Survey-Ray Harryhausen

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Ray Harryhausen was a stop-motion animator who helped to create many different and well known monsters for movies. Ray used puppets to help bring monsters that were once only thought to exist within books or drawings to life on the big screen; the way he achieved this was through ‘Dynamation’. ‘Dynamation’ is the use of filming live actors first, then rear-project the video onto a screen that allows the puppet monsters to be animated in front of the human actors. To help make the animations and live action video work better together, a small stage was made that the animations can interact with and was used as the foreground for the movie.

Films that used this design were “Jason and the Argonauts” and “Clash of the Titans”. In “Clash of the Titans”, the skeletons that fought the Argonauts were animated using this style during their fights with the Argonauts climbing platforms to attack them while the Kraken and medusa were used this way during their fights with Perseus. The puppets used by Ray Harryhausen were foam bodies with a wire frame skeleton on the inside; the wire frame allowed for the foam bodies to be moved easier and be more flexible while keeping their shape and form compared to clay.

The Puppets had many details depending on what they were; many of the puppets with fur you would be able to see every strand of fur on them. Many times to show the movement of pieces on a monster that might not work using stop-motion, like wings, he would have them flapping. The flapping of the wings of the Griffin in ‘Sinbad’ gave the Griffin extra life and motion not letting any part of the puppet be stagnate what so ever.

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