foot ball

Stop-Motion Moana

“We can rebuild her… We have the technology… We know the way!”

A few months ago I ripped apart a Moana doll and made it into a stop-motion puppet using a kinetic armature kit.  

The walk cycle above was the first thing I animated with this puppet, and was just a throw-away practice test with no green screen. I had never done a walk cycle in stop-motion before and soon discovered how difficult animating a straight-ahead cycle within a localized space with no retakes could be.

I showed the cycle to my dad while he was holding my Moana puppet in his hand and he seemed more impressed with this crappy test than the actual animation I did on the movie! I think the combination of him holding the puppet, and then seeing it come to life on the video before him was what blew him away. I guess that’s the appeal and magic of stop-motion. :)

Here’s a second test I animated for fun:

I read that it’s best to have the foot joints nice and tight to hold the weight of the puppet, and have the arms looser.  It’s amazing how much weight those toe and foot ball-joints could hold for the falling poses:

steve’s middle name is spelled G-R-A-N-T but it’s pronounced ‘trouble’