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  • Writer's pictureBrian Nelson

BFA Review Week - complete

Hectic? It was. Was I anxious about it? Undoubtedly. All together though, it was a very rewarding experience. Getting to receive valuable insight and critiques from both faculty at the University and people I hope to one day consider peers in the stop motion industry was exciting, thrilling, and nerve wracking all at the same time.

While all the feedback, questions, and suggestions were helpful, perhaps what I took away as most valuable were the insights and suggestions for improving and adding to the quality of my stop motion animations such that I invite the viewer more deeply into the environment, characters, and thereby narrative. To that end I noted the following:

  • Timing/duration of shots - make use of animatics in addition to the storyboards I create.

  • Aim to have props/objects in scene match in characteristics (such as age, location) to all other pertinent objects. Multiple tips were shared for this from shaping to choice of materials and making use of paint/stain/wash on all items

  • Consider projecting images/animations - This was suggested for scene/shot transitions, as well as animating characteristics/elements within a shot (this includes from in front of and behind).

  • Consider additional closeup shots where appropriate to better communicate state of mind in characters as well as their actions (face, hands, etc.)

  • Include more textures in scene elements - to add more depth to environment, but not to be too busy.

  • For getting into the industry, consider focusing one or two narrow aspects of stop motion that I find most rewarding. Examples included specific categories of set element design (plants, floral) and puppet construction (hands, clothing). As one might expect, stop motion requires teams of people creating and managing a myriad of items en masse to support many like setups all being utilized at once or in overlapping fashion.

I look forward to incorporating these suggestions/ideas as I continue to work on this project over the next term as well as all my future endeavors.

Lastly, I want to extend a big thank you to all the people who directly contributed to my review:

Ben Adams

Ruby Louise Lambie

Ty Warren

Jeremy Schropp

Leah Howell

I also want to thank Ying Tan for her coordinating this event and all the reviewers, as well as her guidance and input over the duration of this term (and others). I also owe thanks to my fellow Art & Tech BFA candidate Athena Trames for putting me in touch with Ben.

Last but not least, I want to extend both a huge thanks and a congrats to my fellow BFA candidates for all the work they put in this term in not only making this show happen, but also all the behind the scenes work of creating promotional materials, websites, our social media presence and somehow managing to put together the amazing works we all shared. Athena, Finn, Henry, Kyle, Charlie... Thank you and congrats!

More pics of my setup from the exhibition at the LaVerne Krause Gallery in Lawrence Hall at the University of Oregon:

Introduction/walk-through video:

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