Stop motion animation is a process in which artificial motion is created by capturing a series of images or motions one by one. Minor changes in the position of an image or object, recorded frame by frame, create the illusion of movement.
What is Stop Motion?
Stop motion is an animation technique in which one frame is captured at a time. Between each shot, the object in the frame is moved slightly. The images assembled in a video give the impression that the objects are moving independently.
Many companies are also getting into stop motion, creating simple animations to grab attention on social media.
Today, stop motion videos are created using specialized software such as Dragonframe, a stop motion creation application, and even photo editing in simple video editing programs.
In the following sections, we’ll show you how to create your own stop motion video, using a simple phone or camera to take photos, and the tools to combine them.
Stop motion is a part of explainer video, it can be use for funny app demo videos and others. Before we dig in into DIY, let’s learn a little more about stop motion animation type.
Stop Motion Animation Type
If you’re not sure what type of stop motion to make, here’s a list of stop motion animations to help you decide. Some types of animation are easier than others. Think about what material you already have that will work for your animation.
Claymation – three-dimensional (3D) figures made of clay or plasticine and filmed in 3D sets or against a background.
Found objects – characters can be made from found objects such as household utensils, bottle caps, pencils, Legos, etc.
Cut-outs – characters and two-dimensional (flat) worlds created from paper cut-outs, drawings, illustrations, found objects and silhouette figures.
Pixelation – people’s bodies can be animated one frame at a time.
Creating Stop-motion Animations
1. Prepare Equipment
Device for taking pictures – mobile phone or iPad or computer and webcam
Animation software or apps– there are many out there but Stop motion studio is a great free app to get you started. Something to keep your camera or device steady – a tripod, a homemade stand
If you don’t have a tripod, an empty egg carton works well for small devices. Or you can make an iPad or phone that stands out from Lego or Duplo.
If you need a ‘big view’, use the edge of a desk or cupboard, making sure you can still see the screen. Blu Tack can also help keep the device in place. Keeping your device stable is very important, so be careful not to crash it!
2. Characters, Properties and Background
You can create your own moving character. Use clay, plasticine, photos, scraps of paper, pictures, silhouettes, Legos, blocks, and toys to create characters and sets. You can create interesting characters from found objects such as household utensils, bottle caps and pencils. Remember that animation only gives life to inanimate objects; Let your imagination be your guide!
Plan how you will record your animation and then find a good place to set it up. Animation takes time to shoot and you don’t want it to fail.
Photoshoot, this step is the most hard yet a fun step in creating stop motion. You have to do a trial and error to gain the best result. Mostly, people do it with minimal two person.
4. Set Frame Speed
Most stop-motion apps and programs let you set the frame rate. This is how many frames, or photos, you will take each second. Most professional animations operate at 24 frames per second, but you can do it at just 8 frames per second. We recommend setting your project to 8-12 frames per second to get started.
It is important to properly illuminate your scene. The lights on both sides of the camera work fine. Keep the light constant and pay attention to the shadows made by people moving nearby. Since animation takes a long time, lighting can change in the room you’re working in, so if you use a lamp, you can control the light.
Make sure your background fills the frame to create a professional look for your film. Always check what’s in your frame before you start animating to make sure your audience sees what you want them to see. If the camera is hit, do not try to realign the shot. Instead, set the camera to a different type of shot, and you’ll be making natural edits.
The two most important things to think about when creating stop motion animation videos are frames and motion. Try experimenting with the relationship between the two before you start shooting.
You can edit your stop motion animation using tools like After Effect, 3D Max Design, and others.
8. Sound, Music and SFX
Lip syncing in animation is complicated and time consuming. Consider alternatives such as voiceover narrator or on-screen text instead of lip-syncing dialogs. Some apps have built-in sound recording that lets you record sound while a movie is playing.
9. Screening and Sharing
Make sure you have your work filtered so you can share it with classmates, friends, and family. You can make tickets, serve popcorn, and turn off the lights!
Now you’re ready to produce your DIY Stop motion animation. Good luck!
Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).
LinkedIn: Andre Oentoro