Mentored by Stop Motion and CG Animator Chuck Duke.
“Best Stop Motion Animator in the world” High praise indeed from the stop motion legend Phil Tippett.
There really is no one better to teach Stop Motion than Chuck
Full length interview
Here is some time lapse photography of Chuck working on Frankenweenie
Course can be completed entirely on your iphone!
“Luckily, I came across AnimationATeam and they were offering an online stop motion course. Being a huge fan of the medium and knowing the possibility of getting noticed was much higher than in cg, so I signed up and have never looked back. I knew I would like it, but actually fell in love with it. It’s all owed to my mentor, Chuck Duke, who really pushed me to improve. The class started in February 2013 and finished up in August that year. So now 1 year after diving into stop motion I’m making a short film with actual celebrities. Not only that but I’ve also ended up on the radar of Stoopid Buddy Soodios, which is a dream come true. Maybe I’ll be working there soon!
Loved the course, and learnt a ton from Chuck! Thank you for offering something like this! It’s really helping to improve my cg skills too, so it’s a win win all around”. Dieter Wagner
“loving the hands on aspect of animating this way!” – More progress from Dieter soon.
Animation by student Rich Farris
“My course is going really well! I’m enjoying it a lot! found my first job last week, working on a commercial, hope there will be lots more to come!”. Sabrina Lecordier
Animated by student Laura Nisbet
Learn how the professionals utilize the latest and most efficient animation techniques
The Purity of stop-motion animation has helped to create a strong resurgence over the past few years. The Online Stop Motion Animation Course offers the chance to learn the fundamentals and techniques to achieve believable movement and character performance from a Stop-Motion puppet.
Over the past 20 years Chuck has had the privilege to learn from the very best in the Stop-Motion industry. From legendary puppet animator, Phil Tippett to Directors Henry Selick, Wes Anderson and Tim Burton. Chuck has contributed to such celebrated Stop-Motion features as “James and the Giant Peach“, “Fantastic Mr Fox“, and Disney’s “Frankenweenie”.
Chuck is now offering to teach his craft to budding film animators wanting to specialise in stop motion animation.
There’s no doubting Chucks talent, see his Stop Motion animation reel
Professional stop motion kit provided by AnimationATeam.com
Dragonframe – industry standard
Chuck will guide you through setting up your own armature (we will send this by post). Included in the cost of the course is a Free Dragonframe software licence and keypad.
We use professional quality armatures from our supplier Upuno.
You will build a character from scratch using over a 100 stainless steel professional parts.
Equipment you will need, not supplied by us:
-2 simple desk lamps for lighting.
-A work table to animate on. This will involve drilling holes to walk the character.
Directions and ideas for an animation table can be supplied.
-Digital camera, you will need a camera that is supported by Dragonframe, see a list Here, it is possible to use an inexpensive webcam.
-M3 Hex key
Alternatively the course can be completed on an iPhone, iTouch or an iPad using Air Display or iDisplay apps. These are great because they work through WiFi, no cables! and the apps are very cheap, @£4.00.
Camera Advice can be given to suit a variety of budgets.
The Online Stop Motion Course Curriculum
According to the students own skill level and familiarization of the Stop-Motion process, the course explores the techniques applied to execute a believable performance from a Stop-Motion Puppet.
Along the way history of the industry and techniques of the masters will be discussed and the relevant stop-motion tricks that are still in use today. Physical performance of the stop-motion armature will be one of the major backbones of this course. Timing, sense of motion, observation, acting, Character and Lip sync.
Simple assignments will become more complex to build the students confidence and experimentation to help reveal each students personal style.
The structure is very similar to the online creature course, communication is daily through the student sending a movie and then receiving a crit in return via email so this means you are not tied down to any specific times. Study whenever you like, the course is designed to fit in around full-time work or college commitments.
Everbody works at a different speed with a varying amount of time that they can allocate to it. Structure of the course is bespoke to each students experience level because the pace is determined by the frequency of submissions made by the student.
Stop Motion Course Modules
Our course will introduce students to the basic techniques and terminology of stop motion animation. Instruction will emphasize traditional character animation techniques such as character development, exaggeration, timing, acting and weight. Examples of great animation will be shown frequently, Basic film skills will be explored.
* Introduction, Set Up shooting area and Stage build. familiarization of equipment and class Objectives
*Familiarize students with equipment, Dragon Frame.
*Experiment with straight ahead animation technique as opposed to pose to pose.
*Bouncing Ball (Shows me strengths and weaknesses of students understanding the principles of animation).*Found Object Animation.
*Build and balance of the armature joints.
*Acting in animation, the right timing for expressing an emotion or action.
*How long does it take to move from one pose to another? We will examine the motivation for a character and how that effects the motion between the poses.
*Moving from one thought or action to another in the clearest means possible.
*You must Act
*Sitting pose and ball toss.
*From sitting to standing pose.
We believe that one to one direct contact with a tutor is really the best and only way for a student to learn the skills required to make a career on feature films.
Interview with Student of the Stop Motion Animation Course
Why did you join the online stop motion course?
I always wanted to learn stop motion but was never sure where to begin. After studying 3d animation I’ve worked as a character animator for 4 years now but the idea to try stop motion never left me and I had to give it a try. So I started looking everywhere for schools, but it was impossible for me to stop working and go back to full time studying for a few years. Internship in stop motion studios are possible but didn’t have any luck as I had no experience with that kind of animation. Then I found your online school and thought it was now or never. So glad that I did, the course is really interesting!
What do you think is the most valuable thing you took from the stop motion course?
Chuck is an amazing teacher. It would be very hard for me to choose one particular thing as everything that he taught me is so important. The performance is a key thing I guess, you have to become the character, to feel it and try to avoid mechanical animation. You have to give life to the puppet and make people believe in it!
Learning the process is really slow so you have to be very patient, take your time and be well organized.
You only finished the course in June but have you found any work yet?
Since I started the course I worked on two commercials. On the first one I was doing some model making, pressing mouths and arms for the animators. I had a great time there and learnt a lot just by being in the studio, surrounded by inspiring animators and model makers. My second job was only a few days but it was a great experience too, I was working on a commercial for John Lewis. Set in and out of two houses outside of London, all the objects from the house had to be animated going outside. Quite impressive as we were so many people animating all the objects and furniture.
Costs and registration here.