Kevin Parry has animated on a number of stop motion features like Kubo & the Two Strings, Missing Link, and The Boxtrolls. Lately, he’s been animating and creating visual effects content, while also teaching stop motion online at the Motion Design School. There, at what he calls, “the intersection of high art and hot glue,” you can learn a variety of fun stop motion techniques in a helpfully clear, well-explained manner (and we’re not just saying that because he uses our software to teach them).
We reached out to Parry recently to ask him about his winter 2020 Youtube addition, Skateboard Stop-Motion Animation, featuring an animated Parry on a skateboard plus a behind-the-scenes explanation to show how to recreate what he’d done. “The idea for this video came from wanting to attempt a down-shooter lying on the floor style of animation,” Parry told us. “I wanted to see if I could combine it with the side-scrolling effect of a video game!”
He told us about the fair amount of planning involved in the shoot, especially for the moving line on which he’s skateboarding. “I worked that all out beforehand so that I wouldn’t have to think about those technical elements while animating. So as far as actual production goes, I tracked the white line to an overlay every frame and improvised the actual skateboarding performance.”
How did he keep himself on track, so to speak? “I referenced actual skateboarding videos while animating to make sure I was doing things properly.” This helped, but overall, Parry did find the shoot to have its challenges, not just because of the physicial pain of being on the floor for three days but because he made the piece entirely by himself.
“I had to get into some pretty strange positions WHILE keeping vision on my monitor to review the actual animation. That’s why the Dragonframe bluetooth controller is in my hand the whole time. It was a bit silly to leave it in, but I think having a ‘how it was made’ element within the actual animation helps give the stop-motion a bit of charm.”
You’ll get no argument here.