When you hear the words “stop motion”, your mind usually gravitates towards action figures, clay, or LEGO blocks. By placing these objects in different positions in each frame, you can create moving pictures that animate just like a movie.
Inspired by the fully painted film Loving Vincent, YouTube channel Clicker wanted to pay homage to painter Vincent van Gogh in the best way possible: stop motion. Only instead of using toys to create their video, they decided to use handmade paintings:
It sounds easy on paper, but painting in stop motion requires a lot of skill. You have to make sure each stroke is exactly where you want it to be; considering the long pauses between strokes to allow the paint to dry faster.
Here, you can see 2D paintings by way of the title sequence and the animated The Starry Night in the picture frame. These scenes were recreated using traditional stop motion techniques: paint a few strokes, take a photo, paint a few more strokes, take a couple more photos, and so on.
What’s interesting here is that besides the technique mentioned, they used other methods to create the entirety of the video.
By blending painted 3D objects with the scenes, they created a world that seemed to conform to van Gogh’s art style.
A matchstick, a slice of bread, the fork – van Gogh’s dinner table filled with objects which looked like they popped out from his own paintings. It was actually hard for me to discern what was part of the background and what was real. (Here’s a helpful hint: look for the shadows!)
Even the wine was recreated in stop motion by using painted paper “flowing” out of the bottle and into the wine glass. When the wine hit the bottom, the inside of the glass showed an interesting illusion of the liquid through the use of paints with the right hues.
Combined with sound effects, the stop motion paintings delivered a very believable and immersive short video of van Gogh enjoying his dinner after a long day’s work. It took 1,522 still images to create this 1 minute and 40-second film, but the effort was definitely worth it!