Computer Graphics World

September/October 2014

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 3 of 51

2 cgw s e p t e m b e r . o c t o b e r 2 0 1 4 THE EVOLVING ART OF STOP MOTION he look of stop motion has come a long way since the days of The Gumby Show, a Sunday morning cartoon from my childhood. That show had a very dif- ferent aesthetic compared to the brightly colored, slick, 2D cel animation from the likes of Warner Bros and Hanna-Barbera, but it was just as entertaining. Stop-motion productions have a long history. During the 20th century, however, stop- motion projects were few in comparison to 2D (and later, 3D) animation work. But with the dawn of a new millenni- um came a re-awakening of stop motion. Nick Park and Aardman Animations brought the technique to the forefront with Wallace & Gromit and other projects, netting them six Oscar nomina- tions and four statuettes, including their fi rst for the short "Creature Comforts" as well as another for the 2005 feature Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. That, it seems, was the start of the next big wave in stop animation. Soon came Henry Selick and Tim Burton's classic The Night- mare Before Christmas, while their fi lm James and the Giant Peach upped the ante further by incorporat- ing stop-motion animation with live action. In 2005, Burton and Mike Johnson released Corpse Bride. The stop-animation fi lm received an Oscar nom- ination but lost to The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. It was proof that stop motion was not a passing obsession! Five years ago, Laika turned heads and hearts with Selick's Coraline, from Focus Features, which placed stop motion squarely inside the world of 3D – it was the fi rst ever stop-motion animated feature to be conceived and shot entirely in stereo- scopic 3D. Moreover, CAD drawings were transformed into high-quality 3D models and then were 3D printed, providing each character with a myriad of diff erent facial expressions. Laika has continued to break new ground in the genre. Its 2012 fi lm ParaNorman presented a character with a thousand faces – 8,000 to be exact, thanks to the use of CG models that were output on full-color 3D printers. That same year, two other stop-motion features shared box-offi ce space. The Pirates! Band of Misfi ts from Aardman Co-founder Peter Lord was the fi rst to use Aardman's in-house visual eff ects department. Also released in the same timeframe was Burton's Frankenweenie, which took a giant leap forward in its use of CG for sets (due to the large size of the charac- ters) and eff ects, topping off at 1,200 VFX shots. All three movies received Oscar nominations but lost to Pixar's CG Brave. Nevertheless, having three stop-motion fi lms occu- pying all but two of the slots for Best Animation was proof positive that the genre is growing in tech- nique as well as audience appreciation. Now, Laika is surprising us once again with stop motion that integrates us into the world of The Boxtrolls, and to do that, CG artists have expanded their role as the team thinks outside the box to deliver a visual experience like no other (see "Boxed In No More," page 12). Indeed, the cra of stop motion has advanced throughout the years, and the artists continue to amaze us with visual depth and endearing stories. Which is your favorite stop-motion animated fi lm? Let us know by an- swering the survey question on ¢ T Karen Moltenbrey, Editor-in-Chief R E C E N T A W A R D S THE MAGAZINE FOR DIGITAL CONTENT PROFESSIONALS E D I T O R I A L EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Karen Moltenbrey e: t: 603.432.7568 CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Courtney Howard, Jenny Donelan, Kathleen Maher, George Maestri, Martin McEachern, Barbara Robertson PUBLISHER / PRESIDENT / CEO William R. Rittwage COP Communications A D V E R T I S I N G S A L E S DIRECTOR OF SALES—NATIONAL Mari Kohn e: t: 818.291.1153 c: 818.472.1491 DIRECTOR OF SALES—WEST COAST Jeff Victor e: t: 224.436.8044 CORPORATE SALES EXECUTIVE— EVENTS, CUSTOM AND INTEGRATED PRINT/ PUBLISHING SERVICES Lisa Neely e: t: 818.660-5828 EDITORIAL OFFICE / LA SALES OFFICE 620 West Elk Avenue, Glendale, CA 91204 t: 800.280.6446 A R T / P R O D U C T I O N ART DIRECTOR Michelle Villas e: ONLINE AND NEW MEDIA Stan Belchev e: S U B S C R I P T I O N S 818.291.1158 C U S T O M E R S E R V I C E e: t: 800.280.6446, OPT. 3 COMPUTER GRAPHICS WORLD MAGAZINE IS PUBLISHED BY COMPUTER GRAPHICS WORLD, A COP COMMUNICATIONS COMPANY. Computer Graphics World does not verify any claims or other information appearing in any of the advertisements contained in the publication, and cannot take any responsibility for any losses or other damages incurred by readers in reliance on such content. Computer Graphics World cannot be held responsible for the safe- keeping or return of unsolicited articles, manuscripts, photographs, illustrations or other materials.Address all subscription correspon- dence to: Computer Graphics World, 620 West Elk Ave, Glendale, CA 91204. Subscriptions are available free to qualified individuals within the United States. Non-qualified subscription rates: USA—$68 for 1 year, $98 for 2 years; Canadian subscriptions —$98 for 1 year and $136 for 2 years; all other countries—$150 for 1 year and $208 for 2 years. Digital subscriptions are available for $27 per year. Subscribers can also contact customer service by calling 818-291-1158, or sending an email to Postmaster: Send Address Changes to Computer Graphics World, 620 W. Elk Ave., Glendale, CA 91204 Please send customer service inquiries to 620 W. Elk Ave., Glendale, CA 91204 C O M P U T E R G R A P H I C S W O R L D CGW RECENT STOP MOTION STORIES CORALINE (NOV. 2009) PARANORMAN (AUG./SEPT. 2012) THE PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS (APRIL/MAY 2012) FRANKENWEENIE (AUG./SEPT. 2012)

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Computer Graphics World - September/October 2014