• Robert Hanna

Simple Stop-Motion, Hand-Drawn Animations!

Updated: Jun 7

The Lightbox Collaborative is a fun, community engaging Art project created by Eric B - aka Heaven's Mechanic


The process involves 5x7 index cards, light boxes, black sharpie markers, and 4-6 people sitting around a table tracing & creating frames based off of "Key Frames" that Eric introduces at the beginning of the session.


Subtle movement can be created on each new frame by tracing the key frame below it.

A timer is set and after 5 minutes, you pass your card to the person to the right of you and they trace your card adding their unique decisions to their new frame on top.


What is really interesting is that even without adding any intentional movement or progression, the organic, human nuances of each contributors' own unique penmanship adds a unique, subtle movement to the animation once the frames are placed in sequence.



After our 4 hour session we had almost 1,000 frames created!



After this session, Eric B. brought the stack of cards back to his studio and photographed each card one by one and then laid them into a timeline in Adobe Premiere.


Once a rough edit was completed by Eric B. , Slipperyphish and I created the Soundtrack for it in a one-off Session. Here was the end result...



Interesting , abstract and silly things happen by the end, particularly when you are new to the process like we were. This animation was just the 11th one of it's kind in the series and our groups 2nd attempt.


Eric managed to complete one of these every single week for almost 3 years!


The evolution of the process and the Animations that were created as a result are very interesting and inspiring!


Below is one of my absolute favorites!


It came from a group who did these quite frequently (our friends over at Rhode Island Red recording Studio) and you can see how they started to really gain good control over the intention and direction of their animations...



Try these out on your own! They are fairly simple to create and there is tremendous room for elaboration!


Watch More Light Box Collaborative Animations HERE!

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