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Stop Motion is a photography technique in which individually photographed frames are pieced together to create the illusion of movement. While the effect has its roots in the early days of cinema, the craft of stop motion photography has since been adopted by visual artists and hobbyists for a wide range of purposes.
According to Wikipedia , the earliest known example of stop motion appeared in the 1897 film The Humpty Dumpty Circus, in which circus made of inanimate toys comes to life. Several films using stop motion techniques were produced in the early 1900s including Fun in a Bakery Shop (1902), The Haunted Hotel (1907) and Sculptor’s Welsh Rarebit Nightmare (1908), and “The Lost World” (1925 / shown below, left). In 1965, animator Eliot Noyes Jr. developed stop motion clay animation with his film Clay (or Origin of Species).
In the 1970s, the technique was employed in sci-fi and children’s fantasy productions, from George Lucas’ Star Wars trilogy and the 1984 action blockbuster Terminator to The Adventures of Mark Twain and Tim Burton’s 1993 musical fantasy film The Nightmare Before Christmas (shown above, right). Beginning in the mid-2000s, the advents of digital photography and video-editing software programs led to an explosion of creative stop motion projects on the web.
On June 10th, 2003, the Newgrounds user Knox uploaded a flash clay animation movie titled “Yellow Seed” (shown below, left), which featured a clay man being violently dismembered. That year, Knox published 45 short films on Newgrounds, many of which were clay animations, and won 35 awards on the site.
On July 8th, 2005, a page titled “Asia Copter” featuring a stop motion animated GIF of a student spinning in the air was submitted to the website YTMND. Within seven years, the page received over 33,600 views and 75 comments.
On May 8th, 2006, artist Lasse Gjertsen uploaded a video to YouTube titled “Hyperactive” (shown below, left), which featured a stop motion beatbox song using clips of sound effects edited together to form a beat. On July 12th, 2007, a video showing a glitch in the Nintendo 64 game Golden Eye, that caused characters move around erratically, was uploaded to the Japanese video-sharing site Nico Nico Douga. The video inspired the stop motion dance meme known as Geddan in which people would photograph themselves in various awkward positions to imitate the glitch (shown below, right).
On April 15th, 2007, YouTuber jueskin uploaded a video titled “Post It Stop Motion” (shown below, left), showcasing a stop motion animation of Post-it notes transforming into various shapes. On September 12th, 2007, YouTuber BillyM1965 uploaded a video titled “The Butt Race” (shown below, right), which featured an illusion of several teenage boys racing down the street while sitting down. The animation inspired a series of copycat videos in which the subjects appeared to be moving while seated on the ground.
On December 9th, 2010, NBC aired an episode of the television comedy series Community, in which the character Abed wakes to discover he is in stop motion animation (shown below, right). On February 4th, 2012, the tech news blog Mashable published a post featuring iPhone apps for creating stop motion videos including Stop-Motion Camera, Frame X Frame and Stop Motion Cafe.
In Music Videos
In 1986, a stop motion video for the pop song “Sledge Hammer” by Peter Gabriel (shown below, left) was released, which won 9 MTV Video Music Awards the following year. On January 19th, 2009, the stop motion music video for the song “Her Morning Elegance” by Oren Lavie was uploaded to YouTube (shown below, right), where it received over 22,950,000 views within four years.
On June 28th, 2011, the alternative rock band Coldplay released a music video for the song “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall” (shown below, left), which featured stop motion animation of a room being painted. In one year, the YouTube video accumulated over 40,450,000 views and 40,000 comments. On May 7th, 2012, a stop motion video for the song “Get By” by Delta Heavy was uploaded to YouTube (shown below, right), which received over 3,190,000 views within two months.