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Go motion


Go motion

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Go motion is a variation of stop motion animation, and was co-developed by Industrial Light & Magic and Phil Tippett for the film Dragonslayer.


Technical Explanation

Stop motion animation can create a disorienting staccato effect; go motion was designed to prevent this by moving the animated model slightly during the exposure of each film frame, producing a realistic motion blur. The main difference is in other words that while the frames in stop motion are made up by images of stills where no actual movements are involved, each image in go motion is made up of shots of the object at the same moment it moves. This frame-by-frame, split second motion is almost always created with the help of a computer, often through rods connected to a puppet or model which the computer manipulates to reproduce movements programmed in by puppeteers.

Methods for creating motion blur


This crude but reasonably effective technique involves smearing vaseline on the camera lens, then cleaning and reapplying it after each shot, a time-consuming process but one which creates a blur around the model. This technique was used for the endoskeleton in The Terminator.

Shaking the table

Shaking the table the model is standing on while the film is being exposed creates a slight, realistic blur. This technique was used by Phil Tippett for the Tauntaun in The Empire Strikes Back and ED-209 in Robocop and by Aardman animation for the train chase in The Wrong Trousers and again during the Lorry chase in A Close Shave. In both cases the cameras were moved physically during a 1-2 second exposure. The technique was revived for the full-length Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

Go motion

The most sophisticated technique was originally developed for the film Dragonslayer and is quite different from traditional stop motion. The model is essentially a rod puppet. The rods are attached to motors which are linked to a computer that can record the movements as the model is traditionally animated. When enough movements have been made, the model is reset to its original position, the camera rolls and the model is moved across the table. Because the model is moving during shots, you get motion blur.

Go motion today

Go motion was used again in E.T. and was originally planned to be used extensively for the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, until Steven Spielberg decided to try out the swiftly developing techniques of computer-generated imagery instead.

Today, go motion is rarely used, if ever, as it is more complicated and expensive than computer generated effects.

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This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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