Stop Motion Animation (For Beginners)

Introduction: Stop Motion Animation (For Beginners)

As part of a project, I chose to try out animation, specifically of the stop motion type. I also needed to find a way to share my KNAWLEDGE, (or lack thereof), with a wider audience, and so I figured this would be good way to share said KNAWLEDGE with all -2 people who are probably going to end up reading this. (Before I actually get to the tutorial, I just want to say I'm sorry in advance for how horrendously bad this tutorial is probably going to be.)

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Step 1: Gather Up All the Stuff You'll Need...

  • What you'll be moving around- (there's plenty of choices of what to animate, for example you can use modeling clay, Legos, or even old action figures!)
  • A camera- this can range from a brand new HD camera to just a iPhone camera (there's no shame in it), just make sure its one you can connect to a computer to transfer the pictures once you've taken them.
  • A tripod, it doesn't have to be fancy or anything, you can improvise with a stack of old textbooks like I did.
  • A measuring device- this is to make sure each piece of the animation moves the same distance every time.
  • A computer, this is where you'll transfer all of the pictures to and edit the final product together.
  • Editing software- try and find a free one, (especially if you're a cheapskate like I am), such as Windows Movie Maker, or iMovie, if you happen to be running on OS X.

Step 2: Actually Making Said Animation...

Now that you've got all the stuff you need, you can actually start working on the animation. First off, get everything ready, like if you're using clay, you might want to make the clay figurines (if your animation involves them), or making sure you have one of those little trays that a lego figure can stand up on. After this, set up your camera with the tripod. Make sure it has a good, clear view of the surface where your animation will take place. If you're using figurines, use your measuring device to make sure that the figure moves the exact same distance every time use move it. The shorter the distance the better, I personally recommend moving each figure at least about 1/4 of an inch, or less. Once you've moved each figurine the desired distance, take a picture of it. Continue moving each figure slightly and taking pictures of them until you've finished with the animation.

Step 3: Editing...

When you've got all of your pictures, connect the camera that you used to your computer. Move each of the pictures onto said computer, and then place the pictures into the editing software, preferably in the order you took them in. If you're using Movie Maker, simply drag each picture onto the bottom of the screen, again, make sure you place them in the order you took them in. If you're using iMovie, its still the same basic concept. (Don't worry, each program is fairly simple to use once you start to get to it).

Step 4: You Win! Congratulations!!!

Once you've completed these steps, your animation should be finished! If you're a beginner like I am, then don't worry if it didn't turn out so well (mine sure as heck didn't). But anyway, if you've made it this far, you now have a brand new skill to show off!! Before I go, I just want to apologize again for how horribly this tutorial ended. (Hopefully you didn't cringe too much at it

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    3 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Cool! Do you have a finished animation to share?


    Reply 3 years ago

    here's one me a my friend did a couple of years ago