The Making of…

We’ve had a busy few weeks leading up to Christmas but we wanted to showcase our creative talent in the best possible way.

So, here’s a short story on how we built our festive stop motion video using Lego, salt, angle poise lamps and a camera.

Why Lego?

Why not! From launching their first product in the 1940s to building life-size underground trains for their new stores, Lego has become an iconic brand for so many and continues to grow. At Matrix, we want to help you build your brand so what better way to represent our vision than Lego?

The goal of the stop motion video was to bring the characters to life in a winter setting. Sound easy? We thought so too but it was quite tricky.

Create snow

Flour, sugar or salt? The snow was the most important part of the set, so we tested all 3. The flour was a bit too fine, the sugar granules were a little too big but the salt created the perfect fake snow. We were also armed with several weird and wonderful tools to create the perfect snowy scene – spoons, sieves, scalpels, hairspray, just to name a few. To ensure the snow didn’t look staged, we created movement using the back of a spoon. We didn’t get it spot on the first time so we had to sieve another layer of snow and try again.

Snow is falling but how will it stick?

We knew salt would dissolve in water so we used Vaseline on the characters and using a sieve, sprinkled some salt over them. This created a natural, ‘snow blowing through our hair’ look. But although that created the perfect look, we had to repeat this process several times as every time we would move the figures, our fingerprints would show. So, we had to wipe the DNA away and start again.

The snow has set so now it was time to shine bright like a diamond. The use of angle poise lamps allowed us to create a natural environment and shadows for the characters.

Nature

The trees for the forest were created using beautiful textured cardstock and spray mount was used for the snowy areas, followed by a sprinkling of salt. I mean snow! The cotton wool clouds were hung using a fishing line and photographed but we had to Photoshop these images due to the shadows they created on the backdrop.

Stop. Motion.

Now time to create the stop motion. This required a steady hand, persistence and a lot of patience. To maintain perfect positioning and create good movement, a steel sheet was placed under the snow along with magnets at the bottom of the Lego figures. Every frame you see in the video represents a single image. From Santa moving through the snow to Rudolph running away, an image was taken for every single movement. The result – hundreds of pictures!

From these images, we used After Effects to piece together this wintery animation and to make it super magical, we added a hint of music!