Stop Motion

Lotte Reiniger used stop motion with cardboard cutouts to create an expressive animation that could be easily understood by the viewer with proper staging and appropriate musical scores. The colorful backgrounds also helped to establish the atmosphere to the scene for the silhouette cutouts to move through. Moving figures were made of separate pieces that would connect at key joints to keep the movement and shapes consistent. These attributes of cutout animation allow for the animator to keep a wide range of motion with a single character without the need for continuously redrawing them for each frame.

In the film “The Adventures of Prince Achmed” a unique use of material is used on the backlight visually creating an organic creature that comes from an opaque cloud as a practical effect. These effects under a normal drawn animation most likely could not be accomplished in the same timeframe to achieve the results that were created with this technique. The texture and nature of the material can give a different message about the nature of the animation being fictional and hand crafted perhaps for a lighter more fabricated look. Reiniger created something otherworldly with an established presence within our own world with her animated medium.

Stop motion as a medium is a flexible and accessible way to create a motion picture. Without the requirement of live actors or a full staff of hired artists an animator with the materials and vision can move the figures slide by slide with a limited timeframe to create a successful production. With its ability to be molded within the real world to add frame by frame practical effects with relative ease, stop motion also has a near unlimited amount of mixed media application for both traditional live action film as well as hand drawn animations to create its niche in animation.

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