Stop Motion Exploration

Who doesn’t love stop motion?

Back when I started at Woodbury, I knew that I wanted to pursue a minor in animation– even though I had a lot of advice from other classmates and professors not to attempt it. Something about burning myself out too much, or there’s no way I’d be able to balance that many studio classes… things like that were constant reasons for people who were concerned for me. And yes, they were valid; I did burn myself out one semester with 18 units. But also, I had just quit my job and fully immersed myself in college for the first time ever at 28– I don’t think people understood how excited I was to learn!

So, I did it anyway, because I wanted to utilize as much from other disciplines as I could to better my design work. Looking at it, what designer doesn’t have the skills to photograph products or spaces for their projects? That’s important medium we learn from day one. So, knowing that, wouldn’t it make sense that we’d adopt other mediums to get the point across even better?

Plus, animation is a major part of design these days. Stop motion ads are all over social media giving me both inspiration and contentment that I actually know how to do them!

Here’s a little 1 minute film I did when I took the stopmo class at Woodbury.


The concept for this was dream sequences. I thought it would be entertaining to animate myself “falling” asleep into the dream world. Each scene is a different part of the dream world I enter. The last scene in space, I hear my boyfriend’s cry for help and I rescue him from a giant robot. He pinches me and I return back to my bed in the real world.

I look creepy in all those pieces!

This is a paper puppet of myself that I composited using a vintage paper doll set I found, and different angles of my head. I used some of the outfits from the original doll but also designed some of my own like the mermaid outfit. Putting together the puppet was so much fun and a bit of trial and error– basically I had to gather multiple copies of the doll and cut at different areas where the joints would be, adding brads to each joint. The image of my head was an illustration I did of a photograph and I tried my best to match the illustrative look with the original doll.


All of the backgrounds were of places I have dreamt of being– Disneyland’s famous It’s a Small World façade, underwater, in a forest, in space… and I got a lot of inspiration from mid century art, animation like the Jetsons, and concept art from Tomorrowland at Disney. Originally I was planning to make layers of paper backgrounds, like a diorama. But that didn’t end up working as I had to downshoot this project because everything was so fragile. But I had used the laser cutting machine at school originally to do this process. A lot of the background was trial and error, and I ended up using keylight/green screen on some scenes.


Props & Puppets

All the props and other puppets were a combination of things I made and things I found online, like this cool cat paper puppet which was extremely helpful. And of course, Sparkling Mike!

I was so happy to just explore this medium and basically express my creative freedom. And I’m happy to say that I took that understanding of animation principles and enjoy using it appropriately for design projects.