Project: Stop-Motion Test Shots

I’ve started to set up the space I’m going to be working with for my next project, making sure the lighting is adequate for the photos I’ll be taking. I’m setting all of this up in my room, getting as close to the window as I can since I have poor lighting.

I’ve decided that the project is going to involve numerous playdough blobs moving around, focusing on color aspects and composition. After setting up my first shot I played around with the photos and figured out how I wanted the blobs to move and synchronize.

(Another angle for variance)

I also took shots using a more direct camera angle, allowing the texture of the wood to become the plane of focus. I prefer the simplicity of the direct shot rather than the zoomed out set.

Project: Stop-Motion Animation Ideas

I’ll be coming up with three ideas for my stop motion animation project; a minute long video with 30 fps for a resulting 1800 frames. The main subject matter that I chosen for my video is playdough (I have very little funds), though each idea will be toying with different concepts and elements.

Idea #1

The first idea involves a simple narrative with a dark morphing blob (dmb) avoiding a direct spotlight, with the light chasing the blob around the set. The dmb will be made of playdough, the light a flashlight, and the set a cardboard box. The narrative focuses on the blob initially avoiding, then eventually accepting the presence of light. The action will mostly be centered on the blob pinging and bouncing around the cardboard box to avoid the direct light. To aid in th e movement of these things I would be molding the playdough, using wire to support certain poses, and looping/repeating frames to create repeated motions (less frames to shoot). I want the movements to portray the contrast between peace/chaos, slow and rhythmic in some and sporadic in others.

Idea #2

This idea focuses on the narrative between two moving blobs of playdough, each blob represented by a different color. One blob would be circling around solo until the other enters the frame, where they would then swirl around each other in rhythmic “dance” until the one color assimilated the other in a slow progression, making one color. This would be set in a cardboard box, aiding some of the playdough movement with wire. I want the motion to appear rhythmic and dance-like, using repeating frames and looping movements to supplement for time.

Idea #3

The last idea involves a plastic model skull getting covered in patches of moving playdough and playing around with compositions. The skull would sit in its set (the cardboard box of course) and I would position the playdough to move around the skull and appear to go through the nose and eye sockets, playing with colors, movement, and camera angles. This stop motion would be much more abstract and needs an element of random intuition, though I want the overall mood to be portrayed through a gradual progression as the motion start slow and gets faster.

Time Map

On August 24, 2019 from 00:00 to 23:00 I conducted my project focusing on color, narrative, and of course time. At every hour I would associate a color with whatever I was experiencing in that moment, noting the changes in my mood and environment throughout the day. I would not describe myself as synesthetic, so most of these colors are representations of basic emotions or mirror the environment in some form. I chose to represent the passing of a day through color as a way to simplify the narrative, allowing others to apply their own narrative to each color and hour. Colors have the potential to convey many meanings and messages, forcing the viewer to apply their own context into how one color might have led to the next. Within my project, shifts between color note the passing of a day as I start in Gainesville and drive 163 miles back to my hometown.

Thoughts on Time

After listening to Radio Lab’s podcasts surrounding the notion of time, my immediate response was a flood of questions: How could two people seemingly living in the same environment have two completely different perception of time? Is every animal living in its own dimension of time? Is time perceived uniquely by every observer? After the flood of questions and a deep feeling of existentialism I began to ponder the impact of the individual’s perception of time. A student who must adhere to specific times throughout the day might feel they are a slave to their clock, their internal perception of time constantly disrupted by changing numbers. This is a bleak modern contrast to the Kalooly clock of birds mentioned in Radio Lab, in which activities are signaled by different bird calls throughout the day. The perspective of someone living by the numbers is drastically different compared to someone living by the bird chimes, and the key difference is the constant reminder of time; the stress surrounding time. Of course this is obvious, yet we find it almost impossible to hop off the merry-go-round of the clock hand once we’ve hopped on.

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