Stop Motion Puppetry

I took an amazing course through Poketo and taught by Sean Pecknold and Adi Goodrich in Downtown LA – Sean has dome some wonderful paper cut-out stop motion films for Fleet Foxes among others. It has sort of shifted some of my digital work to a more hands-on approach the past few months


my first paper cut out film in class was this one – Karate Rabbit

Following the class – I built a multiple table so I could shoot layers of flat art a different depths of field – based on the technology pioneered by Walt Disney in the 1930’s – here is the initial setup:



Franco test reel commences

after all of the little tests with video and motion tracking – I wanted to put together a reel that explains the story of this magical book with Franco and his friends inside – I shot my son against green screen for the majority of the live shots and added in some footage at the Los Angeles Public Library

some samples of the setup using the green screen:


this next image is the building of the elements in Cinema 4D and compositing the live action and 3d elements from the book:


Carlo comes out of the book

After working on the traditional hand-drawn cel animations – I was wondering what would happen if I began to mix live-action footage with the book and essentially brought the book to life. For this I brought the drawings into my 3D software and built paper “puppets” of the characters. I shot some footage outside of the open blank book and used motion tracking software to then match up the scenes with the animated footage. The result thanks to Luca’s reaction is an interaction of the drawing and the real – here are some samples. The second video adds green screen to the mix to add to an immersive storytelling experience…

this is the initial test of motion tracking and shot video:

next I tested a green screen setup with my son, luca, as a placeholder – to see what kind of results I could achieve:

then I did a test with green screen (here a quick scene from last summer in wales provides the backdrop):

the setup for shooting the live sequences: