WATCH THIS VIDEO FIRST THING!!! This is the ACTUAL FILM and is the basis for the ENTIRE instructable! ENJOY!
Step 1: Setting Up Your Camera for Stop Motion Photography
To start off your camera needs to be set up on either a tripod or some object to keep the camera completely still and pointed in the same area for the entire photography session. I actually set mine up on a shelf like object in my room about waist high and pointed directly at my bed. My film tells the story of a girl having dreams of characters as good vs. evil so I figured this would be the best angle and area to shoot in. Once you have your camera set up exactly the way you want it, make sure you are in a dark room so that you can capture the light within the image. Definitely do some test runs so you can figure out what is best for your shutter speed time with the type of light you are using. The green lit image in the beginning of this instructable is one of my test runs! The next step will explain how to use yourself, your lights, and your camera to produce such images!
Step 2: Setting the Shutter Speed & Drawing With White LED Light
Basically the steps to creating a light image are simple but take effort. Once your shutter speed is set, have your light ready to move in the air with your hand in order to draw an image. I used a red laser light and and LED lights. The first images were in white LED light. The beginning of the film contains the girls dream bubble and the "good" character breaking out of that dream and interacting with the room around it. So, I had my LED white light in hand ready to draw in the air. I was in my almost pitch dark room (you need a slight bit of light to see where you are drawing). I pressed the shutter button and ran to my bed. I turned on the LED light, pointed it in the cameras directions and drew ONE single circle and turn the light off. Then I would wait for the picture to snap. After the one picture was done I would go to the camera and press the button again and run to my bed, then draw TWO circles in the air around the same area. I would then again wait for the picture to snap. I would continue to add circles until I got to the actual dream bubble and then would snap one WHOLE picture with the circles and the air bubble drawn in the air!
Drawing in the air is SO much different and more difficult than drawing on paper. You are completely guessing where your hand should be and where you have and have not drawn an image because nothing stays in your sight. I would just imagine that I was drawing on paper and try to estimate where my hand had been and what image was formed. In some instances I would use objects in the room as the basis for my drawing, by following the lines of the object, like my lamp character later in the film! Just be creative and have fun with it, you never know what you'll get, its more like an experimental art form where practice makes perfect.
Step 3: Drawing With the Red Laser Light
The main difference between using this laser light and the LED light is being able to stay in one place and draw directly onto something instead of jumping up and rushing around drawing in the air! If you like smooth detail though, stick with the LED light as the laser light is a lot harder to control! I used the red laser light as the "evil" characters and had a lot of fun having these characters seem to come out of the walls, lamps and curtains!
Any pictures containing both the white LED light and red laser light characters were created in the same way but both at the same time. Therefore the shutter speed would still be 30 seconds, but it was much much harder to draw with one light and then the other in ONLY 30 seconds. This is where it would come in handy to have a remote control so that you could take your time drawing and snap the shutter once you were finished. It took some practice but I eventually I was fast enough to draw with both in that small amount of time!
Step 4: Using Props & Using the Photos to Create the Film
LASTLY, as for compiling the photos together to create an actual stop motion video you need a computer and some kind of movie editing software. I used a Mac and Imovie, and I ended up taking over 200 photos to get barely a couple of minutes of video! Remember if you want a good video, the more photographs you have the better. Also, make sure to go step by step with the order of photos and a small amount of movement between each image to create that movement often seen in stop motion animation.
I simply placed all of my photos into Imovie and changed the transitions to my liking. Most images have less than a second in between them, even down to .3 seconds!! This makes the images look more like they are moving and creates a great animation! Be sure to pick a great song to go along with your film as it will make it that much more interesting. Publish your video to a website and bravo!! you have your Light Stop Motion Animation! I hope you all enjoy making your film as much as I have!