eli5 Why have we seen less and less stop motion movies come out over the years?


Is it financial or are there other reasons?

In: Technology

I’m guessing it’s money and time. You can do the same stuff on a computer. Plus it’s much easier to go back and make changes. Those reasons plus it’s a smaller market that are interested in stop motion movies.

Stop motion began as a method of animating scenes that were otherwise impossible. If for example you wanted some skeletons to jump up and fight your main character but all your computers are basically hand-cranked, there isn’t any option but to use stop motion to painstakingly animate those skeletons.

These days all the problems stop motion was used to solve are better handled by computer animation or other techniques. It is still a distinctive style which some people may enjoy, but in a practical sense it is probably easier to make a photorealistic computer model of a miniature, animate that, and if you want to only render fewer frames than normal to obtain the jerky stop motion effect.

Computer Graphics or CGI is considerably easier and cheaper to do these days. A scene can be manufactured by artists in a few weeks using off the shelf software.

Stop motion meanwhile is a very specific art form that requires talented model builders, set designers, matte painters, and specialized equipment including cameras. It’s also a very painstaking process. It can take months just to build the models and sets.

So Hollywood has mostly turned away from stop motion these days due to cost and expediency.

Well done stop motion does look better on screen than CGI because CGI can’t quite replicate everything perfectly but it is constantly improving.

Probably financial and it’s far more difficult, relatively

Aside from Laika and Aardman studios (and even then I think Aardman has gone digital as of late) and a film called anomalisa is the most recent film to do it (I think)- and I don’t think it did well enough financially to warrant others/sequels

You’re essentially taking pictures of every single frame you’re going to use in the motion picture – and it takes forever (look up the behind scenes for early robot chicken, they had to retrofit a Nintendo power glove because of the monotony of the shoots and a 15 sec skit would take.. a while to shoot)

You may as well go full animated or full live action