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Picture of 2 Ways to Papercraft Stopmotion
Good morning, please take a seat and watch that tofu wobble.

This is not CGI, it is honest work of a papercraftsman.
These are, in fact, 16 different papercubes that switch places in each frame. That technique is commonly known as replacement stopmotion
Problem: It only works on the screen and not in reality.

Therefore, some good guy invented the zoetrope and some younger guy invented the stroboscope, and combined, they unleash their combined real life magic.
It is a wooden plate that you turn, making the stroboscope strobe in the frequency that makes the cubes look animated.
Problem: This doesn‘t work really well on the screen anymore. It is a bit like the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.

 
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Step 1: The modeling

Picture of The modeling
The crafting starts on the computer, you won’t probably get a truly fluent animation of 3D-objects that you draw by hand.
But hark, I bring good news to thee. You will not have to spend money on 3D-software:

There are many great freeware options for 3D beginners and experts, such as Blender (expert) and Anim8or (beginner).
To be honest, creating a short 3D animation loop isn’t easy, so you should be familiar with the program already. There are some great tutorials on their websites or in the whole web.

So I will give you only a short instruction on how to animate and not to animate your model, as this defers greatly from program to program.
  • You need a looping animation with 12, 16, 20 or 24 frames, these are good numbers for a stopmotion animation, they can divided by 4 and are a good amount of phases to handle.
  • Work low-poly; You will have to make this from paper.
  • It is no coincidence that I chose a cube to animate. When you animate a whole character, you have a pleasant afternoon with cutting, folding and glueing the almost similar model 16 times.
  • In case you also want to animate a cube, especially in shortage of alternatives, you can mess around with the deformer tools like bend, curvature, stretch etc.
  • Remember one important rule from Disney: Movements are always curved in speed and space, this means: The object doesn’t move from A to B with constant speed, it has to accelerate and decelerate. In my case, when you watch the animation, you can see that the cube stays in its extreme positions for a long time, but rushes through the point where the cube is fat. These movements make it look natural.
  • Remember another important rule from Disney: The cube does always have the same volume, meaning when it stretches to the top, it tears itself together and vice versa. You can imagine it like a real wobbly cube that would do the same when you stretch or push it.
  • The model should always stay on the ground with one face. When you make a rolling or jumping cube, for example, you would have phases where it stands on the edge or is in the air, making it impossible to fix  the single phase on the ground.
In the end, you should save the different animation phases next to each other like on the picture. I already put them in the right place, but that is optional. The next step will be making them ready for crafting.
DUO00371 year ago
Awesome! :D
erwxyz2 years ago
Nice instructable! Though let me be a Software Nazi and say that Blender is very beginner friendly and should be given a try.
Keep more instructables coming!
qlocs2 years ago
I thought of this idea years ago(no b.s!) right down to the turntable(even sent a drawing to kinetic artist Fletcher Benton 2 yrs ago), but being a family guy, never had the chance to build it. Now this was what I thought: a metal cube or coin in various stages of melting, or a nail going through a steel bolt etc. You need to put barrier in front w/a slot to block out everything but the lighted object. Thumbs up! This is about the 4th idea that I've independently come up with but not built (maybe I should get started!) You add legitimacy to my weird way of thinking so my wife will realize I'm not as strange as I seem! Kudos! Great job!
toobaz2 years ago
Right, I didn't think about flaps. Still, I will try this solution when I have time.

(I use Linux) (and this site is not allowing me to re-reply)
toobaz2 years ago
(I never tried it, but...) if I understand correctly the goal of http://celeriac.net/unfolder/ would be precisely to provide the functionality of pepakura.

I'm really not expert, but please let us know if you happen to experiment with it...

Pietro
kamibox.de (author)  toobaz2 years ago
That's right, the Plugin does unfold the objects, but in that case it is thought for texturing or animating, it can be used for papercraft but I think it can't create flaps or adjust them on DIN papers for example. And you need Blender, but if you have got a Mac, that would be a solution, flaps aren't that important when you only make a cube.
ceanes2 years ago
wow amazing !
Is it possible for you to send me the templates for the cubes?
kamibox.de (author)  explodingsodium2 years ago
You can download it here: www.kamibox.de/files/cubes.zip
lunchweek2 years ago
Is it possible you can share the templates for your wobbly cubes? It'd be great to try this at home :)
kamibox.de (author)  lunchweek2 years ago
Sure:
http://www.kamibox.de/files/cubes.zip
Yay! Thank you so much!
Treknology2 years ago
This reminds me of the early "puppetoons" of George Pal.
Edgar2 years ago
Wonderful stuff!
I've posted about you work on Nice Paper Toys, and I think they'll be glad to welcome you there! :)
http://www.nicepapertoys.com/profiles/blogs/papercraft-stop-motion
So sick. Great job!
Phil Cyr2 years ago
Very nice work.
I cannot stop watching the gif. This is super impressive - great job :D
pinhead19842 years ago
The video you linked into this 'ible is mark private. Do you have a public version of the video?
kamibox.de (author)  pinhead19842 years ago
Now it is public :)