FMP 3: Problem Solving

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that there was a degree of compromise and problem solving needed to translate my storyboards into a functioning animation. There were several reasons for this: I’ve already mentioned that the puppets were very hindering with their limited mobility. My level of competence would have also played a part; this project was certainly the most ambitious that I have attempted. Even the stop-motion medium itself can be limiting, it is also part of the charm but nevertheless, it can be another barrier.

I’ve highlighted one clip to demonstrate how I translated my initial idea into the final product:

In this shot, I wanted a slow, consistent zoom out which would reveal more of the scene as it continued. Unfortunately, due to the scale I was working at, there was no feasible way to have a smooth zoom that lasted the entirety of the shot. I had two options, either zoom out very slowly, by eye, and risk the consistency of the motion, or I could do what I decided to do, and have the zoom be only a portion of the scene. Whilst I would have much preferred what I had storyboarded, I believe the compromise is still effective and I chose the correct time to begin the zoom.

The shot also demonstrates the inefficiency of the puppets; they are unable to grasp the sledgehammer with both hands as their arms are too short to wrap around their bodies. To get around this, I simply made them one handed hammers but made sure that the free arm was still contributing to the swing by being a counter-balance.

Sometimes I need to animate an entire shot before I realise that I need to go about it in another way. One of the final shots in my animation, for example, didn’t turn out the way I wanted so I had to re-shoot.

The main issue with the first version is a problem that I have whenever I do any camera movements in that it’s all manual and the movements can be inconsistent and “jerky”. With the second version, I paid painstaking attention to the minute adjustments I made. It took three times as long to animate the shot but I do believe it was worth it in the end.

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