The 4th Wall - a never to be released stop motion project

So, “The 4th wall” is one of my shelved passion projects I was doing around 2019’ and it will never be released. And the main reason of showing it is mainly to be a cautionary tale and reminder of how not to approach into making short films.

The video clip above is not really a short film but rather an animation and visual test of what was planned to be transformed into a short film. It all started when I almost completely switched to Blender after Maya and wanted to try myself in character animation. Weird considering that Maya is famous for its great animation tools but that was my decision and I don’t really think that it was a mistake.

At that time I was really in a “stop motion” period of my life. I watched every stop motion film I could find, saw all behind the scenes, read all the articles. I was so impressed by mastery of animators, art direction and technology (Laika is definitely the most prominent studio in this area) that for a brief moment I wanted to dive into this art form myself. However, there are a lot of major hurdles to even start working on something like this. First things first I am not an animator! Furthermore, a puppet animator. There are only a handful of studios which are doing stop motion. All of them are out of my reach. Basically, it would require several years of hard work to even consider applying for job and I don’t really sure that it’s something I am striving for to be honest.

You could say that it’s possible to do stop motion at home. Kind of true, but it would require a lot of time, dedication, money, space and other people to make anything even remotely respectable. It literary means that you need to change your whole life in order to be able to do this. So, the most logical solution in my situation was to mimick stop motion in CG. While it’s definitely not a pure experience I was so exited by idea of doing my own stop motion short film that despite being already busy by work, learning new software and another short film in development (which was actually recently released - watch here) I started a whole new project…

…from a very wrong place. Instead of investing time into development of a plot, writing a script, doing a storyboard, animatic etc. I immediately jumped into production based on one and only “idea” if you can say so. My thought process back then looked like this: “Ok, so it is like a 90’s sitcom where character realizes it and tries to breach the 4th wall. Cool, I’ll start and figure the rest in process”.

I never did. Instead, I immidiately jumped into creating a goofy character, set dressing, lighting, blocking. And animation…while there was still no cohesive plot whatsoever. By the way, animation was done exactly how you would do stop motion in real life, every single movement (except procedural hair wiggle on sweater) was done by puppet manipulation in small increments with hold keyframes every couple or so frames.

And it appeared to be quite a tedious, labour intensive task which quickly became a burden. Quite honestly, if I had to mimic stop motion today I would definitely just do this:

All in all, lack of time, ironically exhastive style of animation and realization that I can’t figure out plot seriously cooled down my eagerness of making this project. There was still some hope inside me that it will be revived some time but I never touched it in 2020 and really doubt that it will be revived any time in a future.

In conclusion, I decided to gather a small video of all test clips I managed to do during production. Basically, this room is just a sandbox where I tried to figure out an overall vibe and how to do believable stop motion movements, lighting, smoke etc.

I don’t know whether I actually achieved it but for some time I definitely had a lot of fun playing around with it. Also, it’s a good reminder that I should approach to such projects more seriously (but not overly), establish a correct pipeline with a script ready first! Even though it turned out to be not what was expected I still don’t think of it as a failure but rather an important experience for my future works. And who knows, maybe some day I will come up with a story which will be made in stop motion. Maybe even real one, ha.


The set design , texturing and stop motion look is insane! at par with Laika I would say. I really hope you use this style to finish a new short/feature soon. I would absolutely love to see it.


well, I don’t think it’s on par but I definitely strived to come as close as possible to that kind of quality.
Thanks, anyway!

Absolutely beautiful and amazing. Well done!

thanks, appreciate it!

You’re #featured! :tada:

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Trully Amazing !

Excellent feel to this. You should re-visit it

" F - I - N - I - S - H … … … I - T !!!" :smiley:

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Really cool ! It’s quite an achievement in itself, it’s really hard to make a short of that quality even if you have a script and a well planned project . What you’ve done is already amazing anyway !


This is so good!! You nailed the stop-motion look and feel!

I watched the clip before reading your explanation about the project and to me it felt like a sort of teaser/trailer. So yeah maybe it wasn’t finished the way you wanted but it definitely feels like a finished product from the outside. :nerd_face:

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thanks! appreciate it!

thank you! I agree - it is hard! It just happened to developed at a wrong time I guess

Funny enough, I thought it looked very bad when left it alone for many months. But, it didn’t when I revisited it much later.

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Wow! One of the best works Ive seen in here!

this is dope !
O love the looks and feel of it !

If this was a failure - I’m all in for failing…



It’s fantastic. And if not the fourth wall, there are moments in life when it is important to realise that reality is not what we assumed. (Beyond Father Christmas.) My current favourite is thinking - from what I have read our thoughts form up to ten seconds before we are conscious of them. Then I judge them internally - that’s a good/bad/strange idea…

How is this related to film-making? The emergence of new paradigms can be tricky. Edgardo Esteban’s ‘Enlightened By Fire’ wriggles through the triumphalism, despair, denial and acceptance of war and its consequences. I think you’ll come back to 4th Wall one day, thank you for sharing.

I absolutely love this, I’m a big fan of Stop motion style work, and the tactile quality that it has.

Thanks for sharing this ART with Us Amaaazing!

I do love how it looks. So cinematic and professional!