Shadow Puppet

SkyWigly Online Animation Magazine recently published a terrific interview with mixed-media artist and filmmaker Ali Aschman, a recent graduate from the Royal College of Art’s MA Animation program. Her new film brings together complex ideas of self, represented by multiple scaled puppets and the rooms they inhabit. The short film (Just over 4 minutes) combines 2D painted animation on the walls of the room with large scale puppets make for an impressive visual that portrays an intimate account of the filmmaker’s inner psyche.

To be sure, it’s not a light-hearted romp, but the story is compelling and its execution, terrific. Click here for a link to the interview, which also contains a link to the film.

It’s not easy for a movie-star to age - especially when you’re a stop motion animated skeleton monster. Phil, once a terrifying villain of the silver-screen, struggles to find work in modern Hollywood due to being an out-of-date special effect. Check out the behind the scenes video of this film by clicking here.

Rafi shared his latest stop motion video with us. Previously he shared his He-Man intro stop motion video many months back and just recently finished this new one with his friend Mike Hansen. Here's what he had to say about it "This is a fan-made, tribute video that celebrates the MOTUC toy line, the She-Ra: Princess of Power IP and stop-motion as an animated art form. It is also a video that features Mike Hansen’s last completed work – with him having built all the dioramas, except of course the iconic Castle Grayskull."

Subscribe to Rafi's YouTube channel if you'd like to see more (or older) videos by clicking here.

Cutting costs and improving quality are things that smaller studios try to do to compete with larger stop motion companies like Aardman and Laika. Much like any industry that uses automation, it is a sad reality that comes with trying to increase profits for the sake of keeping a company alive for the next project. There are definitely philosophical points a person could make about it, particularly how 3D printing and digitally creating characters goes against the grain of hand crafted traditions. This is what separates business from the hobby world and there are good reasons to take both approaches.

Motion Foundry Studios is working on an ambitious feature film called Saurus City that has some high grade voice acting and a small team of dedicated artists. To lower costs and speed up production they created hybrid puppets that use both 3-D printed heads with replacement mouths and hand made bodies and armatures. They had their parts printed by GoEngineer, a company that has high end 3D printers capable of printing parts in color. The are one of the few companies that have experience making stop motion parts specifically for the industry. If you'd like to learn more about them you can visit their site by clicking here.

Is this what the future of humanity holds for us? If you haven't seen a Randy Boyum film before, they are all similarly funny and unexpected. Check out some behind the scenes photos, links and videos of his over on Facebook at this link over here. Or subscribe to his YouTube channel over here and click the bell to get notified of his newest creations.