For a University claymation project I wanted to re-create one of my favourite iOS games, Monument Valley, with Lego. While the final project turned out to become something completely different, I learned a lot about many of the optical illusion techniques used by M. C. Escher.

First I began to sketch some illusions in Illustrator.

Next I visited the Lego Store to inquire about purchasing large orders of bricks. Lego felt like the perfect building material for such a project as each brick is cut proportionally. One challenge, however, was covering the rough top surface of each brick. Leaving it open would give away the illusion in the final film. Since the Lego Store receives only select colours and models, my only colour choice for the project was bubble gum pink. The store had both 2×4 bricks and 1×2 tiles for covering the top.

Mid-Development Shot
Mid-Development Shot


I then sketched a rough storyboard with Paper and developed a dope sheet as a guideline to follow for shooting. When actually shooting the film, this ended up being thrown out the window.

Finally, after setting up the lighting and working on the characters with a classmate, I shot the film using iStopMotion on iPad and iPhone. While I used a green screen in the background, I think if I were to shoot the film again I would prefer to build a real background set as well. The cloud effects added in post, using Motion, gave the clip a much more digital feel that didn’t fully align with my vision for the final piece.


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