Greg Gray, Brickfilms (2017)

Our first day began with an introductory presentation on the history of Brickfilm. My team included Clayton Bernard, Hannah Harkey, Eric Harris, Sam Knott, Brad Mayfield, Marvin Medina, Eleanor McClain, Joddie Shutt, Sam Smith, Cole Weaver, and Hunter Woodgeard.


I presented a brief history of Lego animation and showed the class some examples of different Brickfilms - or Lego - movies. We discussed the many advantages in using Lego characters as the medium for our stop-motion animation, including the fact that the characters are ready made, stable, and easy to move and the fact that to-scale peripheral set elements like trees and vehicles are readily available.


I explained the tools and techniques we would be using during the workshop. Next, we created a short test animation using Legos provided by TTauri. We shot the test animation to get a feel for how movements between each image would translate into motion when combined to create a video. Afterwards, we broke into groups to come up with ideas for this year’s story. By the end of the day, we had pretty good ideas for the final project.


The next morning the entire class reviewed the edited exercise from the day before. This helped everyone get a feel for how our Lego project would look. We then continued work on our animations. Careful positioning of the Lego characters takes a bit of practice. For instance, I illustrated how leaning a walking character forward provides the illusion of forward motion and talked about how the legs and arms need to move in tandem with a raised leg being accompanied by the raising of the opposite arm.


While one student operated the camera, the other would move the parts of the characters and/or the background to simulate movement. When the photographer started to get worn out on photo duty, we would have another participant take over. When a team wasn't animating, they worked on their personalized title page for the end credit sequence.


 We ended up doing two animations that we combined into one for the final project. The group volunteered me to provide the voice-over for the animation, which I did. After finishing the animation, the group reviewed the project in camera. Then we cleaned up our work area and got ready to wrap up the workshop. I edited the piece after class and we were able to show it at the T Tauri showcase at UACCB.

Movie Camp Vids Library