Sunday, October 2, 2011

Changes in Claymation

I assume that pretty much everyone grew up with the animations of Wallace and Gromit, but it could just be me. Whether or not this is true however, the style of Aardman animation and claymation has some how found a way into each of our lives, whether it be Chicken Run, Wallace and Gromit, or Flushed Away. Some of the Aardman group have even worked on animations used for Pee Wee's Playhouse and most famously crossed over with DreamWorks.

Chicken Run

Wallace and Gromit

Flushed Away

I bring Aardman Animation Studios up because they have created a new stop-motion feature called The Pirates! Band of Misfits.

Now, Aardman studios is known for their use of stop-motion clay animation, but they still incorporate CG additions. Flushed Away was Aardman's first completely computer-animated movie, yet the designers maintained the look of the classic stop-motion clay animation. The video below shows the process of stop-motion that Aardman uses for such films like Wallace and Gromit and now The Pirates! Band of Misfits.

In a few different interviews with Peter Lord and Peter Baynham (Director of The Pirates! and the co-writer of Arthur Christmas, another mainly CGI feature), they discuss the plots and animation techniques used to create the two movies. In addition, this article from Online Animation Magazine previews both movies.

I find it very interesting how an animation studio incorporates traditional animation techniques, like stop motion, along with computer generated animation in order to reach their end goal. Using both techniques they can incorporate the best of both animation worlds. Plus, in an age where most all of the younger audience is used to computer animation I find it quite endearing that the directors are making a movie that will attract the older audience nostalgic for stop-motion.

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