"A lot of people are trigger happy-- they just want to be shooting animation all the time because it makes them feel like they are being productive. But in reality, you are just wasting creative energy...I spend a lot more time refining my ideas than I actually spend time shooting." Pg. 17
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Frame-by-Frame/ Stop Motion is a filmmaking technique that deals with capturing a scene by focusing on a single-frame capture.
The theory and execution of single frame or "frame-by-frame" capture is diametrically different than that of traditional film/digital video where the focus is the complete action of an entire scene. Whereas films deals with 24-25/ 30 or 60 frames per second for a scene that has thousands of frame, "frame-by-frame" is concerned with only a froze moment capture by a single snapshot. The first is approaches "movement" from an aggregate standpoint and the other through photography.
In this book, FRAME BY FRAME STOP MOTION, author Tom Gasek explores this forgotten child in the art of filmmaking. It's a handsome 200-page softcover book that explains the basics of Stop Motion filmmaking in easy-to-understand vocabulary.
Inside, Mr. Gasek gives you an interesting journey through the history of stop-motion capturing through to successful modern applications. If you remember that landmark video by Peter Gabriel, "Sledgehammer," then you're familiar with the principles of Stop Motion or Frame-By-Frame capture.
What's nice about this concept is that, as opposed to regular film capture, you have (or need) relatively little materials to learn the process. In some basic, fundamental examples given all that's needed is a digital camera and a basic understanding of shutter speed and the effects of light.
Interestingly, before Mr. Gasek goes into depth about the various kinds--because there are several different Stop-Motion techniques--he stresses the concept of preparation. Over and over again, he implores would be directors to map out--by illustration, in particular, how a scene is supposed to look. It is in this moment, he says, that both the hope and the problems present themselves. Proper and thorough attention to both will make the vision of that moment a reality.
Ch. 1. What are the possibilities? (a brief history)
Ch. 2. Shooting Frame By Frame (preparation and equipment)
Ch. 3. Pixilation
Ch. 4. Time-Lapse Photography
Ch. 5. Cinematography, Lighting and Composition
Ch. 6. Objects, People & Places
Ch. 7. The Multi-Plane Downshooter
Ch. 8. A Sense of Drama
Ch. 9. Rhythm and Flow
Ch. 10. Collage (The Digital Advantage)
Ch. 11. Massaging Frames In The Edit
Ch. 12. Exposure To The Market
Addendum--7 real-life exercises.
This is a wonderful book. I didn't realize all the possibilities I have with just my digital camera and free, open-source stop-motion software. Making animatics or movies of still-frame storyboards was one of the things I remembered being discussed in The Lord of The Rings documentary.
This is a handy and treasured book. 5 stars.