Objective

Our studio project for this Christmas animation was to create a character animation using paper-craft. This was a forerunner to a commercial project we were about to work on. And was a good opportunity to test our motion control gear. So we opted for a fox walking in snowy woods, animated in a zoetrope.

Approach

We first designed the fox to be animated using Ae Plugin – Rubber Hose, which has a fun, cartoon-like movement. With the fox designed and animated in 2D, we had to transfer this to paper-craft. Each fox consisted of 10 components which all needed to be cut, glued and numbered ready for the set.

We then had to work out how big our zoetrope would need to be to accommodate 24 foxes. The disc was over 1m diameter. To add detail to the scene, and mask the foxes in the background, we used trees (75 in all), a mountain and a bunch of snow mounds.

Challenges

A key feature of this zoetrope is how the fox looks as though they are walking through the woods. To create this illusion, there has to be parallax between the trees and our hero. This was simply achieved by having more trees than foxes.

Outcome

With all of the assets laid out on the zoetrope set and the motion control programmed the rest was relatively simple, sit back and wait for the moves to run.

The final film is a 30 second stop motion zoetrope set to laid-back jazz.