about Freaks Motion Studio or NinjA Cyborg music.

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Last Blast of Holiday Spirit

Uploaded by YouTuber MrSpyderman1979.

It’s not too late, is it? Not when it’s a wintry blast from the past featuring The Temptations, as the California Raisins, singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in this beautifully animated short. Originally broadcast on December 21, 1987 as part of Will Vinton’s Claymation Christmas Celebration, this is bound to stir up some special memories for older stop motion fans. Enjoy these three minutes, then put Christmas in the rear-view for good.

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The Killers by Ernest Hemingway

Uploaded to Vimeo by Silleck Family Productions.

Silleck Family Productions has released the first of a series of films that can best be described as Stop Motion Noir. Their adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s minimalist short story The Killers beautifully captures the bleakly lit, gritty feel of a classic black-and-white noir film complete with extreme angles along with clever use of focus and foley that gives the genre its unique look and feel.

Sean Silleck describes SFP as “a small film company specializing in stop motion Lego films based on vintage, hardboiled short stories by American literary masters.” Their films are animated and shot in a basement studio in Hastings on Hudson, New York and post production is done with Adobe Premiere and After Effects.

We’re excited to see more of this unique vision come to life and will be sure to post when the next installment is released. SFP is currently in production on Nelson Algren's The Face on the Barroom Floor with future projects in the works to include Flannery O'Connor's A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Raymond Chandler's Pick Up on Noon Street.

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Uploaded to Vimeo by jriggity.

Justin Rasch is an artist, animator and storyteller who works in the CG and stop motion industry. Rasch also creates short films with his wife and family for fun.

“I love stop motion above all,” says Rasch.

Check out this flawless animation that he describes as a short test mixing video and stop motion as a fun button to the Overwatch short film {Trace and Bake}.

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Uploaded to Vimeo by Daniel Cloud Campos.

Without a single drop of blood - or puke - “Shiny” by Daniel Cloud Campos and Spencer Susser still manages to earn an “R” rating with a whirlwind animation that comes in just under four minutes. So many subtle movements such as gusts of wind, deep breaths and shoulder shrugs are accomplished with amazing realism and continuity.

A damsel in distress gets undressed when a man from the mid west puts to rest a world that's obsessed with the priceless, also know as "The Shiny."

Kind of NSFW so watch at the appropriate time and place.

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Dancing Can

Uploaded by YouTuber Kevin Parry.

On StopMotionPlanet, we love animators who reveal the tricks of the trade. Kevin Parry is a stop-motion animator who delightfully describes his job as “literally mov(ing) puppets around one frame at a time - 24 frames per second.” Parry has animated for movies like The Boxtrolls, Kubo and the Two Strings (where it was his job to bring the Kubo vs. Moon Beast battle to life) and the upcoming Missing Link.

Parry animated a soda can as a way to test out a stop-motion animation setup in his house and uploaded the final product to YouTube. It serves as an excellent resource for aspiring animators since Parry includes a time lapse of the animation process as well as the raw footage.

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How Have you Been?

Uploaded to Vimeo by Heather Colbert.

“Hypnos is a solitary creature, creating happier dreams while people sleep, but there is something else living in his cave…”

The official music video for Tom Rosenthal’s for ‘How Have You Been?’ is a another stop-motion masterpiece by director Heather Colbert.

Colbert is an animator specializing in stop motion and drawn animation. Her widely acclaimed music videos for musicians Mark Nevin and Tom Rosenthal have been featured on Directors Notes, Dezeen, BOOOOOOOM, ZippyFrames and Dragonframe and screened at film festivals such as Montreal Stop Motion Festival and Fantoche in Switzerland.

Colbert works out the ideas of her characters through sketchbook doodles and more polished character paintings.

Colbert works out the ideas of her characters through sketchbook doodles and more polished character paintings.

Colbert’s latest film is a beautiful and moving fusion of stop motion and drawn animation about looking after all parts of oneself.  She provides a glimpse into her inspiration when she writes on that “Hypnos lives in fear of what he cannot see, but through tentative steps he realizes the shape in the darkness is just trying to help him, and the two characters gradually accept each other and comfort one another.”

“This story can be read as two beings finding each other,” she adds. “And also as a depiction of anxiety and depression, where the protagonist learns to accept and look with compassion at all sides of themselves.”

Colbert has turned a lifelong fascination into a successful career as an illustrator and animator. In an interview with Animated Women UK Colbert says, “I had always been fascinated by the unique charm that comes from the real light and textures in stop motion, growing up on all the programs made by Small Films. But through university and since graduating, it has been a gradual realization that I could be someone who makes films this way too.”

When the wire skeleton of Hypnos broke at the knees near the end of the shoot, Colbert had to make a replica to finish the final scenes.

When the wire skeleton of Hypnos broke at the knees near the end of the shoot, Colbert had to make a replica to finish the final scenes.

Today, Colbert has been featured on the website Great Women Animators and was named one of eight female filmmakers to watch by the American Stop Motion Magazine. So when she generously provides a fascinating and thorough look behind-the-scenes at her work on ‘How Have You Been’ at Hangar Animation Studios in Bristol, UK…it’s wise to take an opportunity to check it out.

You can see step-by-step how Colbert does her character design, storyboarding, character development, puppet making and shooting with an abundance of pictures and notes.

‘How Have You Been’ is Colbert’s second Vimeo Staff Pick following the stop-motion music video for Nevin’s ‘Dolly Said No To Elvis’.

Stop Motion Magazine calls ‘How Have You Been’ a beautiful work of art and declares Colbert “a talent who has brought a blend of digital painting, hand drawn animation and stop motion together to produce a story that brings us into a fantasy world filled with mystery, shadow, and light.”

Kudos to Colbert for lifting the curtain on the mystery a bit and opening up her world to other artists.

Brett HughesComment
When the lights Are Low

Uploaded to Vimeo by Tom Roppelt

Tom Roppelt is a singer, songwriter, independent musician…and stop-motion animator. In addition to writing, performing and recording his new song “When the Lights Are Low,” Roppelt recently wrapped production on a stop-motion music video for the track.

“I wanted to create a video that followed the theme of the song, without being too literal,” said Roppelt. “Essentially, it is about how our imagination has the ability to manifest different identities (and) how our minds can wander into being someone we wouldn't normally be or doing things we wouldn't normally do.”

Once the song was finished, the video took about a year to complete.  Roppelt first developed a storyboard for each shot.  His wife, Johanna, assisted with props and backgrounds. “After rummaging through several antique shops, (we) made any of the props or backgrounds we were unable to locate,” said Tom.  “For example, after scrolling through pages of old Chevy radios, we recreated the image using various craft materials.”  

One of the most difficult shots was the perspective shot of the two characters driving. “(That) was tricky to pull off, however I am pleased with how it came out,” said Roppelt.

The video was produced using Vegas Movie Studio Platinum.  Each photo was individually edited to create the 16:9 aspect ratio.

We’ll keep an eye on the Roppelt’s future stop-motion work here on the Planet. In the meantime, look for Tom in the Boston band The Daily Pravda. The group’s next full length album is set for release in the spring of 2019.

Brett HughesComment