Blog Prompt #8: Self Directed Project

Project Summary

For my self directed project, I chose to explore paper stop-motion and see what it was like to create a similar project of my own without having done it before. I chose this primarily because I always found the process of creating stop-motion projects to be so interesting and exciting to watch. I often wondered how long it took the professionals I’d see in YouTube videos to create the works of art that they would make through stop-motion, considering that the process is very demanding and high-maintenance.

To begin, I figured I would watch a few paper stop-motion YouTube videos to get a feel for what I could potentially include in my own. Every video I watched was at most a minute or less, which told me one unexpected thing — just one minute of paper stop-motion required a ridiculous amount of work and time. I began to worry that my initial idea of creating a lengthy “Draw My Life” video through stop-motion was a far reach for a beginner such as myself, and so I made a change to the content of my stop-motion project. Instead of a “Draw My Life” video, I chose to create a short animation inspired by one I had watched on YouTube. So, I began the actual creation of the project. First, I drew the images I needed for the video and took all the inspiration from a paper animation from YouTube. This step was undoubtedly the easiest. Then, I set up my phone at a birds-eye view angle, opened my “new to me” application called “Stop Motion Studio”, and took a picture. And then another. And another. The process repeated for another hour and a half, until I was left with 200+ photos, a fairly decent 30 second stop-motion animation, and an aching back. To be completely honest, the process of taking a photo and then slightly moving several tiny pieces of paper over and over again was physically and emotionally strenuous just because I felt like it was never going to end. However, I was extremely content with the results.

After finishing the actual stop-motion process, all that was left to do was to edit the video. Unfortunately I came across an unexpected issue with the app, which was that features such as adding sound effects and music was a paid feature. That put me in an odd predicament for a bit, until I realized that I could just save my video and add audio (for free) on iMovie. After editing, I re-watched the video about a million times to keep an eye out for any flaws, and also because I was truthfully very proud of my 30 second animation! I had so much fun with this project and now have a much greater appreciation for the directors, producers, editors and artists of the world, especially those who are involved with stop-motion animation. Although projects such as these consume an immense amount of time and energy, the end results prove to be worth every second.

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