E-StopMotion: Reconstructing and Enhancing 3D Animation of Stop Motion Characters by Reverse Engineering Plasticine Deformation

  • Anamaria Ciucanu

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Engineering (EngD)


Stop motion animation is a popular creative medium with applications across film, games, education and health industries. Traditionally this type of animation has been known as a two dimensional (2D) art form, where the artist iteratively deforms a character and then takes photographs of it. The artist’s task can be overwhelming as he has to reshape a character into hundreds of poses to obtain just a few seconds of animation. Moreover, features that took a lot of effort to create remain unseen due to the preferred 2D method of visualization.
The current project was a collaboration between Fat Pebble Games Studio and the Centre for Digital Entertainment (CDE) from the University of Bath. The aim was to create a novel pipeline for reconstructing and enhancing stop motion animation from three dimensional (3D) character scans, obtained from multi-view images. Deformation, non-rigid registration and interpolation techniques were used to fulfil this aim. These procedures were aided by information about the material a character is made from and the character’s structure. The underling inquiry of the project was to see whether reverse engineering the artist’s plasticine modelling process can result in physically plausible deformations between scans and more accurate non-rigid registrations.
Message: A specialized pipeline for animation reconstruction and enhancement of handmade, plasticine characters can be created by combining deformation, non-rigid registration and interpolation. These techniques can be adapted to imitate the physical properties of plasticine, by including information about the material and structure of the original models.
Date of Award19 Jun 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorNeill Campbell (Supervisor) & Darren Cosker (Supervisor)

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