Magic and Unusual Things in Stop Motion Animation

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Introduction: Magic and Unusual Things in Stop Motion Animation

I love to make DIY projects with my son

Stop motion technique is great animation tool, which is pretty easy to start with. It is far much easier to make photos of moving objects than, for example draw the frames by own. Since it is easy, many people thinks that it is not good for real animation art, that this is good only for children stories. It isn't true.

In this instructable I want to show You how creative the stop motion could be. How can You do magic things with ordinary objects and how cool effects You can achieved only by using Your camera and imagination.

Step 1: Short Introduction to Stop Motion

Stop motion is a technique in which You take a lot of pictures of moving objects. In each next peacture the object is in different place, so when You then show the pictures one by another You will get the animation.

To start You just need any type of camera. It can be dslr, but it could be Your phone as well. In fact, using Your phone would be far easier, than using proffesional cameras. This is because You can download many, free apps for Your smartphone, which allow You not only to shoot the photos, but to have constant preview of Your work. Such applications have also some postprocessing tools built in.

I won't be writtning about the software, but I encourage You to search Your smartphone app shop/library by own.


OK, If You have Your device and software, You are ready to start Your making Your animation.

Take the notepad, think what You want to animate and write the script.

Step 2: Unusual USE of Ordinary Objects

The stop motion technique gives You a possibility tu use something in totaly different way than it 'works' or 'exist'. For example, You can use the red electric tape as an pizza sauce, as on the picture above. You can pretend, that You are moving the tape like it would be the fluid.

It is possible, because You are making the photos of each animation frame. In this pizza example, I took the photos and on each next one, I moved the spoon, and added more and more red tape (using my second hand). In the result it looks like the tape is appearing in the places where the spoon was.

Step 3: Magic Like Unusual BEHAVIOUR of Ordinary Objects

Now magic. On the gif You can see that I'm chopping the HDD drive (big memmory) into USB devices (smaller memmories) and then, finally I cut them into small memmory cards. This effect looks cool, but it is very simple.

Assuming Your animation will show 14 frames per seconds You have to make at least 5 pictures of every 'chop' or 'cut'.

First the knife is just over the object (hdd drive), then You rise it a little, then You rise it to the top, then lower a little, and next, put the knife on the object and You are ready for Your last, 5th frame.
Move the object behind the knife, place the knife on cutting board and place the smaller (cutted) in front of the knife's blade.
Now if You run it as animation You will see pretty good result of cutting the object into another one.

Step 4: Sound to Fool the Brain

To complete the animation You have to add proper sounds to Your animation. It is crucial because people watch also with the ears. If You will leave for example animation of chopping object into different ones without the sound of the knife, the viewers brains would notice that something is wrong, but if You add the sounds, it will be harder to notice when You add the another smaller objects to Your animations flow.

In the animation in this step You have all what I was writing-unusual use of ordinary things and unusual behaviour with the sounds. I hope You will like this animation and that it will encourage You to experiment by own. If so, if You make something simmillar, please, let me know in the comments.

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    Here's a tip. Go watch Frank Howarth's incredible stop-motion videos!