“Project : Ignition” Stop-Motion Introduction

Heya guys!

I’m Sanso, and I have a special announcement! Since around New Year’s, I’ve been laying the brickwork (Pun intended) for the foundation of a serial BIONICLE film project I’m deciding to hit the gas on, featuring revamped MOCs of our most beloved heroes and monstrosities.

Here’s my imgur page with some of my revamps, though some won’t appear in the film, all are outdated, and many of my pics are just posted straight to reddit. I’ll get that link out after a little autumn cleaning. You’re certain to see more of them soon, so prepare to snap your eyes to me like eyes snap to a Toa Mata head!

I have yet in my lifetime to actually look into the RPs and fanfics that have come out of this fandom, so I can’t judge any of that, but I’ve seen some of the stop-motion work, and I, like many of us, was devastated when they stopped making the official movies. There was always such intense posture and motion conveyed in BIONICLE’s imagery, even a single picture fulfilled the classic power fantasy in so many ways. My creative mind always knew that, more than any regular LEGO, these bonks belonged in motion, and LEGO knew it too, making sure to give us at least a bit every year from Day 1. Since our beloved franchise began to BI-uckle under its own weight(Eh?), kids from 1 to 92 have seen the rise of the science-fantasy-comic-book-turned-CINEMATIC-UNIVERSE format, with all that debatably glorious television spinoff potential, and setting the standard and precedent for similar works, at least in minds of audiences. I suppose, perhaps minus the spinoffs, that could be what the creators of Noah Production’s Ignition parts 1 and 2 were reaching towards, or at least in some way, inspired by.

Nonetheless, I myself was inspired by Noah’s Ignition. That being said, I honestly think I might be able to do better, knowing full well I may technically have less experience film-making than some of that cast and crew did. I’m here to give myself and this fandom a BIONICLE stop-motion series unlike any before, and to turn my passion into a portfolio using custom sound and scoring, brilliant and refreshing writing, soulful animation and cinematography, and hopefully somewhat detailed VFX.

Note : “Project : Ignition” is definitely a working title.

Here’s the elevator pitch, encompassing the plot of Voya Nui:

“Toa Takanuva and Kopeke, the Chronicler, navigate their newly-repaired city of Metru Nui to collect tales from the survivors of the year’s many epic journeys : Returning to a home they can’t remember, Jaller and his friends notice their heroes, idols, and protectors, the Toa Nuva, were sent away by the Turaga. They journey blindly, but bravely, out into the dying universe beyond to bring their heroes, and their hope, back. They find themselves reborn as the Toa Inika, with their own elements to master and legends to live. Meanwhile, the Nuva face unexpected challenges, learning higher forms of Unity. Back home, the matoran of Metru Nui only become rowdier with distrust, forcing Dume and the Turaga to tighten their grasp, and the lone Toa of Light to pick a side.”

This will be a story of heart, of laughter, pain, and exhilaration. It won’t be rife with fandom in-jokes or overheard lines. I’m rewriting the story because I believe in its potential for incredibly powerful messages.

I’m probably not gonna be stop-motioning at 60FPS, and probably gonna be “filming” it on a smart device, but aside from those limitations, I’ve identified a number of aspects I am willing and – for now – able to bust my gears on for a satisfying result, and also discovered a trick or two that might even make certain parts of production relatively breezy.

Now, I’m sure many of you are thinking this all sounds… idealistic, if not familiar, and I’m aware that it is, but I’ve been working on it since the start of this year, and remained quite convinced that I’m gonna see this project through, even if I have to do it alone. So far, I have most of the builds mostly finished(the smaller ones, granted), and most of the story’s outline, as well. But, though I might have a heavy hand directing it, or perhaps be wearing many additional hats, I would sure love some help with a few aspects I’m already aware of, and a great many things I have yet to determine. So I just joined these fine boards yesterday to share my work and extend my hand to this already quite passionate and talented community, and see if you guys would be interested in watching the series in the making? I want to be open and live about the process, though I’ve never hosted a stream before. I’m also here, instead of on any other BIO community, to ask : Who among you would seriously consider answering my call to tell another story together?

This is the place to inquire about anything related to this project, what I’ve built, what I’ve written, where I’m at with it, and where I intend to go with it, or any of its details. I know the people here love giving advice, so I’m happy to hear any of that, especially about stop-motion! It’s also the place to give opinions, make suggestions, or just express your support!

Best luck on your creative endeavors!



Some of the revamps look a little too armored and bulky. But that shouldn’t stop you, I greatly encourage and applaud your enthusiasm to tackle such a project. General questions, what type of experience do you have with stop motion? With what editor?

Thank you! Yeah, there’s a lot in the gaps of these builds, and it can restrict their motion plenty, but the cool thing about it is I can just remove the little pieces hangin out in the joints for a single frame or two to get more flexibility out of the figures without anyone noticing. Probably gonna have to re-shoot plenty of shots due to knocking them over in this process, though.

My experience with stop motion is admittedly skeletal, at best, so I have no idea what kinds of challenges await me. I also don’t have a clue what software I want to use yet, though I’ve heard there are some great stop motion apps on the App Store. This all adds significantly to the ambition of my goals, but I am a dancer, actor, artist, and a biiit of a martial artist, so I know movement and how it translates to these ball-and-socket joints pretty well. I might try to find someone to be my camera guy, as they might know better how to compose shots and process them, but I have confidence in my animating capabilities.

Down the line, of course, my post-production editing software might pose another challenge, or might not even be that big of a decision, but I’m going to do a test animation ASAP to see what the process will be like.

The two largest issues to tackle would be stability and believability. A particular hazard to beginner stop-motion artists is the concept of flight. It takes particular angling and good scaffolding, usually made from hanger wire or such, to form the illusion of flight, whether it be by ability or when being knocked back.

1 Like

Right on, thanks for the tip! I think believability is the pearl I’m seeking to put center-stage. The scaffolding and such is gonna be relatively new to me, but I will try and try until it looks like real bodies in expressive, clear motion.

Practice makes perfect. With enough time and effort you can make anything you want happen. So never try to rush yourself and develop your skills. I look forward to seeing your progress.

1 Like

The question is: why would you want to revamp the characters? Shouldn’t you just use the original figures as this is their canon appearance?

For starters, it’s not really anyone’s place, even LEGO’s, to tell me how to represent the characters in my art. Although, LEGO can certainly tell me whether to represent them at all.

After easily a decade lurking on MOC communities and watching the latest unrelated media, I’ve come to form the opinion that the original sets could each look better, depending on how you interpret them. Even the Inika look kinda goofy with their extruded, but thin shoulders. And there are plenty of times where it would become obvious that the Toa Nuva are runts compared to the Inika. I could try some crazy Peter Jackson chicanery and position the Nuva closer to the camera to create The illusion that they’re larger, but I want to finish this project, not please every purist. Then there’s the matter of their articulation. But I don’t even think I have to get into that.

Lastly, I think my MOCs are sick-n-twisted, and I want myself, and the whole community, to see them in living motion.

I’m not trying to outright dismiss you, it’s just that if you commit to art long enough, you realize you’re staring at a blank page. And if you stare at a blank page long enough, you realize that “should”s and creativity don’t mix very well. So I try to keep my mind open.

Fair enough. I always thought that the Inikas were too big for their own good.

The link doesn’t work

Hmm. It does for me, and I’m getting visits, so I’m not sure what the issue would be. Thanks for letting me know!

In what way doesn’t it work for you? Maybe we can troubleshoot your issue.

Imgur is telling me that they couldn’t find that page

Maybe a direct link would help: https://imgur.com/user/OrangeRifle.

I’m getting the same thing

By direct link I meant if you were to copy and paste the URL. Did you try that?

Still doesn’t work

Very peculiar. If you were to try to search with @OrangeRifle on imgur, that would be all I could think of to fix this issue. It might be your own configurations on the site that is blocking it. Are you on beta?

I definitely agree with you that using your own creations is needed for the stop motion; not only because it’s your own interpretation, but sometimes Lego’s designs just don’t work in that style. A Tahu Nuva set has abysmal articulation compared to a Jaller Inika, for example, and it would be extremely jarring to see the two stock sets trying to interact with different sets of limitations.

Stop motion is definitely a time consuming process, but also one that can give you a lot of freedom in how everything is designed. One issue I think a lot of Bionicle projects face is that the scope a creator starts off with initially tends to be too great, and they end up giving up early on due to the lack of progress they can make. Given that you mention a relative lack of stop motion experience, or rather not much to show just yet, I wonder if perhaps beginning with some smaller scale projects, perhaps short videos focusing on single characters? Not only will that give you some practice and garner more support, but it also lets you play around with how characters move and act. That’s absolutely key for learning how to incorporate those characters into your film, you don’t want to spend an eternity working on this film only to realize the characters could have been rewritten or reshot a totally different way.

Films do that a lot in the real world; screen tests for example to see how makeup looks on camera, or even throughout the course of various movies we see how characters and modified to be a better fit (think of the visual difference between Guardians of the Galaxy Thanos and Infinity War Thanos for example)

One piece of info I couldn’t find here was your dialogue, will this include actual voice acting for the characters, or just text blurbs? (I haven’t watched the Noah production films in a while, but I feel like he went with the latter, personally I think that was one element that was lacking as a result)

1 Like

Noah’s had voice acting incorporated into it.