The World’s Smallest Stop-motion Character Animation – Wieden + Kennedy/Aardman Animations – 9.01/9.015

At 9mm in height, miniature animated film star Dot is officially the world’s smallest stop-motion character. So small, in fact, that to produce the charming short film for Nokia’s N8 smart phone in which she stars, Aardman Animations made 50 different versions of her in order to generate all the body movements required.

Agency Wieden + Kennedy were briefed with demonstrating the potential of the Nokia N8’s 12 megapixel Carl Zeiss camera, which is capable of HD video. The animation, directed by Ed Patterson and Will Studd at Sumo Science, follows Dot on a platform game-style adventure. Woken by the fraying edge of the film’s cloth background she escapes by jumping across the heads of pins, running down a tunnel of crystals and catching a ride on the back of a passing bee, before finally fending off the encroaching fabric with her knitting skills.

The film made use of some additional cutting edge communications technology with Aardman adapting the CellScope, the combined phone and microscope used in diagnosing diseases in remote locations, designed by Professor Daniel Fletcher and his team at the University Of California.

The studio also used rapid prototyping to make the variants of the Dot character. Each was drawn in 2D, printed in 3D in resin, stuck onto a wire and hand-painted, before being placed on the set, itself only a metre and a half in length. The backdrop was designed to move along underneath the camera, with a full day’s work on the film apparently resulting in four seconds of the finished animation.

 

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