Stop and Go Motion

Many months ago I wrote an article titled Stop Motion VS CGI which ended with a note about Stop Motion not producing blurs. This being one factor giving stop motion its unique appearance.

However, back around 1980, stop motion animator Phil Tippett created a platform on which stop motion puppets were attached, which actually moved in a unidirectional path in order to simulate motion blurs. He named this method Go Motion.

Now, Go Motion was not necessarily an invention of Phil’s nor was it new to the world of stop motion animators, but instead was simply a better way to simulate motion vs the previous methods used. Such as bumping the table the puppets were on, (which the direction of blur was not always correct), or spreading Vaseline on the camera lens, (which of course made the entire image blurry).

Go motion 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, mechanical methods of achieving motion blur using go motion are rarely used, as they are complicated and take a long time.

However, the motion blurring technique still has potential in real stop motion movies where a puppet’s motions are desired to appear somewhat realistic. Today motion blurring can now be incorporated digitally using software.