Creating a fully self-riding mountain bike using stop-motion, no 3D, and no miniatures was no easy task.
Kyle James and I collaborated with Quinn Lanzon & Sam Richards at OneUp Components to bring this idea to life.
This project was also featured on Pink Bike here.
First things first, we went to work building out our animation-space, aka, my garage. First we needed to create a way for moving our trail underneath the bike. So we developed a conveyor-belt-type system that could pull 10 ft of dirt, wood, rocks, etc. in a smooth and consistent way. Next we needed a way to lift the bike off the ground while keeping its position locked. Fortunately I already had a canoe-holding system mounted to my roof which worked like a charm...along with c-stands and fishing wire. Then it was just a matter of animating the bike, painstakingly, frame-by frame. This took just over 6 days to photograph 550 images which became the full stop-motion animation.
Jay Trusler also helped us out with lighting for the animation, thanks Jay!
Once the animation was complete we needed to remove and cleanup every frame. This required high-level compositing skills provided by Camil Adell and Erik Jensen from Outlanders VFX. Clamps needed to be removed from the bike, fishing wire needed to be removed, the background needed to be cleaned up & extended and in some cases Kyle or myself needed to be taken out.
We then had Reuben Rayn help us out with sound design for the piece, which is why it sounds so cool!
This project quickly became a real passion project for Kyle and myself. It felt like we were given the means to create something we would have loved to have made when we were kids. I got started in animation by creating stop-motion videos of my lego characters skateboarding and this feels like the evolution of that.
Can't wait for the next one ;)
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