The art of animation in any form can be a long an tedious process however doing so with traditional stop motion techniques, manipulating your subject one frame at a time takes serious commitment and determination. Brett Foxwell takes this practice to a higher level creating amazing alien like organic worlds by slicing away one layer at a time from various pieces of wood in his newest short film "WoodSwimmer".
Newer, more affordable gear has really caused a rise in excellently produced time-laspe, hyper-lapse, and stop motion videos in the last few years. This has caused artists to look further and deeper into the creative aether for inspiration. As a result we keep getting more and more videos that leave us thinking how did they do that and why didn't I think of this. Foxwell is no stranger to pushing the limits of stop motion animation having created armatures for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" as well as his incredibly intricate Sci-Fi adventure film, "Fabricated."
"It was a challenging technique to perfect, but once I did, I was able to shoot short sequences that move the camera through samples of hardwood, burls, and branches. The result is beautiful imagery both abstract and very real," Foxwell explains. Some of the natural patterns that are created almost seem like you are high above the earth seeing mountains being formed or rivers carving through sand. It has the familiar look of wood grain we are often surrounded by in life but at the same time once animated feels so alien and abstract. Watching the camera probe deep into the wood past various knots, burls , and growth rings is truly mesmerizing, like seeing time pass in reverse.
The looping sequences alone are interesting enough but the overall feel of the film, the cuts and music really are what brings it all together. Foxwell teamed up with Conor Grebel to help with the edit and music, and the result is another great example of how editing and audio are essential to a good video.