Physical and Computer Animation Combine in ATYP and Si Begg Collaboration 'Permission To Explode'

Why is it that practitioners of stop motion often seem more at home pushing the boundaries of filmmaking than anyone else? Does the controlling nature of the technique demand the freedom of experimentation as a counterbalance or do those with a desire to experiment just find themselves drawn to stop motion? Brighton based studio ATYP might just be the people to ask as for their collaboration with musician Si Begg, Permission To Explode, they decided to opt for the imperfect physicality of stop motion, rather than take the approach of faking the real by 'dirtying up' pristine 3d computer graphics:

The whole stop-frame component of the film was precisely pre-planned in software as a guide that was pretty much shot frame perfect on the shoot. Saying that, where the stop frame came into its own is the section were the flowers explode out. It’s much quicker and more beautiful to have a plastic bag full of petals that you throw down, than it ever would ever be to try and create this in 3D software.

The variety of techniques used to create Permission To Explode, weren't simply a random collection of things that might ultimately look cool but rather, just as with the film itself was "an experimental short intended to visually embody the sonic direction of the album" so too was its method of creation. You can see it all come together in the making of video:

It's clear to see ATYP have a mastery of their tools, but also the discipline to consider what combination of techniques best fit the commission. It'd be nice to see some of that restraint and consideration find its way into some the work screening at the multiplex.

Let us know in the comments about any mixed media pieces you've worked on or impressive multi-technique examples you've seen.

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Your Comment


It was clever, but I can't help but feel it was a waste of time doing stop motion when the digital overlay/texture made the whole thing look computer generated anyway. I'm working on my first actual stop motion film (9 minutes), and have won a handful of contests with stop motion entries. I've invested in the software this time, since when you're syncing dialogue it's a lot harder to play around with guesswork ;)

August 11, 2012 at 5:13PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Though I have no idea when it comes to computer animation, so I can't comment on what would be quicker in the stop motion vs realistic animation side of it. I can appreciate the flowers would definitely be easier, I've faked a few films before with a little keyed in stop motion rather than digital manipulation.

August 11, 2012 at 5:18PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Just curious, I'm assuming lighting is one of the biggest parts of stop motion?

Most of the ones I've seen have been childish and amateur because the lighting, well, is only a bedroom light or the shadows are waywayway to harsh.

August 11, 2012 at 5:27PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM