A few stop motion animations

Found a video with an interesting visual format: strata-cutting – the repeated cutting of an object to reveal its cross-sectional contents. It’s nothing too unique or crazy, just satisfying to watch.

It’s typically used in clay animation (like this 15 sec clip) by composing a loaf of clays with different pigments, and repeatedly taking a frame after making a thin slice. The inherent structure of the clay ‘tubes’ in the loaf leads to continuity in the forms that are seen in the cross section.

It made me reflect on what makes a successful stop-motion animation. Stop motion gives us the freedom to defy our lived world’s physics, because we’re composing each frame separately. But I think the key is to make the viewer trust the scene. Give them something to believe; show them a pattern they can follow.

In this stop-motion, the artist is subverting our expectations (pills growing into eggs, entropy reversing, knife cuts producing perpendicular sections). But in doing so, the video still adheres to a looser set of rules – objects do not vanish without a trace, objects affect each other by touch, and gravity still applies. In here, the various moments that surprise our physical intuition are deliberate exceptions that prove the rule.

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