During the past couple weeks I have been tasked with making a paper stop motion animation. It is clearly just as it sounds, an animation consisting of movement made utilizing paper. I quickly came up with a concept of a character dealing with time passing via multiple seasons transitioning. I had one other animator working with me through the whole project, to convey my idea a little more clearly I quickly tossed together an animatic which we both thought would be worth progressing from.
After this stage we began troubleshooting, first issues like how do we deal with season changes? how do we shoot it? top down? 3d in a box? flat on a paper? We split up tasks with Jeff (the other animator) handling environmental elements while I solely focused on the character in the scene. I drew up keyframes, extremes and breakdowns in Photoshop and printed them out to be cut out and filmed physically.
All elements were combined and filmed in one long 5 hour production using my personal equipment and Dragonframe to reference movements and manage “earthquaking” (what we called excessive movement of the scene that would cause violent shaking of the scene if we hadn’t watched for it carefull). During the actually shooting we had to resolve how to let leaves and snow fall, the lighting was very limited meaning longer exposures for proper lighting so we couldn’t drop them and capture them in the air fast enough. I figured clear tape holding them in place while we both slid it down slowly would work and distract from background swaps happening at the same time.
The only thing I would change is much more polish on the animation, it is essentially only the third pass with no clean up and timing is lacking greatly. I planned on polish and rendering proper drawings originally though other commitments and projects made it impossible to complete by the deadline. In the end though I feel the quick sketches fit the style and make it interesting as a whole, even our decision to deliberately leave a box around the character instead of cutting exactly around him made the little paper world feel fitting.