June 6, 2023

How are crisps made? Animation by @Sarah_Beeby launches @FarmersHub

An animated, sustainable sculpture, combining photography and video tells the story behind a packet of crisps.

An animation by Royal College of Arts graduate Sarah Beeby is marking the launch of Farmershub.co.uk, the new site dedicated to the latest news and debate from the British farming community. The film uses a range of animation techniques, such as hinged flipbook and a working zoetrope, to bring the process of how Walkers make their crisp to life.

In order to reflect the themes of sustainability in the story, Beeby crafted the sculpture from recycled materials such as second hand jeans, old bike tyres and reclaimed wood. The animation captures the journey a potato makes from field to packet, highlighting some of the innovative sustainability initiatives used in the creation of the crisps.

The potato field featured in the animation is modelled on the design of a Zoetrope, to capture the natural movements in the fields, including the shifting clouds and a hare which made its way into the shot. To simulate the movement of potatoes growing, a rotating wooden block with images of different stages of a potato’s growth were attached to all four sides of the blocks and then spun every five frames.

The quality check stage of the potato to packet story was captured via an adaption of the mutoscope, an early motion picture device, before moving onto the potatoes’ journey, by road, to the Walkers site. This section was inspired by the knock on effect typically seen in a Rube Goldberg machine. The ‘road’ that the truck travels down is made from second hand tyres which is both in keeping with the theme of transportation at this stage and the overall idea of sustainability.

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