Stop-motion animation takes forever,” Addie Snider, BA’12, says while laughing. At 200 to 300 frames per minute, eight hours of work equals about one minute of animation. And she loves every second of it.
Snider spends months at a time carefully creating stop-motion animation, a technique that requires physically manipulating an object in small increments between individually photographed frames. She moves as delicately as a surgeon while she leans over a table to adjust a character. Her camera attaches to a rig, which secures and stabilizes the camera above the shot, so she can capture the image.
“If you bump the table or sneeze,” she explains, “you can ruin the whole thing and have to start over.”
Then there’s the lighting Snider strategically places around the table. She says the placement is crucial, because any shadows in the shot can cause a flickering look when animated.
For most people, this may sound too stressful for a hobby. But Snider says for her it is relaxing, like meditation.
“If you can move the characters as slowly as possible, it makes the movements look smooth,” she says. “Working at a slow pace is very soothing.”
While studying at IU, Snider decided to complete a class assignment as stop-motion with a 16-mm film camera. She called this film Lucy. She then re-filmed Lucy for a different class using a still-photo camera. By this point, Snider was hooked and knew she wanted to make more stop-motion films.
The Woodland Post is her first stop-motion animation film with dialogue.
“I’m in complete creative control,” Snider says of her stop-motion films. “In real life, you can’t control everything.”
Addie Snider and her animations appeared in the Original section of the Summer 2016 issue of the IU Alumni Magazine, a magazine for members of the IU Alumni Association. To view the current and past issues of the IUAM, visit MyIU.org.
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