The Making of Nitro Warriors – A Stop Motion Animated Film Made Using Stop Motion Studio!
A super-charged Ford Mustang is under hot pursuit by the law and throws them off its tail one by one. But it may have met its match when it comes up against a mysterious black police Chevy Corvette. The action is fast and furious…and captured one frame at a time.
Nitro Warriors is available on YouTube >
This entertaining and cool stop motion action film, with a run time of just under three minutes, took 6 months to shoot using toy cars and Stop Motion Studio on an iPhone. It is produced by Brenden Kent and directed by Paul Greer, who were kind enough to provide us with some inside information on the production. Here’s how the film was produced, as they described it.
Stage 1: Tests
First we tested various animation techniques using Stop Motion Studio. We used a couple of toy cars to see how we could achieve the fluid but fast animation for the high-intensity action needed in the film. We found that we could achieve this by pushing the frame rates as high as possible – 32fps on Stop Motion Studio – then speeding in up faster (though not needed in all shots during filming) in Final Cut on a desktop Mac.
Stage 2: Preparation
To begin with, we collected all the objects / toys needed for the various scenes. This included lights (household desk lamps), toys and camera rigs. We bought an iPhone Joby Gorilla stand that allows you to attach and stabilize the iPhone to most surfaces and fixtures. We also used a little dolly with wheels that we could attach the camera to for shots where we wanted it to move the iPhone, as well. We used a large table for most of the animation and the floor for wide shots. Finally we made the props for the scenes – all the roads, scenic elements etc.
Stage 3: Filming
The most important skill we needed for this production was patience! It sometimes took 2-3 takes before a shot worked and filming required between 100 and 300 captures per shot. Consistent light was needed so we tried to avoid natural light as much as possible. Elements (toys) were moved anywhere from a quarter to half an inch, depending on the speed needed. The button on the headphones was used to take shots to avoid touching the camera, which could disrupt the shot. Focus was always fixed on Stop Motion Studio for every single shot. The movie took around 6 months to film, completing between 3 and 5 shots per week. During filming each shot was then opened in iMovie for iPhone and edited further to refine shots.
Stage 4: Post Production
At the end of filming, the footage was placed into Final Cut and sound design began. The soundtrack took 3 weeks to create. The last stage was adding titles and final tweaking of the edit. Check out Vanguard Pictures on Facebook to learn more about their production expertise and new projects.