Friday, January 13, 2012


So (I think) I may have developed a new technique for stop motion animation.... I mean in some sense there is nothing new about it, because stop motion animation and welding steel have both been around for ages, but the standard technique for stop motion animation is generally clay or puppets, and for my material i've decided to weld together pieces steel. And I don't think it has been tried before with any degree of success.. It may be that it was never invented because of the impracticality of the medium for stop motion.... it really doesn't make much sense to make an unyielding material for motion when we already have things that exist that are drastically more pliable. But there is a character of motion in metal that can not be gotten with the other materials, for it requires it's own techniques and methods of manipulation which create beautiful and strikingly interesting results not just in what was intended, but merely as products of the medium.

For me the whole project was a week long experiment. Understanding the possibilities of the medium and how the characters move and how the world reacts to them. But understanding this world was no easy task, and expounding upon my ideas was even less easy. The first video was completed in around 8 hours start to finish, which really flew by; the second video was created in the following three days, working the night shift (starting at 2:30 pm and going as late as 2 am on the final night). It took almost 30 hours to get a minute and a half of footage which varies from 24 frames per second down to 12. On the final day I was so exhausted I could barely move. It's one thing to simply move pieces of metal around a table, or to have them connected intelligently with ball and socket joints or magnets... but in this case I had neither of those indulgences. Rather, in order to create any movement I had to either break the sculpture and re-weld it in a new position (my last resort), get out the torch and heat up/cut away the joint in order to move the piece, or use the flow of welding wire to create a pool of liquid hot metal at which stateI could move the pieces into their new position. Needless to say it was tiring.

The Aliens!

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