One of the most gratifying aspects of watching stop-motion films is the knowledge that every bit of motion seen on screen is created by human hands, frame by frame, millimeter by millimeter. While an animator might tell you it takes an entire day just to film a 3-second sequence, it’s still difficult to imagine how much physical labor is involved to accomplish it. Lucky for us, the animators behind Laika’s Boxtrolls snuck in a short post-credits timelapse that reveals a brief glimpse of what happens behind the scenes to make two characters come to life.
I first saw Boxtrolls in the theater last September with my son, and this single scene caused a more vocal response from the audience than any other moment in the entire movie. People were literally gasping, myself included. Over the holidays, Focus Features finally made it available online through their YouTube channel.
The Solar Dynamics Observatory just released this amazing timelapse created from 17,000 images of the sun taken late last month. The bright spot you see gradually passing from right to left is sunspot AR 2192, the largest observed sunspot in 22 years. It measures 80,000 miles across or roughly the width of 10 Earths side by side. Definitely recommend watching it full-screen. (via Kottke)
Filmed last month by Nicolaus Wegner in Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Colorado, Stormscapes 2 is a gorgeous timelapse of severe weather events. Wegner deftly captured lightning strikes, rainbow formations, tornadic activity, and rolling thunderstorms in a way I’ve never seen before. Well worth a watch. (via Jason Sondhi)
Circle of an Abstract Ritual is the latest stop motion timelapse from artist Jeff Frost (previously) who creates short films that defy description. This latest work gathers hundreds of thousands of photographs taken over the last two years during wildfires, riots, and inside abandoned houses where he created a series of optical illusion paintings. Frost says the film “began as an exploration of the idea that creation and destruction might be the same thing,” and that it is in part “a way to get an ever so slight edge on the unknowable.” Whatever it is, or is not, it’s really up to you to decide. I definitely recommend watching through to the end for the scene with trees—keep in mind the entire film was created without digital special effects or graphics. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)