Stop-motion is a film technique in which an illusion of movement is created by taking individual pictures ( frames ) of motionless subjects and then lining them up. It is used in cartoons , but also as a special effect in real films . The starting point is the stop trick .
With the stop-motion technique, objects are animated by only changing them slightly for each individual frame in the film. Stop-motion films appear all the more fluid, the more images are lined up per unit of time. This technique was already known at the end of the 19th century and was first used by Georges Méliès in 1896. With the advent of animated and puppet films around 1910, the first film genres emerged that were based exclusively on this technology.
Stop-motion has been increasingly perfected over the years and, among others, from the pioneer Willis O'Brien in The Lost World ( The Lost World , 1925) and King Kong and the white woman (1933) applied. Ray Harryhausen in particular developed and refined the technology from the 1950s onwards. Films like Sindbad's Seventh Journey or Jason and the Argonauts are classics of the fantasy genre.
In the field of feature films, computer animations mostly replace the use of stop-motion in the usual areas of application, for example for the representation of monsters , dinosaurs or UFOs . The technique is occasionally used to achieve a deliberately nostalgic effect (e.g. in The Science of Sleep , 2006, or The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou , 2004). Stop-motion is also regularly used in music videos , for example by the band Tool .
Although stop-motion films and the associated craftsmanship are regularly praised in the feature sections as a welcome counterweight to today's flood of computer animation, the massive use of computers is indispensable in modern productions. On the one hand, corresponding computer animations are prefabricated and dazzled via the camera signal when the actual film recordings are set up. A technique called pose-to-pose can thus be used, which was practically impossible to use with traditional stop-motion methods - i.e. the modeling of extreme positions while the intermediate poses are inserted either afterwards or automatically by the computer. This enables smoother sequences of movements, and the timing of body language can be modeled more precisely with this method. Furthermore, figures can be taken from the scene, for example in order to exchange several facial variants for an animated facial expression. The precisely fitting reinsertion of such figures into the scene has only become possible with the availability of appropriate digital positioning aids. On the other hand, certain effects such as rain, fire, air jumps, etc. Ä. Difficult to implement without compositing multiple image sources.
Inexpensive digital cameras and computers now also allow stop-motion films to be made as a hobby. The inexpensive technology has created a fan base because you can tell stories and bring in creativity with simple means. The Internet is a suitable platform for showing the films to a larger audience. It is not uncommon for school projects in the arts or media to use stop-motion technology. In the hobby area, clay (see clay animation , also called claymation ) and Lego (see brick film ) are often used as material .
Forms and examples
Cut-out animation : Cut-out objects, mostly made of paper , cardboard or fabric , are moved for the individual images.
Examples: Émile Cohls En Route from 1910, the works of Juri Norstein and the animations by Terry Gilliam in the Monty Python works.
Note: Nowadays this style is also imitated with computers like in South Park .
Silhouette animation (related to the cut-out animation ): The cut-out objects are illuminated from behind so that only their silhouettes can be seen.
Example: Lotte Reiniger's The Adventures of Prince Achmed from 1926.
Collage film (also called object trick ): Here any materials are put together under the camera to create moving images.
Examples: Jan Švankmajer's films .
Brick film : All figures and scenery are put together from Lego bricks .
Example: The heroes of Bern
Pixilation : Actors are filmed in the same way as objects.
Example: Norman McLaren's A Chairy Tale .
Kneading animation : The figures are made of kneading rubber or clay, in recent times sometimes with interchangeable plastic parts (e.g. for mouth movements).
Examples: Nick Parks Chicken Run - hens run , Pingu or Shaun the sheep
Puppet animation : Here, puppets are changed from picture to picture in small steps within a set so that they move smoothly in the finished film. Usually the dolls have a skeleton with stiff joints so that they maintain the pose in which the animator bends them.
Examples: The Sandman or Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). Puppet and hand puppet
films (like the Muppet Show ) do not belong to this genre , as these and their movements are filmed in real time.
- 3D stop motion : So far there have been three films that have used this technique: Coraline from 2009, ParaNorman from 2012 and Kubo from 2016.
Well-known stop-motion films include Tim Burton's Corpse Bride (2005), the short films by Aardman Animations about Wallace & Gromit , Shaun the Sheep and Suzie Templeton's Peter and the Wolf (2006). More recent films made using this technique are, for example, Coraline by Henry Selick or The Fantastic Mr. Fox by Wes Anderson . Less known are The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb (1993) and the grotesque experimental films by the Czech Jan Švankmajer . Several German stop-motion short films have achieved fame since the mid-1990s: the Oscar- winning Quest (1996) and Balance (1989) and the nominated Das Rad (2003).
- Lego Stop-Motion Tutorial (2014) , awarded at the German Multimedia Competition "Mediale Bildwelten" MB 21
- Lego Stop-Motion Tutorial (2014)
- stopmotiontutorials.com with instructions for beginners and advanced users
- Stop-motion with light Stop-motion in combination with "painting with light" (photography)
- animateclay.com with instructions
- stopmotioncentral.com with instructions
- ikitmovie.com with instructions
- an example of an early stop-motion film: Hänschen's soldiers (1908):  , europeana
- cf. Hannes Rall: Animatedfilm, Konstanz and Munich 2015, p. 254.
- addition Alexander Altendorfer: Stop Motion Animation - creative films with LEGO figures, Heidelberg a. a .: 2014.
- Joshua Mosley: Compiled History of Animation. Retrieved February 4, 2010 .