After making five animations I didn’t like with planes turning into stars or flowers in different ways and with different planes and backgrounds I decided the problem with all my videos was that they weren’t weird enough. So I made it weirder.
The process of making a stop motion animation has for me been a very lengthy one, testing my patience and making me question my creativity. I’m a perfectionist and find it really hard to stop working with something until I am completely happy with it.
My original idea was turning a paper plane into a pine tree but after tying to fold a pine tree with origami and deciding it was too complicated, I opted for a flower instead and I think that flower idea was the reason why I had to re-do this animation so many times. I’m just not a huge fan of flowers. And because I hated that flowery part of the video so much, nothing I made even remotely resembled something I could be proud of. There was also the setting up factor that just didn’t co-operate with me.
Problems I stumbled upon:
- As I did this in my bedroom with a limited amount of furniture to use and gadgets that could help hold my phone as I took the pictures, the best option I had was sticking my phone on to the bed frame using scotch tape. This resulted in my filming area being limited to just a bit bigger than A4 and everything I did had to be quite small.
- The colors wasn’t what I wanted them to be. I tried using different backgrounds consisting of various clothes, artwork and paper. I went out and bought different shades of colored paper than what I already had, but nothing really spoke to me. I couldn’t quite get around the pink tint that settled on the white paper when shooting in the end too but I can live with that.
- The backgrounds too were a problem. They either lacked deapth or looked too naïve and when I tried making them darker the black looked too flat, dragging the whole animation down.
- The battery on my phone insisted on wanting to die so the endings were always rushed and choppy. I managed to fix this for my last animation by squeezing in my charger between the bed frame and mattress.
- The light! This was my biggest challenge as the only light I had to work with was the general lighting in my bedroom and a small spotlight I could move. Having it too close meant the brightness of it took away some detail where the paper reflected the light back, too far away meant the colors dissapeared and everything looked gray. Trying to film in the kitchen didn’t work either as it was even darker. The one animation I set up there came out with a mysterious undesierable green tint to it, the dim lightning making everything grainy and flashed from light to dark because of people walking by. What saved me was that I was able to borrow my housemate’s lamp as well so I wasn’t so reliant on the light coming in through the window (what light? we are in gray London!).
So, when I threw away the flowers and instead made an eye from cut out paper, made the background very abstract to fit my mood and used that extra lamp things went a lot smoother. I chose the eye simply because it was so random which was exactly what I was after. The larva it transforms into was a solution to the fact that I needed to make the eye disappear again so the story ended with only the background and thus making it loopable. (And I didn’t want to just cut up the eye to make it smaller and smaller until it eventually disappeared because I was sick of cutting).
The decision not to show all my test animations in this blog is a considered one, because they were just tests and not something I can stand by to represent me. Ultimately, this blog is my own and I’m not going to use it as a bin where I simply throw everything I made. Editing is also important. And thinking about what your own work ethics are and what connections you want to have with your name in the future I would rather stand firm in my opinions than do something just to please others. Why not start to think about this now? I know for a fact that I won’t do jobs in the future that go against what I stand for because I want to be able to take pride in the work I view for others. This applies here as well.
With that said, here is my final animation. I like it and I hope you do too!