Non-Stop Stop-Motion

Non-Stop Stop-Motion

A few years ago I discovered a new animation technique, which I named “Non-Stop Stop-Motion”.

Non-Stop Stop-Motion is based on the stop-motion animation technique, but it changes the basic elelement, the stopping of the camera (individually photographed frames). To make this better understood, I need to describe briefly the stop-motion technique.

Stop-motion is an animation technique that physically manipulates an object that appears to move on its own. The object moves in small increments between individually photographed frames, creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames is played as a continuous sequence. Usually the camera must be fixed on a tripod to ensure the congruence of the remaining image.

By the Non-Stop Stop-Motion approach, a camera films continuously a motion change illusion which is caused from the “stop-motion” properties of the space in which it is placed. The final movie has similar intermittent movements such as in the Stop-Motion animation technique, however its media reflective nature has a stronger influence on its content and form. In order to create a  Non-Stop Stop-Motion movie it is usually required to set up a sequence of incrementend objects or images which I name hyperframes*. In each movie those hyperframes are placed in a specific way in certain places. A fixed camera on a tripod is not  always enough to ensure the filming of the sequence. That’s way many times the camera is mounted on mechanisms which enable it to move. The type of video cameras and the lights are also often uncommon compared to the Stop-Motion technique.

Non-Stop Stop-Motion is also the only filming technique that reveals what happens in between the animation frames (hyperframes). It is this precisly that gives the movie a media reflective character.

* In moving picture the number of frames scanned per second are 25, these are called video frames. Usually in Stop-Motion animation for each second, 25 individual photos are taken; lets call them animation frames. In Stop-Motion movies, camera and animation frames are the same thing. But in the Non-Stop Stop-Motion those frames exist separate from each other. There are the animation frames (the incrementend objects or images) which in this case I call hyperframes, placed in a specific way into cetrain places and filmed continuously with a video camera. Those ones cause the motion illusion. There are also the frames that a video or film camera films (for example a video camera films 25 frames per second).Those ones reveal what happens in between the hyperframes. Each hyperframe usually consists of more than one camera frames.


Movies / Examples

In one of my first Non-Stop Stop-Motion movies “Stairstories”  2011, I placed one hyperframe on every different step of a staircase, I adjusted a videocamera on my shoes and I climbed up the stairs as fast as possible. Then I digitally speed up the video because my climbing up speed was not enough to create the illusion. But this is usually the only digital correction that a Non-Stop Stop-Motion movie might require.


For example in my movie “Domino 2014”  I didn’t correct the video speed. In this case a video camera continuously followed and filmed a domino fall. The rate of a common domino fall is 28 bricks per second. This is very close to the typical video frame rate (25fps). Every domino brick is a framed picture (hyperframe); when the first falls the second is revealed, when the second falls the third is revealed and so on until all the framed pictures fall and the illusion of the movement in an illusional space ends (the corridor). The sound of the fall supports the illusion and it is interpreted as human steps in the illusinal space. In the first part of “Domino” the audience can watch the process of setting up the mechanism that produces the movie and at the second part the narrative of the movie. Domino won the Best Austrian Animation 2014 award and after that it was presented in many other festivals and exhibitions. This made me realize that for the audience, it is very important to watch and understand the filming process and the mechanisms I build in order to create those movies. Since then I try to include  in the same movie the animation story and the making off process.

Some other films:

Swatters hear hit and parallel activate the dance of an insect.