Thursday Salute to Originals: Claymation Lights Up!

As designers in the architectural realm, we appreciate the intensity of work derived from other creative artists such as film directors or photographers.  Of particular interest to our team are those creators whose accomplishments combine art and an extensive knowledge of lighting techniques.

Stop motion animation is a technique that physically manipulates objects in a series of still photographs  to create the appearance of movement.  It is an advanced art form that takes preparation and strategy to calculate the effect of the atmosphere required for the purpose of the piece. Each shot is a still that requires perfect and even lighting to create the scene; precise positioning of the physical object and the different types of light sources are absolutely essential to its success.  By manipulating the three main light source –  key lights, fill lights, and back lights – the effects of softness, definition, darkness, brightness, shadow and contrast  help to set the scene.

In Claymation, one type of stop motion animation, these lighting techniques are used while clay sculptures are moved ever so slightly in each shot to create the illusion of fluid movement. In order to catch a glimpse of light sources and clay sculptures working together harmoniously in full Claymation, view the excerpt from Head Over Heels by Timothy Reckart. The piece shows an ingenious command of raw artistic ability fused with lighting techniques to distinguish time, mood, and place.

Reckart communicates the value of these lighting techniques by creating the scene, and setting a mood of each character, all within one of the most laborious and fickle of visual media. So for this Thursday Salute, we tip our hats to the process of Claymation, and Reckart for his prowess in this artistic genre. When you boil it down to its simplest ingredients, it really is remarkable how mud, water, and light can be creatively combined into refined animated entertainment!

Sources: Timothy Reckert