Sunday, November 07, 2010

Making Stop Motion in 3D

The other evening I was lucky enough to attend a Q&A session with David Sproxton, Nick Park and Peter Lord from Aardman talking to David Rowan from Wired at the Apple Store in Covent Garden.

David Sproxton mentioned that their two new films were in 3D, one CGI and the other stop motion. This got me wondering about what were the technical issues of trying to create stereo stop motion.

The Wired article on Aardman mentions a little, such as that you end up with twice as many pictures to store, that you need to have "rigs for the cameras" and there are post production issues.

I guessed at one of the issues which is that if you were to use two cameras they would need to be very close together. The solution is to use a single camera and a rig to shuffle it along before taking a second picture, these are called "Stereoscopic Stepper Rigs"

Editing of stereo video is straightforward and there are several choices for editing software. You are obviously going to need more storage and more processing power as there is more for the editing software to do. Many people edit in 2D and then the software handles the editing of the 3D.

Post production issues are the usual ones for stop motion such as colour balance. However there is also the alignment of the two images, typical corrections include horizontal and vertical offsets, zoom discrepancies, keystone, and rotation.

Other 3D stop motion films

There was Coraline, the first stop-motion animated feature to be shot entirely in stereoscopic 3-D.

Foxed! by the Geneva Film Co is also in production.

Early stop motion in 3D

3-D Stereoscopic Film and Animation Blog


Frank Passingham: one of the few highly regarded cinematographers in the field of animated film who has the knowledge and experience of producing 3D stop-frame animated feature films. He was a DOP on Chicken Run and is currently a DOP on the new Aardman feature Pirates.

Tom Barnes: Technical Director of the new Aardman feature film Pirates.

François Garnier a leader in the field of 3D

Upcoming Master Class

As part of the Encounters festival there is a master class on "Stop-Frame In 3D" Thu 18 Nov, 2pm with Tom Barnes and Frank Passingham


Dragon Stop Motion and Stereoscopic filming

Stop Motion Pro 3D Interfacing to Mark Roberts rig

Stop Motion Pro 3d Workflow

Stereo Video Editing

Neo3D from CineForm
Freeware StereoMovie Maker
Quantel Stereo3D
Sony Vegas Pro

Other references

Paul WS Anderson "The Future of 3D Filmmaking"

Gone Phishin' with CineForm Neo3D
Creative COW Magazine : Stereoscopic 3D Issue : The 3DVX
3D Research
Interocular distances
A slide bar, a low tech alternative to a stepper rig

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