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Peachpit Press www.peachpit.com

by Julian Shapiro


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Book Details
 Price
 3.00
 Pages
 402 p
 File Size 
 5,509 KB
 File Type
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 ISBN-13
 ISBN-10
 978-0-134-09666-7
 0-134-09666-5
 Copyright©   
 2015 by Julian Shapiro 

Introduction
In the early days of the web, animation was primarily used by novice developers as a
last-ditch effort to call attention to important parts of a page. And even if they wanted
animation to transcend its niche, it couldn’t: browsers (and computers) were simply too
slow to deliver smooth web-based animation.

We’ve come a long way since the days of flashing banner ads, scrolling news tickers,
and Flash intro videos. Today, the stunning motion design of iOS and Android
dramatically improves the user experience—instead of detracting from it. Developers of
the best sites and apps leverage animation to improve the feel and intuitiveness of their
user interfaces. Animation’s rise to relevancy isn’t just a by-product of improved
processing power; it reflects a better appreciation for best practices within the web
development community. The tools you use to make a website are now considered less
important than the quality of the resulting user experience. As obvious as this seems, it
wasn’t always the case.

So, what makes animation in particular so useful? Whether it’s transitioning between
chunks of content, designing intricate loading sequences, or alerting the user what to do
next, animation complements text and layout to reinforce your site’s intended behavior,
personality, and visual sophistication. Does your content bounce into view in a friendly
way, or does it whip across the screen? This is the domain of motion design, and the
decisions you make will establish the transcendent feeling of your app.

When users recommend your app to others, they’ll often try to describe it with words
like “sleek” or “polished.” What they don’t realize is that they’re mostly referring to the
motion design work that’s gone into the interface. This inability of the layman to make the
distinction is precisely what great user interface (UI) designers strive for: animations that
reinforce the interface’s objectives but don’t otherwise divert the user’s attention.
This book provides you with the foundation necessary to implement animation
confidently and in a way that’s both technically maintainable and visually impactful.
Throughout, it considers the balance between enriching a page with motion design and
avoiding unnecessary flourishes.

Why is all of this so important? Why is it worth your time to perfect your transitions
and easing combinations? For the same reason that designers spend hours perfecting their
font and color combinations: refined products simply feel superior. They leave users
whispering to themselves, “Wow, this is cool,” right before they turn to a friend and
exclaim, “You gotta see this!”


Table of Contents
Foreword
Introduction
CHAPTER 1 ADVANTAGES OF JAVASCRIPT ANIMATION
JavaScript vs. CSS animation
Great performance
Features
Page scrolling
Animation reversal
Physics-based motion
Maintainable workflows
Wrapping up
CHAPTER 2 ANIMATING WITH VELOCITY.JS
Types of JavaScript animation libraries
Installing jQuery and Velocity
Using Velocity: Basics
Velocity and jQuery
Arguments
Properties
Values
Chaining
Using Velocity: Options
Duration
Easing
Begin and Complete
Loop
Delay
Display and Visibility
Using Velocity: Additional features
Reverse Command
Scrolling
Colors
Transforms
Using Velocity: Without jQuery (intermediate)
Wrapping up
CHAPTER 3 MOTION DESIGN THEORY
Motion design improves the user experience
Utility
Borrow conventions
Preview outcomes
Distraction over boredom
Leverage primal instincts
Make interactions visceral
Reflect gravitas
Reduce concurrency
Reduce variety
Mirror animations
Limit durations
Limit animations
Elegance
Don’t be frivolous
Your one opportunity to be frivolous
Consider personality
Go beyond opacity
Break animations into steps
Stagger animations
Flow from the triggering element
Use graphics
Wrapping up
CHAPTER 4 ANIMATION WORKFLOW
CSS animation workflow
Issues with CSS
When CSS makes sense
Code technique: Separate styling from logic
Standard approach
Optimized approach
Code technique: Organize sequenced animations
Standard approach
Optimized approach
Code technique: Package your effects
Standard approach
Optimized approach
Design techniques
Timing multipliers
Use Velocity Motion Designer
Wrapping up
CHAPTER 5 ANIMATING TEXT
The standard approach to text animation
Preparing text elements for animation with Blast.js
How Blast.js works
Installation
Option: Delimiter
Option: customClass
Option: generateValueClass
Option: Tag
Command: Reverse
Transitioning text into or out of view
Replacing existing text
Staggering
Transitioning text out of view
Transitioning individual text parts
Transitioning text fancifully
Textual flourishes
Wrapping up
CHAPTER 6 SCALABLE VECTOR GRAPHICS PRIMER
Creating images through code
SVG markup
SVG styling
Support for SVG
SVG animation
Passing in properties
Presentational attributes
Positional attributes vs. transforms
Implementation example: Animated logos
Wrapping up
CHAPTER 7 ANIMATION PERFORMANCE
The reality of web performance
Technique: Remove layout thrashing
Problem
Solution
jQuery Element Objects
Force-feeding
Technique: Batch DOM additions
Problem
Solution
Technique: Avoid affecting neighboring elements
Problem
Solution
Technique: Reduce concurrent load
Problem
Solution
Technique: Don’t continuously react to scroll and resize events
Problem
Solution
Technique: Reduce image rendering
Problem
Solution
Sneaky images
Technique: Degrade animations on older browsers
Problem
Solution
Find your performance threshold early on
Wrapping up
CHAPTER 8 ANIMATION DEMO
Behavior
Code structure
Code section: Animation setup
Code section: Circle creation
Code section: Container animation
3D CSS primer
Properties
Options
Code section: Circle animation
Value functions
Opacity animation
Translation animation
Reverse command
Wrapping up
Index


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Jason Osipa

Third Edition


■ Getting to Know the Face
■ Learning the Basics of Lip Sync
■ What the Eyes and Brows Tell Us
■ Facial Landmarking
■ Animating and Modeling the M outh
■ Visemes and Lip Sync Technique
■ Constructing a Mouth and Nose
■ Mouth Keys
■ Animating and Modeling the E yes and Brows
■ Building Emotion: The Basics of the Eyes
■ Constructing Eyes and Brows
■ Eye and Brow Keys
■ Bringing It Together
■ Connecting the Features
■ Skeletal Setup, Weighting, and Rigging
■ Interfaces for Your Faces
 ■ Squash, Stretch, and Secondaries
■ A Shot in Production


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Stop Staring Facial Modeling and Animation Done Right
3rd Edition


Acknowledgments

First and foremost, thank you to everyone at Wiley, who did most if
not all of the work on this book.
Third edition: Mariann Barsolo, acquisitions editor; Kathryn Duggan, development
editor; Christine O’Connor, Liz Britten, and Angela Smith, production editors; Paul
Thuriot, technical editor; Judy Flynn, copyeditor; Jen Larsen, proofreader; Ted Laux, indexer.
Second edition: Willem Knibbe, acquisition editor; Jim Compton, development
editor; Keith Reicher, technical editor; Rachel Gunn, production editor; Judy Flynn,
copyeditor; Chris Gillespie, compositor; Jen Larsen, proofreader.
First edition: Pete Gaughan, development editor; Dan Brodnitz, associate publisher;
Mariann Barsolo, acquisitions editor; Liz Burke, production editor; Keith Reicher,
technical editor; Suzanne Goraj, copyeditor; Maureen Forys, compositor; Margaret
Rowlands, cover coordinator; the CD team of Kevin Ly and Dan Mummert.
For helping with the book and bringing to it so much more than I could alone, I thank
Juan Carlos Larrea and Jason Hopkins, animation; Chris Robinson, character design;
Kathryn Luster, contact and casting; Chris Buckley, Craig Adams, Joel Goodsell, and
Robin Parks for voice work; Jeremy Hall for Joel’s recording.

Professionally, for supporting me and putting up with me, I thank Phil Mitchell,
Owen Hurley, Jennifer Twiner-McCarron, Michael Ferraro, Ian Pearson, Chris Welman,
Gavin Blair, Stephen Schick, Tim Belsher, Derek Waters, Sonja Struben, Glenn Griffiths,
Chuck Johnson, Casey Kwan, Herrick Chiu, Chris Roff, and James E. Taylor. Thanks to
all the good people at Surreal Software and everyone at Maxis/EA; the Sims EP team, the
Sims 2 team, the Sims “next gen” team. Thanks to Glenn, Brian W., Paul L, Kevin, Clint,
Ryo, Toru, Hakan, Frank, and Rudy; to Jesse, Lisha, and of course, the lovely miss Tee;
to “fight club,” my robots; to Andy, Sergey, Lucky, Yasushi, Daisuke, Paddy, and Brian
Lee! To the best what-if team you could ever imagine: Paul, Brian, Jim, Matt A., Charles,
Kelvin, Sean, Damon, Ian, Dale, Matthew, and Howard.

Mom, Dad, Veronica, Tom, Jorge, and all my great family in Winnipeg and Acapulco:
I can never quite wait until the next time I get to see you; I’m always thinking of you.
Thanks to my California family: you guys have enriched my life more than I tell you; Nick, Ali, Rex, Nina and Nico, Nana, Papa, Brent, Trevor, Rick, Lori, Cathy, and Angela. Thanks to my wonderful friends Nate, Kayla, Jason, Penny, Aurora and Toby, Michelle, Brian, Kelly, Mark, Brooke, Bonnie, Mandy (blame), Paula, Saul, Courtney, Sarah, Pearce, Peyton, Pat, Eric, Tyler, Kavon, Laura, Tanya, John, Peter, Jacques, Karen, Dylan, Wayne, Shelly, Ella, Rob, Casey, Kaveh, Karly, Heather, Jess, Jacob, Adam, Mel, Katy, Jeannine, Rosanna, Jenny, Alison, Alan, Bill, Chris, Stephany, Jenny, Glenn, Galen, and anyone else I missed in our ever-expanding, and always awesome group.
Last but not least, thank you to my beautiful, wonderful baby bears, Alana and Jr. Peanut.


About the Author

Jason Osipa has been a working professional in 3D since 1997, touching
television, games, direct-to-video, and film in both Canada and the United States. Carrying
titles from modeler and animator to TD and director, he has seen and experienced
the world of 3D content creation and instruction from all sides. Jason currently owns and
operates Osipa Entertainment, LLC, offering contracting and consulting services for any
kind of 3D production, including pipeline and tools design and sales as well as efficiency
and workflow training in animation, modeling, and rigging.

Introduction
Animation has got to be the greatest job in the world. When you get started,
you just want to do everything, all at once, but can’t decide on one thing to start with.
You animate a walk, you animate a run, maybe even a skip or jump, and it’s all gratifying
in a way people outside of animation may never be lucky enough to understand. After a
while, though, when the novelty aspects of animation start to wear off, you turn deeper
into the characters and find yourself wanting to learn not only how to move, but how to
act. When you get to that place, you need more tools and ideas to fuel your explorations.
Animation is clearly a full-body medium, and pantomime can take years to master.
The face, and subtleties in acting such as the timing of a blink or where to point the eyes,
can take even longer and be more difficult than conquering pantomime. Complex character,
acting, and emotion are almost exclusively focused in the face and specifically in
the eyes. When you look at another person, you look at their eyes; when you look at an
animated character, you look at their eyes too. That’s almost always where the focus of
your attention is whether you mean for it to be or not. We may remember the shots of the
character singing and dancing or juggling while walking as amazing moments, but the
characters we fall in love with on the screen, we fall in love with in close-ups.
Stop Staring is different than what you may be used to in a computer animation book.
This is not a glorified manual for software; this is about making decisions, really learning
how to evaluate contextual emotional situations, and choosing the best acting approach.
You’re not simply told to do A, B, and C; you’re told why you’re doing them, when you
should do them, and then, how to make it all possible.

Why This Book
There is nothing else like Stop Staring available to real animators with hard questions and
big visions for great characters. Most references have more to do with drawing and musculature
and understanding the realities of what is going on in a face than with the application
of those ideas. While that information is invaluable, it is not nearly tangible and
direct enough for people under a deadline who need to produce results fast. Elsewhere,
you can learn about all of the visual cues that make up an expression, but then you have
to take that and dissect a set of key shapes you want to build and joints you have to rig.
You’ll likely run into conflicting shapes, resulting in ugly faces, even though each of those
shapes alone is fantastic.

Stop Staring breaks down, step-by-step, how to get any expressions you want or need for
99 percent of production-level work quickly and easily—and with minimum shape conflict
and quick, easy control. You’ll learn much of what you could learn elsewhere while also
picking up information more pertinent to your immediate tasks that you might not learn
elsewhere. Studying a brush doesn’t make you a painter, using one does, and that is what
this book is all about—the doing and the learning all at once.

Who Should Read This Book
If you’ve picked it up and you’re reading this right now, then you have curiosity about
facial modeling, animation, or rigging, whether you have a short personal project in mind,
plan to open your own studio, or already work for a big studio and just want to know more
about the process from construction all the way through setup to good acting. If you’re a
student trying to break into the industry, this book will show you how to add that extra
something special—how to be the one that stands out in a pile of demo reels—by having
characters that your audience can really connect with.
If you have curiosity in regard to creating facial setups, or just animating them, you’re
holding the answer to your questions. I’ll show you how to get this stuff done efficiently,
easily, and with style.

Maya and Other 3D Apps
There are obviously some technical specifics in getting a head set up and ready for
character-rich animation, so to speak to the broadest audience possible, the instruction
centers primarily around Autodesk’s Maya. The concepts, however, are completely program-
agnostic, and readers have applied the concepts to almost every 3D program there is.

How Stop Staring Is Organized
While Stop Staring will get you from a blank screen to a talking character, it is also organized
to be a reference-style book. Anything you might want to know about the underlying
concepts of the how and the why of facial animation is in Part I. Everything to do with the
mouth—all animation, modeling, and shape-building—is in Part II. Part III takes you
through everything related to the brows and eyes. Part IV brings all of the pieces together,
both literally and conceptually.
Part I, “Getting to Know the Face,” teaches you the basic approach used throughout
the book. Each chapter in this part is expanded into detailed explanation in a later
part of the book: Chapter 1 in Part II, Chapter 2 in Part III, and Chapter 3 in Part IV.
Chapter 1, “Learning the Basics of Lip Sync,” introduces speech cycles and visemes.
Chapter 2, “What the Eyes and Brows Tell Us,” defines and outlines the effect of
the top of the face on your character.
Chapter 3, “Facial Landmarking,” brings in broader effects such as tilts, wrinkles,
and even the back of the head!
Part II, “Animating and Modeling the Mouth,” refines the viseme list and sync technique,
then shows how to build key shapes and set them up with an interface.
Chapter 4, “Visemes and Lip Sync Technique,” delves deeply into how to model
for effective sync and shows that building good sync is less work than you thought
but harder than it seems.
Chapter 5, “Constructing a Mouth and Nose,” attacks the detailed modeling
you’ll need for a full range of speech shapes.
Chapter 6, “Mouth Keys,” shows you a real-world system for building key sets—
one that invests time in the right shapes early so you can later focus on artistry undistracted.
Part III, “Animating and Modeling the Eyes and Brows,” guides you through creating a
tool to put the book’s concepts in practice beyond the mouth. From there you’ll learn
how to create focus and thought through the eyes.
Chapter 7, “Building Emotion: The Basics of the Eyes,” shows you which eye
movements do and don’t have an emotional impact—and how years of watching
cartoons have programmed us to expect certain impossible brow moves!
Chapter 8, “Constructing Eyes and Brows,” guides you through building the eyeballs
first, then the lids/sockets, and connecting all of that to a layout for the forehead and
eventually shows you how to make a simple skull to attach everything else to.
Chapter 9, “Eye and Brow Keys,” applies the key set system from Chapter 6 to the
top of the face, bringing in bump maps for texture and realism.
Part IV, “Bringing It Together,” takes all the pieces you’ve built in Parts II and III and
brings them together into one head and then shows you how to weight and rig them for use.
Chapter 10, “Connecting the Features,” teaches you to take each piece of the
head—eyes, brows, and mouth, plus new features such as the side of the face and
the ears—pull all of it into a scene together, and attach them to each other cleanly.
Chapter 11, “Skeletal Setup, Weighting, and Rigging,” focuses on rigging your
head, including creating the necessary skeleton and weighting each of your shapes
for the most flexibility in production. In this chapter, you’ll learn to use a system
to control any eye and lid setup and how to create sticky lips.
Chapter 12, “Interfaces for Your Faces,” demonstrates the benefit of arranging and
automating your setup to make all your tools accessible and easy to use. There are
ways to share interfaces as well as get very intricate shape relationships with very little work.
Chapter 13, “Squash, Stretch, and Secondaries,” takes all the concepts taught up
to this point and turns them a little sideways. This chapter introduces a few key
ideas and integrates them into the rig in a way that you’ll start to see your characters
really start to bend, and you’ll create a layer of control that can sit on top of any other rig.
Chapter 14, “A Shot in Production,” presents five different scenes through the
complete facial animation process, taking you inside the mind of three animators
to see how and why every pose and move was made.


Table of Contents
Introduction xv
Part I ■ Getting to Know the Face 1
Chapter 1 ■ Learning the Basics of Lip Sync 3
The Essentials of Lip Sync 4
Speech Cycles 6
Starting with What’s Most
Important: Visemes 8
The Simplest Lip Sync 15
Chapter 2 ■ What the Eyes and Brows Tell Us 21
The Two Major Brow Movements 22
The Upper Lids’ Effect on Expression 24
The Lower Lids’ Effect on Expression 26
Eyelines: Perception vs. Reality 28
Distraction Is the Enemy of Performance 30
Chapter 3 ■ Facial Landmarking 31
Introduction to Landmarking 32
Landmarking Mouth Creases 35
Landmarking Brow Creases 39
Landmarking the Tilt of the Head 42
Part I I ■ Animating and Modeling  the M outh 45
Chapter 4 ■ Visemes and Lip Sync Technique 47
Sync: Wide/Narrow Grows Up 48
The Best Order of Sync Operations 56
Sync Example 1: “What am I sayin’ in here?” 63
Sync Example 2: “Was it boys?” 69
Chapter 5 ■ Constructing a Mouth and Nose 75
The Best Edge Flow 76
The Big Picture 78
Building the Lips 78
Building the Surrounding Mouth Area 81
Building the Nose 84
Continuing Toward the Jaw and Cheek 87
Building Teeth 88
Building the Tongue 92
The Mouth Wall 95
Chapter 6 ■ Mouth Keys 97
Order of Operations 98
Preparing to Build a Key Set 99
Default Shapes, Additive Shapes,
and Tapering 100
Building the Shapes 114
Part I I I ■ Animating and Modeling the Eyes and Brows 145
Chapter 7 ■ Building Emotion:
The Basics of the Eyes 147
Building an Upper Face for Practice 148
Using “Box Head” 158
Rules of the Game 159
Example Animations 164
Continuing and Practicing 177
Chapter 8 ■ Constructing Eyes and Brows 179
Building Eyeballs 180
Building the Eye Sockets 183
Building the Brow and Forehead 189
Chapter 9 ■ Eye and Brow Keys 197
Brow Shapes and Texture Maps 198
Building Realistic Brow Shapes 207
Tying Up Loose Ends 226
Part IV ■ Bringi ng It Together 229
Chapter 10 ■ Connecting the Features 231
Building the Ear 232
Assembling the Head Pieces 237
Chapter 11 ■ Skeletal Setup, Weighting, and Rigging 245
Skeleton 246
Eyelid Rigs 254
Extra Eye Fun 265
Sticky Lips 270
Chapter 12 ■ Interfaces for Your Faces 281
The Two Big Problems of Facial Control 282
Buffer Networks 283
Sliders 291
Skeletal Control 301
Layered Controls 304
Corrective, Contextual, XYZ, Half,
and Dominant Shapes 308
Just Interface Me 319
Chapter 13 ■ Squash, Stretch, and Secondaries 321
Local Rigs 322
Global Rigs 326
The “Real” Character Has No Rig! 330
Not Using Wraps Changes a Few Things 331
Tutorial: Rigging Squoosh 332
Gotchas 339
Secondaries 341
Chapter 14 ■ A Shot in Production 347
Scene 1: Bartender 348
Scene 2: Lack of Dialogue 353
Scene 3: Dunce Cap 363
Scene 4: Salty Old Sea Captain 367
Scene 5: Pink or Blue? 370
Scene 6: Great Life 379
That’s All, Folks! 381
Index 383


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 ISBN
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 Copyright
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═════ ═════

Ken A. Priebe

Foreword by Henry Selick

Course Technology, a part of Cengage Learning
20 Channel Center Street
Boston, MA 02210
USA

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The Advanced Art of Stop-Motion Animation

Acknowledgments
Once again, going through another several months of late nights and
caffeinated beverages working on another book, I could not possibly
have conceived it without the generous help and support of so many
people, who deserve all the thanks in the world. First and foremost, thanks to
my Lord and God Jesus Christ for “animating” the whole process, sustaining
me, and making all the connections to bring it together in one piece. Extraspecial
thanks to my amazing wife, Janet, for her assistance, patience, and
encouragement, and to our little ones, Ariel and Xander, who rock my world
and keep making me smile. Special thanks to my extended family in the U.S.
and Canada and my church family at Cedar Park for their encouragement,
prayer, and support. Thanks also to the students and staff of VanArts and
Academy of Art University, to my friends from the Vancouver chapter of the
Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Graphics
and Interactive Techniques (ACM SIGGRAPH), and to my friend Steve
Stanchfield for his continued support after initially getting me started and
hooked on animation many years ago.

Extra thanks to my special interview subjects—Seamus Walsh, Mark Caballero,
and Chris Finnegan at Screen Novelties, Pete Kozachik, Trey Thomas,
Bronwen Kyffin, Larry Bafia, Webster Colcord, Marc Spess, Ryan McCulloch,
and Justin and Shel Rasch—for the gift of their time and wisdom, and the
images they shared to complement their words. Also, a second helping of
thanks to Justin, Shel, and Bronwen for the extensive contributions they made
in other parts of this book, in particular the sections on puppets and stereoscopic
photography. This book is that much richer with your contributions,
and I definitely could not have written these sections without your generous assistance!

The first chapter on the history of stop-motion features alone has a huge list
of people to thank for providing permission and access to images, research,
and detailed information about the films: L.B. Martin-Starewitch, Dan
Goodsell, Jerry Beck, Rick Catizone, Michael Sporn, Rick Goldschmidt, Mark
and Seamus at Screen Novelties, Yoram Gross and Mimi Intal at Yoram Gross
Films, Mario Caprino at Caprino Studios, Will Vinton and Gillian Frances at
Freewill Entertainment, Barry Purves, Jurgen Kling, Mike Belzer, Derek
Hayes, Naomi Jones, Christiane Cegavske, Brian Demoskoff, Marjolaine
Parot, Dean English, Marc Stephenson, Tatia Rosenthal, Jason Vanderhill,
Adam Elliot and Samantha Fitzgerald at Adam Elliot Pictures, Adriana
Piasek-Wanski at La Parti Productions, Carrie Filler and Chris Woolston at
Premavision Studios, Mark Shapiro and Maggie Begley with Laika, Howard
Cohen at Animaking Studios, and Emily Harris, Heidi Leigh, and Whitney
Morris at the Animazing Gallery. Extra special thanks to Stephen Chiodo,
Richard Kent Burton, and John Ellis for the extensive information and photo
archives from I Go Pogo, and to the extensive chain of e-mail connections that
unraveled the obscure history behind Bino Fabule, which began with Jason
Vanderhill and led me to the kind assistance of Tamu Townsend, Erik Goulet,
Denis Roy, Andre A. Belanger, Louis-Philippe Rondeau, and Elaine Bigras at
CinéGroupe. Thank you all for this unique documentation of stop-motion history!

For their contributions, assistance, advice, support, and sharing of images for
chapters and sections on puppets, digital cinematography, visual effects, education,
and animation festivals, I would also like to extend special thanks to
Melanie Vachon, Don Carlson, Dave Hettmer, Ron Cole, Frida Ramirez, Emi
Gonzalez, Lucas Wareing, Chayse Irvin, Henrique Moser, Gary Welch, Shawn
Tilling, Brett Foxwell, Anthony Scott and K Ishibashi, Patrick Boivin, Steve
Stanchfield, Nick Hilligoss, Rich Johnson, Richard Svensson, Carlo Vogele,
Gautam Modkar, Jason Walker, Pete and Sue Tait, Talon Toth at Protodemon
Studios, Roni Lubliner at Universal, Patricia Dillon and Sophie Quevillon at
the National Film Board of Canada, Chris Walsh at Sheridan College, Stephen
Chiodo and Max Winston at CalArts, Beth Sousa and Matt Ellsworth at
Academy of Art University, Jurgen Kling of Weirdoughmationfilms, Elizabeth
Seavey at Bendle High School, Lee Skinner of Little Scholar Productions, Peter
Lord and Amy Wood at Aardman, Galen Fott of Bigfott Studios, Erik Goulet
of the Montreal Stop-Motion Film Festival, and Jeff Bell, James Emler, and
Christa LeCraw from the VanArts Digital Photography Department. Thank you all!

And to all who contributed to the appendix on the stop-motion community,
(on the companion CD), this book is a gift to all of you for the way you
encourage and support all of us in pursuing this mysterious craft: Marc Spess,
Mike Brent, Shelley Noble, Yasemin Sayibas Akyez, Ron Cole, Santino Vitale,

Season Mustful, Jeffrey Roche, Sven Bonnichsen, Don Carlson, Jeremy Spake,
Jesse Broadkey, Chuck Duke, John Ikuma, Ethan Marak, John Hankins,
Emily Baxter, Rich Johnson, Chris Walsh, Paul McConnochie, Ceri Watling,
Ben Whitehouse, Guillaume Lenel, Richard Svensson, Adrian Encinas
Salamanca, Julie Pitts, Miles Blow, and Nick Hilligoss.

If this was like a verbal acceptance speech, I’m sure the band leader would be
starting the music and rushing me off the stage by now, so last but not least,
I have to say an extra-special thanks to Colin Gray, David Bowes, and Paul
Moldovanos for helping me honor the memory of Lisa Jane Gray in this book,
Anthony Scott for his kind assistance, Henry Selick for the gift of his amazing
foreword, the entire staff of Course Technology, editors Dan Foster and
Lionel I. Orozco, and especially Heather Hurley for initially asking me to write another book!

Thank you all…and to Ray Harryhausen, Happy 90th Birthday!
See you in the movies!


Introduction

Stop-motion animation is in the hands of the people. I say this as a pun.
As a craft, the act of animating in stop-motion requires a person to
literally place a puppet in their hands and bring it to life, frame by frame.
The other meaning is that in the past few years, the art of stop-motion has
experienced a renaissance that has not only brought it more prominently into
the big film studios, but also brought it into the hands of regular people
worldwide. It is happening in cramped suburban garages and spacious studio
soundstages. It is also making its way to more homes, schools, websites, and
mobile devices in a manner that is unprecedented in our time.

When stop-motion first started as an art form, it seemed to be kept as a
mysterious and closely guarded magic trick. The publicity of the time behind
films like King Kong (1933) and the feature film Hansel and Gretel: An Opera
Fantasy (1954) revealed false information to the masses about just how stopmotion
was really done. For decades following, fans of stop-motion films had
to rely on stamp-sized photographs in science-fiction magazines to try and
guess how they were made, and then take a stab at it with a Super 8 camera.
Once they had completed their films, there were very limited venues for showing
them to anyone other than themselves. It’s a different world now, and the
secret is out, so today’s filmmakers are gladly faced more with questions about
how to tell a captivating story than about with the technique itself. In addition
to the tools becoming more accessible, the Internet now provides a free platform
for everything from simple experiments to full-fledged films. In the online
universe, artists not only can share their films, but also can connect with other
artists who can offer advice and support to make them even better.
What is also amazing about this growth for stop-motion animation is how fast
it has recently happened. In 2006, I wrote my first book, The Art of Stop-
Motion Animation (Figure I.1), as a practical guide for how stop-motion films were made.


At that time, we were just starting to see the advent of digital SLR cameras
and their use for stop-motion photography, both in feature films and independent
projects. Blogs and online journals for documenting productions had
been around for a few years, but they were really just beginning to become
more popular. Facebook, Twitter, and Livestream did not exist, and YouTube
was brand new—no one was really sure how long it would last. And now, look
at what has happened. Just a few years later, and stop-motion is everywhere—
online, on television, and in theaters. People still love it as much today as they
did when Kong first emerged from behind the trees on Skull Island. At its
heart, the basic techniques behind stop-motion have not changed, but we now
have the capacity to present it in the sharpest resolution possible, combine it
seamlessly with computer graphics, and even shoot it in 3D. Just imagine what
the next 4 years could bring!

My own experiences with stop-motion animation and other life adventures
have also evolved since I last published my first book. A month after the book
was released, my daughter Ariel was born, so the summer of 2006 kind of felt
like having two babies at once. That fall, my friend Leslie Bishko, who was
involved with the Vancouver chapter for the Association for Computing
Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Graphics and Interactive Techniques
(ACM SIGGRAPH), asked if I would be interested in being part of a stop-
motion event to help promote my book. I was delighted for the opportunity
and was able to participate in an evening of presentations and panel discussion
with none other than Anthony Scott (animation supervisor, Corpse Bride),
Peter Muyzers (visual effects artist, Corpse Bride), and Larry Bafia (animator
from Will Vinton Studios and PDI). I was asked back to speak for various
Vancouver SIGGRAPH events related to stop-motion, and became an active
member and volunteer with the chapter, helping to organize their annual
Spark FX and Spark Animation festivals and bring inspiration and innovation
to the community (http://www.siggraph.ca).

Another opportunity that came my way was being asked to develop an online
stop-motion course for the Academy of Art University’s Cyber Campus, an
online version of the degree programs offered through their school in San
Francisco. Using my book as a required text, I got the chance to expand on the
instructional sections through two online courses, ANM 380 (Stop Motion
Animation 1) and ANM 382 (Stop Motion Animation 2). Subsequently, I have
taught these courses online and helped more students improve their skills in the
stop-motion craft. The process of building these courses also involved flying
down to San Francisco to shoot animation and puppet-building demos in their
production studio, which was hard work but a great deal of fun. On one of these
visits, I had the opportunity to meet in person the technical editor for my first
book (and this one), Lionel I. Orozco of Stop Motion Works (Figure I.2).


As 2009 dawned, I continued my work as a mild-mannered admissions advisor
for VanArts (Vancouver Institute of Media Arts) by day and a crime-fighting
stop-motion instructor by night, both for students at VanArts and online for
the Academy of Art University. Another addition to my family was also preparing
for his debut; my son Xander was born that summer. Meanwhile, the stopmotion
universe was generating a lot of buzz from the release of the feature
film Coraline, which had advanced the art form into new territories of innovative
storytelling, and many other independent films were being noticed as
well. Riding the crest of this wave, I was approached by Course Technology
with the idea of writing another book that would go into more up-to-date
detail on the art form. Several months later, you are holding that book in your hands.

My first book, The Art of Stop-Motion Animation, was written as a practical
guide to the basic principles of stop-motion filmmaking, providing a solid
introduction for anyone new to the medium. The focus of this new volume is
to take a closer look at the techniques of stop-motion that were touched on
only briefly in the first book and to cover some advances in the art form that
have only come into fruition since 2006. You will find new techniques for
building puppets, including the technology behind rapid prototyping of computer
models for stop-motion production. You will read more detailed information
on camera rigs, effects, and shooting stop-motion with a digital SLR
camera, including stereoscopic photography (to make your films in eye-popping
3D). The basic principles of animation covered in the first volume are expanded
into specific applications for character performance, and there is more material
covered on visual effect compositing techniques. The history of the medium,
this time around, puts more focus on stop-motion films made in feature-length
format, including several obscure films that have never been documented to
this extent. Also, whereas the first volume featured six interviews with other
stop-motion artists, this new book presents eight new interviews with some
of the best and brightest in the field, spanning everything from big studio
productions to low-budget indie filmmaking.

If you are a fan of stop-motion or any other kind of animation, I trust you will
find plenty of good reading material in this book. However, because it’s an
advanced volume, if you are new to learning animation and want a book for
guidance on how stop-motion is done, I would recommend my first book.
The basic principles covered in The Art of Stop-Motion Animation are important
to grasp before moving on to the more advanced techniques covered in
this book. All things considered, there is only so much a book can accomplish
in covering the vast array of skills required for stop-motion, but my hope is
that both volumes together will provide you with a good launching pad for
your own creations. The vast resources for stop-motion available online and
the help of other enthusiasts should also be continually tapped so that we can
all continue to find new ways for telling stories in this medium.

Tools and technology will always continue to change and become more
advanced. However, in his essay “What Is Cinema?” the noted French film
critic Andre Bazin reminds us, “The dream of creating a living human being
by means other than natural reproduction has been a preoccupation of man
from time immemorial: hence such myths as Pygmalion and Galatea.” We may
be able to digitally remove the strings and rigs from our modern-day puppets,
but deep inside ourselves we are simply fulfilling the dreams of those who
graced the Greek amphitheaters and medieval marionette stages with that
simple vision: to create the illusion of life.
Welcome, read on, and enjoy this magic between the frames.


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Product details
 Price
 File Size
 22,399 KB
 Pages
 353 p
 File Type
 PDF format
 ISBN-13
 ISBN-10
 eISBN-10
 978-1-4354-5613-6
 1-4354-5613-0
 1-4354-5704-8
 Copyright
 2011 Course Technology,
a part of Cengage Learning 

Table of Contents
Foreword ................................................................................ix
Acknowledgments.................................................................xiii
Introduction ........................................................................xvii
Chapter 1 History of Stop-Motion Feature Films.................1
Chapter 2 An Interview with Screen Novelties..................61
Chapter 3 Building Puppets............................................75
Plug-In Wire and Sockets ......................................................77
Hands and Feet .....................................................................88
Puppet Anatomy....................................................................96
Silicone................................................................................106
Casting a Silicone Puppet................................................108
Making a Silicone Mold..................................................114
Plastic Casting .....................................................................121
Face Armatures ....................................................................124
Replacement Faces and Rapid Prototyping ..........................138
Replacement Animation Puppets.........................................145
Chapter 4 Digital Cinematography.................................151
Digital Camera Basics..........................................................157
ISO.................................................................................159
Aperture and Shutter Speed ............................................159
Depth of Field ................................................................160
White Balance.................................................................163
Camera Effects ...................................................................165
Rack Focus......................................................................165
Blurring Effects ...............................................................168
Camera Moves ................................................................171
Stereoscopic Photography ...............................................179
Chapter 5 An Interview with Pete Kozachik, ASC ............187
Chapter 6 An Interview with Trey Thomas ......................195
Chapter 7 Character Animation .....................................204
Animation Technique ..........................................................204
Timing............................................................................205
Arcs.................................................................................208
Overlapping Action.........................................................211
Anticipation....................................................................215
Performance ........................................................................216
Two-Character Dialogue .................................................218
Lip Sync..........................................................................224
Chapter 8 An Interview with Bronwen Kyffin .................229
Chapter 9 Visual Effects...............................................237
Film Compositing ...............................................................238
Digital Compositing............................................................244
Split-Screen and Masks ...................................................244
Blue/Green Screen ..........................................................249
Front Light/Back Light ...................................................255
Advanced Compositing for Ava.......................................258
Effects .............................................................................263
Rig and Shadow Removal ....................................................266
Motion Blur ........................................................................269
Eye Compositing Effects for Madame Tutli-Putli .................272
Chapter 10 An Interview with Larry Bafia and
Webster Colcord ...........................................277
Chapter 11 An Interview with Marc Spess ........................289
Chapter 12 An Interview with Ryan McCulloch .................297
Chapter 13 An Interview with Justin and Shel Rasch ........305
Bibliography and Further Reading.....................................319
Books, Articles, and Publications on
Stop-Motion Animation ......................................................319
Other Useful Books about Animation and Puppetry............320
Online Resources Cited for the History of
Stop-Motion Animation ......................................................322
Index ......................................................................323

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