January 5th, 2011
I had a pretty busy day at the office. Work kept me a bit late but it wasn’t too bad. I left for home around 8pm. As I drove home, I decided to myself that I was going to do a macro-shoot of a bit of bark that I pulled off of a tree a couple days ago. But once I got home I felt too lazy to set all of that up. I tried to come up with something that I felt like I had the effort to do.
I never thought that stop-motion animation would ever be a viable option when I’m feeling lazy except that I knew it wouldn’t take me that long to get set-up. Sometimes I think that’s the hardest part with these creative daily tasks, the set-up. Doing whatever your planning on doing is great fun and can invigorate you out of your stupor but every task has a gathering stage and a set-up stage, then finally the fun part.
The leds were something that Jenny put into my stocking on Christmas. She got them from the thinkgeek catalog. While it was awfully handy that I had them I was really disappointed with their quality. Most of the leds didn’t work or their connection to the battery was shotty. It took quite a bit of searching to find the right ones for painting with.
I realized that light-painting stop-animation is pretty darn strenuous. It was tough to remember how to draw something the same more than once when you can’t actually see what your drawing. The more I repeated it the closer I got to figuring out my technique. Then, it was all a matter of stamina. It turned into weightlifting reps in my mind. I’d finish an image and say in my brain, “Ok, three more”.
Then I started adding steps. It went from painting the stem, to painting the stem and leaves, to painting the stem, leaves and flower petals, to painting the stem, leaves, flower petals and exploding swirls. Every time I added a layer it got much more time consuming and I got much more focused and determined. I couldn’t take any breaks because I felt like there was this momentum building the whole time. In the end, it took me about two hours of animation-time. It was a great experience because I learned a lot about how it’s done.
While I’m happy with the final results I can see a lot of things I would have done differently.
The next day, while at work, I imported the sequence into After Effects and looped some sections in order to draw out the animation a bit more. I also added an all-voice sound effects pass because I love it when animations are completely scored with mouth noises.
I hope you enjoy!
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