In Anatomy of A Springroll the animation of the child emperor and his army of cooks was created using painted paper cutouts with hinged parts that were recorded in video in a stop motion technique. Painted backgrounds were created for each shot and the characters laid directly on top of these background. The hinged limbs of these flat paper puppets were moved in small increments that were recorded by the camera one or two frames at a time then when the recorded taped images play at regular speed the illusion of fluid motion is created. The advantage to using video was the ability to replay sequences to check the progress of the work and to edit.
Preparation of to the final animation began with a thumbnail storyboard with numerous detailed revisions. The creation of the characters into cutout hinged puppets and the different scene backgrounds took two months. The characters and backgrounds were photographed in color and the stills were videotaped to get a sense of the continuity on screen. When we satisfied continuity issues we created a preliminary rough animation video tape using the background and cutouts this was our rehearsal tape and allowed us to figure out the timing and range of movement within each shot.
Finally, we built a large and stable animation stand and with a rented a BetaCam and computer controlled animation device shot the whole scene in one intense weekend.