Stop motion is an animation technique which makes static objects appear to be moving. It is central to the claymation technique used on popular children’s shows such as Gumby and to the puppet-based animation of such well-known films as The Nightmare Before Christmas (Tim Burton, 1993), Chicken Run (DreamWorks/Aardman Animations, 2000) and now The Corpse Bride (Tim Burton, 2005).
Stop motion requires a camera, either motion picture or digital, that can expose single frames. It works by shooting a single frame, stopping the camera to move the object a little bit, and then shooting another frame. When the film runs continuously for more than 15 frames per second, the illusion of continious movement is created and the objects appears to move by themselves. This is similar to the animation of cartoons, but with real objects instead of drawings.
In animation, hundreds of still pictures are captured onto film or computer and then played back in rapid succession to create the illusion of movement. There are many forms of animation, the most common being hand-drawn cel-animation, or ‘cartoons’ as it’s more commonly called. Other types include stop-motion: real puppets and models moved in tiny increments and photographed for each frame, and CGI: computer created models that are animated on screen. A traditional brickfilm is made using stop-motion, but CGI is also quite common.
Clay animation is one of many forms of stop motion animation. Each animated piece, either character or background, is "deformable"—made of a malleable substance, usually Plasticine clay. The portmanteau term "Claymation" is a registered trademark in the United States, registered by Will Vinton in 1978 to describe his clay animated films. While the word is not considered a genericized trademark, it has become a trademark which is often used generically in the US to refer to any animation using plasticene or similar substance.
All traditional animation is produced in a similar fashion, whether done through cel animation or stop-motion. Each frame, or still picture, is recorded on film or digital media and then played back in rapid succession. When played back at a frame rate greater than 10-12 frames per second, a fairly convincing illusion of continuous motion is achieved. While the play-back feature creating an illusion is true of all moving image (from zoetrope, to films to videogames), the techniques involved in creating CGI are generally removed from a frame-by-frame process.
Gumby is a dark green clay humanoid figure who was the subject of a 233-episode series of American television which spanned over a 35-year period. He was animated using stop motion clay animation. The show also featured Pokey, a red clay pony, and Gumby’s nemeses, the Blockheads.
4. The Nightmare Before Christmas:
The Nightmare Before Christmas (also known as Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas) is a 1993 stop motion fantasy film directed by Henry Selick and produced/co-written by Tim Burton. It tells the story of Jack Skellington, a being from "Halloween Town" who opens a portal to "Christmas Town". Danny Elfman wrote the film score and provided the singing voice of Jack, as well as other minor characters. The remaining principal voice cast includes Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara, William Hickey, and Glen Shadix.
The genesis of The Nightmare Before Christmas started with a poem by Burton as a Disney animator in the early-1980s. With the success of Vincent in 1982, Disney started to consider The Nightmare Before Christmas as either a short subject or 30-minute television special. Over the years, Burton’s thoughts regularly returned to the project, and in 1990, Burton and Disney made a development deal. Production started in July 1991 in San Francisco. Walt Disney Pictures decided to release the film under their Touchstone Pictures banner because they thought Nightmare would be "too dark and scary for kids".The Nightmare Before Christmas has been viewed with critical and financial success. Disney has reissued the film under their Disney Digital 3-D format in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
DreamWorks, LLC, also known as DreamWorks Pictures, DreamWorks SKG or DreamWorks Studios, is a major American film studio which develops, produces, and distributes films, video games, and television programming. It has produced or distributed more than ten films with box-office grosses totalling more than $100 million each. Its most successful title to date is Shrek 2.
DreamWorks began in 1994 as an ambitious attempt by media moguls Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen (forming the SKG present on the bottom of the DreamWorks logo) to create a new Hollywood studio. In December 2005, the founders agreed to sell the studio to Viacom, the parent company of Paramount Pictures. The sale was completed in February 2006. In 2008, Dreamworks announced its intention to end its partnership with Paramount and signed a US$1.5 billion deal to produce films with India’s Reliance ADA Group.
DreamWorks’ animation arm was spun-off in 2004, into DreamWorks Animation SKG. Its films were distributed worldwide by Paramount, but the animation studio remained independent of Paramount/Viacom.