The patience I need in this tiny hot stuff dark room.. perhaps if I had known, I would have avoided this medium altogether.
But then again, not. Whilst stop frame animation takes hours to do sometimes a couple of seconds, it is very satisfying. The way it has turned out has actually captured just what I wanted. The hand drawn element remains all the way through. Obviously in terms of it being hand drawn from beginning to end, but also in the way that the exposure, focus and speed changes constantly. I found it really difficult to ensure each frame was set up with the same lighting and focus because it changed so frequently. Using equipment that I am completely unfamiliar with was tricky. But I got the hang of it. Don’t get me wrong, there were extremely frustrating moments when I had to get up and leave the room for a breath of fresh air. These included the way each tiny new stretch of line I drew had to be so precise and if one mistake was made then I would have to START AGAIN. That happened a couple of times. But I soon learnt how to work around the mistakes and how to work through/with them.
Another issue was the classic.. KEEPING MY HAND OUT OF THE FRAME. One would think its a stupid mistake to make. But an easy one! I happened severe times. And a couple of fingers even manage to premier in some of the opening shots. Similar to this issue, I had to ensure that the edge of the page wasn’t creeping down in to the corner of the shot. Sometimes I would get into a rhythm and begin to pick up the speed, with little awareness to the fact that the page was sloping down and also creeping into the corner of the frame.
Yet ANOTHER issue I came across was the medium I was using to physically draw the lines with. Water colour pencil. One of my favourites. So versatile. It can be hard, it can be soft. It can be BOTH. I love the way the two contrast to vividly yet work so well together. Anyway, with all these pros, there must be some cons. And there were. Watercolour pencil doesn’t rub out so well.. The beautiful solidity of the pigment of each line is quality. But its just so damn hard to rub out. At points when I couldn’t face starting a fresh sheet I would rub the top layer of pencil away and then have to use my scalpel to scratch the rest! It seemed to work well enough.
The programme I used was called iStopMotion. It was great. It was connected to the FaceTime programme on Macs. It had a setting where you could have your stream of sound shown just about the time scale showing each frame. This meant that I could at least attempt to sync every new note with its appropriate turn in the shape.
All in all, the process was long. Very long, and I impressed myself with my levels of patience. But it was worth it, I would say.