Frame-by-Frame Stop Motion: The Guide to Non-Traditional Animation Techniques

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Asking Tom Gasek which character is his favorite to animate is like asking him which of his children he likes best. Gasek, assistant professor in RIT’s School of Film and Animation and an award-winning stop-motion animator, has animated such films and shows as Wallace and Gromit, the Penny cartoons, the Inside-Out Boy and Coraline. Gasek writes about his nearly 30-year career and experiences in his book, Frame-by-Frame Stop Motion: The Guide to Non-Traditional Animation Techniques.

“I had created a class based on these non-puppet stop-motion techniques and I was looking for one or two good resource books about pixilation, time-lapse and downshooting,” Gasek says. “There was no one source and so I put together my ideas and approached Focal Press about a book that encompassed all these techniques. They loved it.”

In the book, Gasek included his own observations and exercises as well as input from many contemporary artists that use these techniques. 

The book is targeted for both novice and semi-professional artists. 

“There are plenty of technical aspects to the book, but it also concentrates on history and conceptual uses of these techniques,” Gasek says. “The core piece of equipment for these techniques is the DSLR camera, which is not only used by stop-motion animators but still photographers and live-action filmmakers. So they are my target audience, too.”

Gasek teaches Stop Motion Animation, Acting for Animation and the Business of Animation courses.