Kris thumb

Tiny, tiny details...

Kris Opieka, Polish film-maker and animator takes us into his studio and a finely detailed world.

Hi Kris, can you tell us about yourself, how did you get into animation?

In the 80’s as a kid I was watching a lot of stopmotion serials (Mis Uszatek, Colargol, Unser Sandmännchen ). I loved magic small worlds with funny adventures and creatures.
Since I can remember I have been creating things, drawing or playing guitar. Just a hobby. I don’t like to waste my time and maybe that’s way I’m always doing something.


One day I have watched “The science of sleep” and have decided to make my own stopmotion animation using plasticine. My girlfriend was a camera operator. That was really fun ..
At the same time I was drawing an animation concept for Kineskop Studio so I took that final stopmotion movie to the studio and shared my vision. They liked it. Now Kineskop Studio has got three complete shorts (three minutes each).



set detailWhat are you working on now?

Now I’m working on sets for a New 7min movie without dialogue. A really nice story written by Bart Kedzierski.
It’s about old couple. They are together for many years, love each other but they living in their own worlds. His world - basement /garage full of old clocks and other weird things.
Aniela’s world - attic full of handcrafted gloves, scarves and hats for winter.
They’re quite happy couple,… But… One day everything Is going to change. What is going to happen and what they are going to find , I cannot say it now....


What sort of hardware do you use in the studio?

Kineskop Studio is a small but looking ahead company. We have really good hardware. I use Cannon D7 and new PC with i7 /1,5 Tb. For lighting I'm using Kino Flo + kind of soft box. The box is made of old white plastic box cover. Sometimes you can put more light into the camera and make the picture kind of dreamy.. But light is not everything. Very important is where and how you put them to create a nice shadow on your set. Light and shadow, thats really a lot of work before You start shooting. I'm still learning to do it right.

How do you use Stop Motion Pro?
SMP is very easy to use. Before I have decide that SMP software is the best for me, I have checked about four other programs. SMP has lots of great tools but I really like the useful Rig removal Tool and Paint on frames tool. The Paint on frames tool is used to make blinking eyes or smoke for example.

set detail2Your sets are incredible, how do you make them?

Well, before you start to build a set you need to think about it carefully. Actually, I never sketch my sets before I build it. I’ve got everything in my head. I don’t know if it’s good but it’s the way I’m doing it. Everything what’s in animation is about 1/12 scale, so it’s really small. Animating is not so easy but we don’t have so much room in studio besides you can use so many things to build the 1/12 sets. Maybe next time I’ll make it bigger, let’s say 1/10.
Everything is handmade except things like carpet, 1 living room furniture set, 2 candles, clock or mugs.
For puppets I’m using modeling clay. For example, I’ve made about 20 little hands in a different configurations. I’m changing them while animating. The clothes are all my Mum's job.


How do you create that aged effect on objects?

For aged effect I'm using acrylic paint with an almost dry brush.

For example the garage sink is:

- 2 different colour spray ,red and white (blue plastic)

- red and orange paint + brush (rust effect)

- sand paper to gently take of a little bit of white paint

- colourless spray on a top to make it flash and solid.


Lady knittingWhat's next for you?

After I finish last set which is old couples bedroom, I’m going to animate 7 min of movie.. That’s going to be a very hard work. But I can’t wait :P Hopefully when it’s finished You would see it at a shorts Festival. That would be a great success!


Thanks for sharing, we wish you well!




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