vc023: Stop Motion Ping Pong Slide

This video provided the raw material for an animated gif. I was experimenting with combining duplicated images, stop motion and gif animation. This is video #23 of my #100videoclips project.

This is the result:


(I had to shrink it down considerably because the gif format is notoriously inefficient and makes relatively huge files compared to modern video formats.)

The Inspiration

Erdal Inci from Turkey. He does great things with repetition and animated gifs. I can’t find any that I can include here, but his website and tumblr page are full of them.

What I Did

The basic stop motion technique is what I described in my first stop-motion post (vc003: Woodsy Stop Motion). I just shifted around on the ping-pongish table (smaller than regulation size, but usable) in small increments until I made it all the way around.

For the body-double effect, I tried just using two layers with a Darken blend mode applied to the upper layer (in Premiere Pro). However, there wasn’t enough contrast between me and the background, so I resorted to a rotoscoped mask in After Effects.

I used the Pen tool to draw a mask around the upper layer. I had to adjust the mask frame by frame, paying particular attention to the frames where the rear figure passed behind the one in front.

Once the video was complete, I opened the movie file in Photoshop and used the “Save for Web” feature to create the animated gif.

What I Learned

  • As often happens with stop motion, I probably could have made smaller moves each time so the animation would have gone more smoothly. However, it’s not bad the way it is.
  • At the very least, I should have paid closer attention to how many moves I made on each section of the table to make sure they matched the moves on the opposite side. As it was, I was one move short on one section, so I had to do a little finagling to make the continuous loop work properly.