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Realistic Camera Motion For Stop Motion Animation


A method of performing a hand-held camera motion with a real camera and translating the performance into stop-motion animation



Joshua Mosley, Professor and Chair of the Department of Fine Arts in the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania.




Technology Overview

The animation process is described in more detail below.

1. A camera person moves the camera (or a camera like object) with his/her/its body freely in space ­or with any of the pre­existing rigs for maneuvering a camera. This could be in a performance space or directly on the set of a stop­-motion animation.

2. The rotation and position of the camera is captured through pre­existing motion capture or camera extraction technologies.

3. The motion­ capture measurements are then scaled and manipulated virtually in Cartesian space to match the scale of a physical 3D set. If there is no scale shift ­ then this step only involves registration of the recorded movement with the robotic movement in the following step.

4. A motion control rig moves a camera around a stop-motion set, in small frame­-by­-frame increments,­ allowing an animator to execute a stop­-motion animation in front of a camera that seems to be held and manipulated by a human.




• Camera movement is limited in stop-motion animation because motion control systems are limited in the design of the human control interfaces. Existing methods require a premeditated concept for camera movement, and do not rely on the expressive qualities human gesture and performance.

• The method of performing a hand-held camera motion gesture for a stop-motion performance allows the cinematographer to perform as an expressive and responsive character in the resulting film.

This method allows direct control of camera movement and results in a more expressive performance of the camera than existing methods of using human control interfaces.


State of Development

demonstrated in Jeu de Paume  


Intellectual Property

U.S. Patent Application No. 14/617,771 filed 2/9/2015


Reference Media

Jeu de Paume - Stop-motion animation film - click here to view





• 2014 Whitney Biennial

61st International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen, Germany


Docket # 14-6851

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Joshua Jeanson
Associate Director, SEAS/SAS Licensing Group
University of Pennsylvania
Joshua Mosley