One of the Athena stop-motion animators, Justin Kohn creates incredible moving metal sculptures that have been featured at Maker Faire, Burning Man and a number of art galleries. We decided it would be great to take one of his creations and bring it to life in a short animation for Instagram and other social media. The chicken was handmade from copper, brass, stainless steel and aluminum machined pieces. It's an incredibly complicated piece with a lot of great detail.
Like the Stopmo Jam animation the setup for this animation was kept simple. We used an overhead light with a single spot for key. A large rig holds the chicken and gives the animator good stability and control for this elaborate run-cycle. A clean plate was shot to take the rig out of the shot in post-production. Rig removal was one of the more difficult tasks due to the many parts of the chicken sculpture that cross in front of and behind the rig.
We later added motion blur to help sell the running speed as well as particle-based smoke elements as the alien chicken runs out of frame. Metallic sound effects were sourced to really make our alien chicken come to life.
Alien Chicken Rig
Alien Chicken Justin at the Computer