Stop Motion Video for a Direct Mailer

We wanted to give our summer graphic design intern, Maia Casper, a project that was a bit out of the ordinary: a stop motion video. Initially, it seemed simple enough, but it eventually became a labor of love.  A few years ago we designed a direct mailer for Amthor International with variable data (names and addresses of potential Tank Truck buyers) provided by Cornerstone Services of New Paltz, NY. The mailer, a die cut brochure of one of Amthor International’s refined fuel oil trucks, was printed by Pro Printers in Hudson, NY. When the truck is removed from the brochure, it can be assembled, by hand, into a three dimensional truck. The potential client’s company name is listed on the sides of the tank, making it look like it was made just for them.


Direct Mailer of die cut brochure. Tanker truck can be popped out and assembled into a three dimensional truck.
Direct Mailer as it appears when delivered.

Maia’s project was to make a stop motion video of the truck being assembled from the mailer. The stop motion video would be similar the popular sledgehammer video from the ’80’s or Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, but much shorter.  Photography was conducted primarily by our graphic designer, Erica Cerulli, while Maia focused primarily on the post-production work.  The mailer was placed on a neutral background and a camera was held in place directly overhead.  The camera used was a Canon EOS 7D with a standard 135 mm lens.  After each image was taken, the mailer/truck was slowly moved ever so slightly until it was assembled, backed up, and rolled out.  Three hundred thirty-three high resolution photos were taken to create the eight second video. The photos were opened in sequence at a particular frames-per-second (FPS) in Photoshop, a soundtrack was added, and it was rendered into an mp4 file. After several days of hard work, the end result was a fun and informative video showcasing an innovative marketing material!


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