In preparation for the design and production of your stop motion film, you are required to write a report that describes the technique and process of stop motion animation. Using examples of pioneering animators, your report must outline the various methods of stop motion animation and how the genre has developed historically.

Learning Outcome:

1 Understand the techniques and development of stop motion animation


Task 1: Produce a Report on the Process of Stop Motion Animation

Your report must contain the following three sections:

  • Use pioneers of animation to explain the principles of stop motion animation
  • Use developers of animation to explain techniques of stop motion animation
  • Use contemporary animators to explain techniques, as well as genres and forms



For example:

  • Joseph Plateau (phenakitoscope),
  • William Horner (zoetrope),
  • Emile Reynaud (praxinoscope),
  • Edward Muybridge (The horse in motion, 1878),
  • Edison (kinetoscope, The Execution of Mary Queen of Scots,1895, The enchanted Drawing, 1900)


  • Persistence of vision
  • Beta movement/Phi Phenomena
  • Frame rates
  • Stopping
  • Stop frame


For example

  • James Stuart Blackton (The Humpty Dumpty Circus, 1898, Humorous Phases of Funny Faces, 1900)
  • Charley Bowers (Its a Bird, 1930)
  • Willis O’Brien (The Lost World, 1925, King Kong, 1933)
  • Ray Harryhausen (Jason and the Argonauts 1963, Clash of the Titans, 1981)
  • Jan Švankmajer (Dimensions of Dialogue, 1982)


  • Sequential animation
  • Movement
  • Style
  • Visualisation
  • Narrative
  • Working Methods


For example

  • Cosgrove Hall
  • Aardman
  • Tim Burton
  • Henry Selick
  • Pez
  • BLU

Genres and Forms

  • TV shows
  • Idents
  • Feature films
  • Advertising
  • Music Videos

You can refer to the BOA Digital video library for examples


For year 12, this report also meets grading criteria P1, M1, D1 & P2, M2, D2 for unit 2.  Effective proof reading and improvement of grammar and punctuation meets grading criteria P3, M3, D3 for unit 2 

Your report must also contain the following:

  • Index
  • Introduction
  • Conclusion
  • References (use quotes within your report and Harvard referencing at the back)




Wednesday 10th December 2014



It is recommended that you produce an illustrated blog page.  Alternate working methods can be discussed.


To achieve a Pass

The work presented will correctly identify the techniques used in the examples chosen and refer to the animation genre to which they belong, with some brief but accurate discussion of the development of animation. For example, ‘When plasticine models talk, it looks more realistic than the puppet models’.

To achieve a Merit

Learners will explain the development of animation by reference to detailed illustrative examples of the work of key figures in the development of animation from its beginnings to the present, paying attention both to the content of the work and the techniques used to produce it. In discussing more recent or current work they will typically note the company which produced the work, the techniques they use and the audience they are addressing. Learners will show some understanding of the types of movement best created by specific techniques. A learner might note, for example, ‘The movement of models needs to be planned very carefully for each shot. Early BBC children’s animation did not do this and looks very poor compared to the accurate techniques used in Wallace and Gromit’.

To achieve a Distinction

Learners will show understanding of movement created in a range of techniques and how certain techniques are more appropriate to certain types of content and audience. The impact of each technique will be critically considered and linked to examples of both past and contemporary animators, their work and influence on others. These examples will be elucidated to show clearly how they illustrate the points and ideas they are being used to support. Awareness of the role of animation is likely to be detailed and learners will make connections across the range of work they have considered, for example, between elements in commercial entertainment and advertising, fantasy and propaganda, and the experimental and artistic contexts.



PowerPoint Presentation:

Stop Motion Guide



Jan Švankmajer


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s