The technique involves manually moving objects small distances and photographing each movement. When the frames are viewed as a continuous sequence, the illusion of motion is created.
Stop-motion (also called stop-action) first appeared in film in 1897. Early movies featuring stop-motion include King Kong (1933) and Jason And The Argonauts (1963).
Gumby, an icon of clay-mation, premiered on TV in the 1950s. And you may remember the California Raisin Advisory Board’s dancing raisins’ commercial from 1986.
By today’s CGI standards, stop-motion animation is decidedly old-school, which makes Google’s choice of clay-mation stars, Wallace and Gromit, as spokespersons for its high-tech video-conferencing tool, Google+ Hangouts, an interesting choice.
Wallace and Gromit are the main characters in a series of animated films by Aardman Animations. Fans of quirky British humor love them.
Google was likely drawn to the character of Wallace, an absent-minded inventor, because of his love for gizmos. (Watch his invention, Techno Trousers, go horribly amiss in The Wrong Trousers.) Wallace, the visionary, would clearly embrace Hangouts, a video-conferencing platform that allows up to ten people to participate in an online chat simultaneously.
As the rate of Aardman’s stop-action filming is approximately 30 frames per day (at 24 frames per second of film), Google’s 30-second TV spot promoting instant connectivity likely took most of a year to develop and produce.
Apparently, Google and Wallace have collaborated previously. The search engine’s technical prowess at influencing consumer behavior is suspiciously similar to Wallace’s Mind Manipulation-O-Matic invention.