Animating Floating Objects

Getting things to float effortlessly in stop motion animation is no mean feat. So, how do you do it? Well you can take the difficult route, or the easier one. Which would you choose?

I went with easy method in my film Genre Neutral. I chose to animate most of my clay genre symbols on glass and then composite them into my scene in post-production.

Firstly I sculpted my pieces out of clay.

The one exception for the glass technique was the rocket and planet. Why? Well, I wanted the rocket to fly around the planet and to do that on glass was not ideal. I instead animated this particular sequence with rigs and then cut out the subject digitally later.

The spider and heart were perfect on glass though, so I set that up with an upright pane and placed some green foam behind (an old yoga mat) to make it easier to select the subject in post-production.

Another important thing is to make sure that this is all lit well too. You can see one of my panel lights reflected in the glass. Make sure you light both your subject and the green screen behind for best results - this will make it easier to key out your subject later.

To add these elements into the scene digitally. I imported the sequence of still into After Effects, reduced their scale to fit comfortably above the book, and then tweaked the position slightly.