Author Options:

What is the best free stop motion animation program? Answered

I have a Canon PowerShot A540 and I want to do a couple of stop motion animation films with it.  Is there a free program online that I can feed 300 pictures into from it's memory card and it'll play them all back to create a film? Or something that I can hook the camera up to and take the pictures live? I guess I just need a program that I can feed a bunch of pictures into in order and it'll sew them all together.




Best Answer 8 years ago

If you've got WMM, start it, go to Tools > Options > Picture Duration and adjust that down to something that sounds right. It'll go down to 1/8 second, i.e. 8FPS which is probably what you need (I haven't tried manually overtyping 0.125 to see if it goes lower).
Then import your stills and drag them into the timeline in order.


I am a teacher and I am considering using both MovieMaker and Monkey Jam for my students. I like the easy of Monkey Jam but I like that there is more control with MovieMaker.

I agree with those who have suggested Monkeyjam. There are also programs out there which have Onion Skinning features (not available in Monkeyjam) which are REALLY helpful. Trickfilmcam is good for this; the original download source is broken, but I recently found trick-install.exe it again on this page: http://www.uoregon.edu/~cknox/techtcpodcasting/PC-related/3.%20free%20PC%20Software%20/ (Monkeyjam and some other cool software also available at that link) Good luck!

yeah monkeys great but i have a question about it how do you get the pictures to slow down tthere going way to fast when i play the video and dont know how to slow it down can you help in anyway please thank you.

The easiest way to slow down the images would be to change the frame rate (in the options panel, I think.)

Standard film speed is 24 fps (frames per second), which means 24 images will whiz past in a single second, to create the illusion of movement. That's a lot of images if you're animating! A lot of animators will do 12 fps instead, which means you only need 12 images to create 1 second of video. It's still possible to create the illusion of movement at this speed, though it will seem a little choppy (might be what you want).

You could even go as low as 1 fps in Monkeyjam, however it will begin to look more like a slideshow than animation.

You can also "slow down" individual frames on Monkeyjam by extending their duration. If you're taking photos and you know you want the images to last for more than one frame, you can change this setting in the capture window. You can also extend a single frame in the spreadsheet view: just click and drag the little triangle in the bottom right corner and drag down to an empty slot below.

I also recommend browsing YouTube for some Monkeyjam tutorials.

Good luck!

Yes, I agree with you and using monkeyjam. Most brickfilmers (those who make lego movies) use anywhere between 15fps to 24fps and it sure does get really smooth!


8 years ago

Isn't it easier to use a normal video camera? I have a Canon Z100 and all you have to do is click record for a second or two then move the object. It seems way easier since there is no post work with monkey jam or movie maker etc involved.

Yes, but the only video camera I have uses tape,and then the video is transferred using firewire. Tape is expensive, and my computer doesn't have a firewire port, so I would have to buy a firewire to USB cable, which also isn't cheap.

More importantly, recording with segments of "a second or two" will produce a very slow and very inconsistant final product. Shooting with still images will allow you to regulate how many frames per second you use, and thus also divide your action into regular increments. Post work is usually a necessary part of the process for any video project, animation or otherwise, if there's any concern for quality. It's just one of those things you have to get used to!

We, at school, use Monkeyjam, a fantastic program! It's FREE it enables input of files AND it allows you to hook up a camera (video or still) via USB so you can see on the computer screen just what you are filming.
Try it you'll love it!

SMA  is quite a good programme and intended for this purpose. Free version as well.

 umm if you have windows windows movie maker is a pretty good tool its what i use and i am like a huge stop motion dude

That's weird I just gave one of my stopmotion films as an assignement for school.

Mine was a short one so it only had like 150 pictures. But I used windows movie maker. It's free and possibly already installed on your pc also it gives you alot of options for music and soundsz.

For an amateur like me it was very good.

Ok, so how does it work with windows movie maker? I tried the other day, by copying all of the pictures I wanted to use to it, in order. When I played it, it kept each picture there for a couple of seconds.

Oh you can adjust that.

I used it on a windows seven computer but it's normally the same everywhere.

When you click on a picture (you already entered ofcourse) there is a button (you need to scroll to the list of buttons and it's one of the sub buttons) that let's you adjust the time that picture is shown.

Standard the picture shows for one second but with alot of pictures like you have 0,25 seconds is the standard. When you want to have  pictures that stay in view longer just make them last longer 0,5 and 0,75 seconds work rather well.

See if you can find the button. It should just be a square with "1" in that you can edit like for example the word size in the program word. And after that square there should be "sec"

I'm sorry but it's really hard for me to explain in English. If you can't find I'll make you a screenshot but I'm currently working on a mac at a friends so... :)