Saturday, July 29, 2023

It's About the MOTION - Step up your Harryhausen Game

There is a lot of information available on human/people character animation (colleges, online, books & courses, etc), but not as much on 'Creature Animation'. In the realm of the very niche art & craft of stop motion animation, Ray Harryhausen popularized realistic-surreal creature animation ... he commercialized it as a marketable entertainment product. However, since Jurassic Park (1993), Creature Characters has been taken over by CGI, but just my observation ... the digital creations are perhaps becoming homogenized or having similar aesthetics? Audiences are becoming more finicky and looking for variety, something different ... Stop Motion can and does provide that visual flavor difference & uniqueness. Is Retro in general, now becoming a marketable thing?

For the Harryhausen Stop Motion Warrior who wants to keep ALIVE, 'Old School Retro' Creature Character animation within the Stop Motion medium ... you ... have to Teach yourself ! When exploring fantasy, monstrous, alien, other-worldly creature characters, you should study from actual 'nature' which can inspire your creative imagination. How would a 2 headed, 4 legged with 4 arms & 2 tails creature-monster, move and behave?😮 There are plenty of Nature & Wildlife documentaries out there and many are free to watch. One resource that I have known about for many years and I particularly like ... is the BBC Motion Gallery.


The BBC Motion Gallery can be used as a resource for studying motion from real existing animals, birds, fishes, insects, or whatever real natural life forms that exist on this planet.You can use their search engine to find specific items and study the motion of different creatures.

It is a comprehensive collection going back to the early beginning days of BBC broadcasts in 1922, to the present day.With more than 125,000 license-ready clips to choose from plus over a million hours of footage from the BBC’s Broadcast Archive.

As I said before, you can still do a general online search of Nature & Wildlife videos ... Youtube, Vimeo, Daily Motion or free movie channels that offer documentaries. Although, you have to watch the entire video until you find what you need.  If you cannot download video, there is option to screen capture record with specialty software. The BBC Motion Gallery is just a good additional motion studying & analysis resource for animators.


They have available for free ... sample clips & snippets that can be downloaded. The video clips have the BBC watermark and are very short, but for animation purposes, that does not really matter. We can use those sample clips and loop it (repeat cycle) to study the motion, movements & behaviors. Check out the BBC Motion Gallery!

Visit - BBC Motion Gallery

NOTE: I did not download these sample videos. They are embedded here in the blog and play/run from the BBC's servers. If you are on a computer or laptop. place the Mouse pointer inside the video player, then right click the mouse (PC Windows) and sometimes a menu will appear giving you options to play back video at different speeds, or Loop the video.


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