Stops Making Sense

It was stop-motion filmmaking that brought King Kong to life onscreen in 1933, courtesy of special-effects genius Willis O’Brien. The animation technique is also responsible for the movement of the AT-AT walkers in The Empire Strikes Back, Wallace & Gromit’s over-the-top facial expressions, and the surreal films of Jan vankmajer. As organizers explain at today’s Take a Moment workshop, stop motion works because of the way our eyes communicate information about movement to our brains. We actually see motion as a series of still snapshots, but our brains then stitch it all together into fluid movement. Today you get a chance to make your own stop-motion film. The session begins in the Seeing Galleries, famous for interactive exhibits such as the Anti-Gravity Mirror and for grossing out generations of schoolchildren with the cow’s eye dissection. An expert guides you through every step of creating an animated short. No previous art experience is required, only an active imagination. The museum offers a morning session for families and an afternoon session for adults. And who can say where your new-found skills might take you? Today, the workshop; tomorrow, Skywalker Ranch?
Sun., June 12, 9:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m., 2011

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