The Brickfilm Feature: In-camera techniques (July 29, 2017)

In recent years, I have noticed a shift in focus away from brickfilm effects being accomplished through CG and bluescreening, and greater thought given to how to accomplish as much as possible in-camera. I think this trend was accelerated by The LEGO Movie's focus on keeping everything theoretically possible in stop-motion, to admirable results (though of course the emphasis is on "theoretically", for many shots). Unfortunately, it appears that the LEGO Movie sequels are becoming less "purist" in this regard, but I am glad to see the influence continue to grow in brickfilming. Computer effects can often be used to great effect, but I enjoy seeing the creativity that can go into the in-camera solutions, so for this feature I have chosen a handful of brickfilms that make use of interesting in-camera techniques, whether in visual effects, set design, lighting, or otherwise.

1. Technic Challengers is a recent series of LEGO commercials animated by Dylan Woodley, AKA NXTManiac. What really stands out to me in this series effects-wise are the brick-built effects used to create clouds of dust and snow. These have an exaggerated, stylised look and make great use of many types of sloped LEGO pieces. I could imagine this type of technique being influential to somebody with a LEGO collection more sorted than my own. There is also particularly amazing camera movement in A City Crook is no Match for Technic Vehicles!, and of course sublime animation throughout the series. Two more of these films are as of yet unreleased, and I hope LEGO still plan on uploading them.

To see the rest of the films featured, visit the forum thread!

By Penta on July 30, 2017
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