Alien 3 Stop Motion Doldrums
- Friday, 10 February 2012 21:47
- Last Updated on Friday, 10 February 2012 22:07
- Written by Marc Spess
There was a time when stop motion was no longer acceptable because of lack of motion blur. Times have changed...
During the shooting of Alien 3, the producers and directors didn't like the fact that stop motion had a huge limitation. During scenes where the Aliens had to chase their victims around the futuristic settings the stop motion puppets could not match the live actors without being obviously fake. It wasn't that stop motion couldn't achieve the movements necessary or that the lighting couldn't match with the full sized actors.
The year was 1991 and this was about the same time Steven Spielberg decided that stop motion also wasn't suitable for the Jurassic Park dinosaurs. So not to contrast with creatures that digitally had motion blur added to them in computers it was obvious Richard Edlund and his team had to come up with a solution. They decided to use rod puppetry techniques in combination with a 1/3 scale articulate Alien model.
Why is this important and why mention it now? Because the technology is already here to where stop motion can again be utilized with even better results than rod puppets. While the rod puppets gave blur, the motion was not as nice as what stop motion animators can do frame by frame. With so many people controlling different rods and aspects of the rod puppet as seen in our news image - different parts will always be out of sync. You can expect to see the first use of this new technology (in a feature) where puppets are blurred in the next Sinbad feature called The Fifth Voyage. When this film comes out stop motion will come full circle from out of style to back in full force. You can see the trailer for it below with a glimpse into what the stop motion will look like.