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Stop Motion Animation - DragonFrame, Adobe Premier Pro/After Effects/Audition


In this stop-motion animation and projection mapping project I explore questions of time and memory in a recursive fashion.  On the surface the intent is to show a narrative where the main character - who is an older individual - is drawing/creating images that carry, through the introduction of nested animations, their own plots.  While the smaller narratives are based on personal experiences, the broader goal is that they are general enough such that viewer can relate to them as a subset of common reflections on life – ex: relationships, environment, beauty, pandemic, loss, etc.

Like most narrative video projects, the intent is to invite and have the viewer place themselves into the story; to see it through the eyes of primary character.  While this can easily be bestowed through the expectations of the format, I am also targeting a deeper penetration through the utilization of a life-size mock-up that mirrors the scaled down primary stop-motion set, with the smaller being presented inside the larger.  This mirroring in human scale of the much smaller stop-motion set is intended to not only bring the viewer further into the narrative involving the main character, but also to invite them to reflect on some of the aspects of stop-motion animation that intrigue and excite me.

I have always enjoyed exploring the small and photography has always been central to that.  As a child my first camera was a Kodak 110 Instamatic.  Today I use multiple DLSRs, but much is still the same in terms of the content that I photograph - I most often find myself exploring the small through macro shots.  Typically, this is of organic things, but I explore a variety of other content as well.

To answer the question of why I’m drawn to this... it revolves around discovering things.  Whether it’s my own photography

or that of others, expanding in size something that is small, perhaps even invisible to the naked eye, to a size that is abnormally large often accentuates qualities such that I take greater pause in analyzing them.  It is not uncommon for me to feel like I’m peering in on a different world, or if I’m not to at least imagine a different one that includes the unique characteristics reflected in the content of the macro photographs.  Whether it’s structure, texture, color, shape, or any other quality, this activity affords me an outlet to explore and imagine.  Being able to turn this around and instead apply my own choice of qualities to objects and then animate them through stop-motion adds a whole new layer to the explorations.

A term that I often hear and apply myself to stop-motion animation is that it is “uncanny”.  I think part of this comes from seeing something move which would not otherwise be expected to, but I think another part comes from seeing the objects of stop-motion animation presented mimicking life-size scale - like macro photography, but rather macro video.  The overlap of these two aspects is where I find myself getting most invested in the visual analyzation.  In the resulting media I find myself more intently studying both the objects and their qualities than I would that of most other video content.  While I don’t expect others to have the same level of interest, my hope is that through the setup of this project and its format it can further immerse the viewer such that they can more closely share in the experiences that both excite and intrigue me about this medium as well as the act of exploring the world we live in.

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