Stoopid Buddy Stoodiosis known best for creating the hilarious stop-motion animated series, “Robot Chicken.” But it also imparted its crafty magic on one of the most popular movies of 2014.
Actor Seth Green and his fellow Stoopid Buddy founders, John Harvatine IV, Matthew Senreich, and Eric Towner, took time out from the numerous projects going on at “Stoodios” to give Business Insider some insight on how they created the eye-popping end credit sequence in “The Lego Movie.”
“They wanted something pretty ambitious,” Green recalls. “Stop-motion without a lot of compositing (combining two or more images).”
To pull this off, Brian Mah of visual studio Alma Mater and Ethan Marak at Stoodios, led the charge, and what they came up with was a less is more approach.
“We wanted to see how few [Lego] bricks we could use to build a train or a bat or a cop car,” said Towner, who added that the creation of the whole credits sequence took two months to complete.
“The result instantly felt far more charming,” he said. “You could appreciate the unique details of each individual brick, rather than them getting lost in a mass of fifty pieces.”
This made it possible for the sequences to go from an original estimate of 10,000 Legos being used to 3,000.
The credits show up in different Lego-made layouts as the film’s theme song, “Everything is Awesome” by The Lonely Island, plays in the background. Here are a few:
And then the camera pulls back to display a wide shot of the layouts we’ve seen with a Lego blocks creation of the words “The Lego Movie” formed before the screen goes black.
That final 12-second portion is considered one of the largest and most intricate stop-motion Lego animations ever attempted, according to Stoopid Stoodios.
The sequence took four motion control passes to complete, with three animators working simultaneously to increment hundreds of individual Lego bricks. With an average of four objects moving per set that totals around 10,000 animated increments to create.
“It’s astonishing how much work goes into such a short sequence,” said Senreich. “Animator Benny Zelkowicz had to move 150-plus Lego pieces per frame!”
Here’s how the whole ending came out.
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