Introduction: Portable Stop Motion Kit

This instructable is to build the portable stop motion kits we use in the Arkansas Discovery Network. The kit is simple and inexpensive to make. Best of all, the entire kit fits in a plastic container of your choice (minimum size: 14” x 9” x 3.5”).

Step 1: Required Materials

3/4” Schedule 40 PVC cut into the following lengths:

6.5” (5) 12.5” (1)

PVC elbows to fit 3/4” Schedule 40 (3)

PVC T junctions to fit 3/4” Schedule 40 (2)

Plastic Container with lid (minimum size: 14” x 9” x 3.5”)

1” wide hook and loop tape

10.25” x 8.5” x 1/8” white polycarbonate sheet

Battery-powered LED tap lights (2)

iCubie USB Webcam (


3d printed retainer clip for iCubie (Clip STL at Thingiverse)

3d printed light diffuser (2) (Diffuser STL at Thingiverse)

Step 2: Assemble PVC Stand

Use 2 elbows, 4 6.5” pipes, and 1 T junction to assemble the base of the stand. The T is in the middle with a 6.5” pipe to either side, then elbows on each end, and a 6.5” pipe connected to each elbow. The entire base will lie flat on a table with the middle opening of the T junction pointing straight up.

Insert the 12.5” pipe in the base T junction pointed straight up. Attach second T junction to the top of this pipe in an upright T, but perpendicular to the base T. Insert last 6.5” pipe into side of T pointing in the same direction of base supports. Add elbow to end of this segment with the open end pointed down. (Optional: if you printed the retainer clip, slide this onto the elbow before finishing assembly. The retainer clip should be oriented like a swing, so that the iCubie can clip to the horizontal platform.)

Step 3: Install ICubie

Run the miniUSB end of the included iCubie USB cable from the rear opening of the top T to the downward facing elbow. (Optional: if you have the retainer clip, use it to perfectly position the iCubie at the opening of the elbow)

Plug miniUSB into rear of iCubie and remove slack from the USB cable so that the iCubie rests as close as possible to the elbow’s opening. Secure iCubie by taping the elbow and clip.

Plug other end of USB cable into a computer running stop-motion capture software.

Step 4: Assemble Light Table

Remove protective backing from one side and attach 1” strips of hook & loop tape to the underside of the plastic container tub. (I recommend putting the loop side on the bottom of the tub so that it doesn’t stick to stuff when packed up) Place the strips offset to one of the longer sides to avoid having two dark spots in the middle of your light table.

Remove remaining protective backing and firmly press onto polycarbonate sheet. Sheet should be centered on the inverted tub as shown:

Turn on LED push lights and place under inverted tub to light up the table. Center light table under iCubie camera. (see picture of entire assembly under Step 1) One option to reduce bright spots is to affix the LED push lights to the inner sidewalls of the tub so that the light has opportunity to diffuse a little before illuminating the light table. (Optional: if you printed light diffusers, you can place them over the LEDs in the tub to help distribute light evenly to the light table)

Step 5: Pack It All Up

Once disassembled, all the pieces should fit nicely in the convenient plastic tub with lid.

See you at the movies!

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