Stop motion

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Stop motion (also known as stop action) is an animation technique to make a physically manipulated object appear to move on its own. The object is moved in small increments between individually photographed frames, creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames is played as a continuous sequence. Clay figures are often used in stop motion for their ease of repositioning. Motion animation using clay is called clay animation or clay-mation.

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History

Stop motion animation has a long history in film. It was often used to show objects moving as if by magic. The first instance of the stop motion technique can be credited to Albert E. Smith and J. Stuart Blackton for The Humpty Dumpty Circus (1898), in which a toy circus of acrobats and animals comes to life. In 1902, the film Fun in a Bakery Shop used clay for a stop motion "lightning sculpting" sequence. French trick film maestro Georges Méliès used it to produce moving title-card letters for one of his short films, but never exploited the process for any of his other films[dubious ]. The Haunted Hotel (1907) is another stop motion film by J. Stuart Blackton, and was a resounding success when released. Segundo de Chomón (1871–1929), from Spain, released El Hotel Eléctrico later that same year, and used similar techniques as the Blackton film. In 1908, A Sculptor's Welsh Rarebit Nightmare was released, as was The Sculptor's Nightmare, a film by Billy Bitzer. Italian animator Roméo Bossetti impressed audiences with his object animation tour-de-force, The Automatic Moving Company in 1912. The great European stop motion pioneer was Wladyslaw Starewicz (1892–1965), who animated The Beautiful Lukanida (1910), The Battle of the Stag Beetles (1910), The Ant and the Grasshopper (1911).

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