Introduction: Stop Motion Films Using Storyboard That

About: a hacker and a maker of potentially anything I can get my hands on. dad. aspiring Inventor. educator. hacking life, one bit at a time.

Hi everyone!

In this short tutorial I will teach you how to create stop motion movies based on work done with the Storyboard That web site. This setup which I am about to present in detail has allowed many of our students to enhance both their stop motion and storyboarding skills, so in case you use any of these tools (or not, yet), I hope you see the value in adopting this technique.


Stop Motion Studio (or any other stop motion app, really)

Storyboard That account (may be teachers' not mandatory)

Step 1: Storyboard That

"Storyboard That" is a great site or web service, that allows creating very detailed graphic novels / comics at various levels for various purposes. Here in Science Center at Yeruham, Israel, we use it as a part of our storytelling skillset training, meaning that at first, the kids are given a technical assignment which allows them to better get to know the tool by applying it to almost any story they would like to tell. Later, we connect the tool with a class assignment, be that creating a story about their family immigration, a historical war, whatever. We apply the same technique to most of the tools we teach as a part of our Makers in Education program - start with the tool, do some fun stuff with it, then get down to business (hoping that the fun will continue...), as we found that adding more serious assignment in the introduction phase might not get us where we want - motivated, thrilled kid at the end of the lesson.

The site (which is pretty straightforward) allows adding boxes to the grid as needed, and adding scenes, characters and objects from a never-ending variety available through the gallery.

One big difference that we found to exist between creating a classic comics story and one that is transformed to a stop motion film is, naturally, the number of frames used. An average comics story might take up a grid 3 by 5 frames. When applied to stop motion at, lets say 3 frames per second rate (which is rather slow!) - will create a movie lasting 5 seconds, which is, to say the least, very minimalist (but hey, who knows? it might help you find the next John Barth in your classroom).

So, you and your students need to be ready to put in some work in developing your original story you've created into tens of frames. I suggest duplicating it and breaking every transition into 5. So, in previous example, you would get a 75 frames, which is a lot better then the original 15 of course.

Of course the more - the merrier.

Step 2: Exporting the Images From Storyboard That

Next step, you would need to export the images from Storyboard That to a stop motion app such as Stop Motion Studio, which we are using. Pay attention to the fact that you would need the app to be able to import images to it, so in case you are using Stop Motion Studio, this means you'll have to get the full version (which we did, and quite happy about it).

After selecting a project from the Storyboard That site, choose "Download" and a download options dialog will pop up (see image). You need to download the Image Pack, which will get as a zip file downloaded to your computer.

Next, send the zip file to the google account of the tablet you want to use.

Step 3: Importing the Images to a Stop Motion Film

Enter the e-mail app on your tablet and download the zip.

Next, using a file manager app (we use the Asus File Manager, free download for Androids), open the zip file and extract its contents to a new directory under the "Pictures" directory.

Open Stop Motion Studio App and import the images you've just extracted.

Again, I will not teach the operation of "Stop Motion Studio" app, as it's beyond our scope and plenty of good tutorials exist.

Step 4: Finish

I really recommend exposing the students to as many advanced features of the app as possible: adding titles, cards, folly sound effects, soundtrack, and the rest.

These will upgrade the film and allowing making a great combination of these two great tools.

Here is an example of how the finished product might look:

I hope you've enjoyed this quick instructable!

if you liked it please consider voting for it on the teachers contest.

Happy teaching,