I’ve seen a lot of changes to the animation industry over my lifetime. An industry that started as simple hand-drawn pencil drawings, has evolved and grown until it’s became a multi-million pound business. It’s not just me, stop-frame animation has been a part of many people’s lives, from the plasticine Morph that I grew up with, to Aardmann Animations’ Creature Comforts and Wallace and Gromit.

The invention of mobile technology has now given everyone the power to create their own stop-frame animation masterpieces. I browsed the Apple store and found what I consider to be the best stop-frame animation apps for iOS. As a side note, because of the nature of stop-frame animation, a tripod or something to keep the frame still, is useful (though not required) if you want to create  high quality and fluid stop-frame animation.

I Can Animate

The I Can Animate app is one of the easier apps to get to grips with. Though, it does come with a time-lapse function, and the onion-skinning feature lets you see what your previous shot was so you can line it up. With very little experience you can pick up this app and start creating some really nice pieces of animation. The one drawback with this app is that there aren’t many frame editing tools apart from copying and deleting a frame. So if you do want to make those extra changes, you’ll need to find another program to do that with. You can see their iTunes page here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/i-can-animate/id399760501?mt=8 

Animate it

Animate It is an app from Aardman Animations and as you would expect, and is another app aimed at a younger audience. Although there are a number of great features, I would expect who I consider the masters of stop-frame animation; their app would be a little more advanced. Saying that, this app is the easiest to pick up and play with, with fewer features to get your head around. However, it does give you the essential functions like onion skinning, and playback speed variance. The free lite version restricts the amount of projects you can save, the playback speeds and adds a watermark to your animations. However, it is still a nice tool to download and experiment with. iTunes page: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/animate-it/id544691268?mt=8 

Lego Movie

With the influx of the new Lego toys, movies and video games it was only natural that at some point a Lego animation app would be released. Although, apart from the Lego animation videos already loaded onto the tool, there is no other connection to Lego. It suggests that you should use and pose your Lego toys to create your animation, but quite frankly you can use anything you want to create your films. What you have here is a simple way of creating stop frame animation. The onion-skinning features and grid’s allow easy lining up of shots, and you can add your own title sequences and credits just to make the animation a little more cinematic. Whether you plan to animate or not, this app is worth downloading even if just to watch the gallery of Lego animations loaded onto the app. you can get it here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/the-lego-movie-video-game/id901999406?mt=8

Stop Motion

Stop Motion is the app that provides you with a few more advanced features. Not only can you hook up another mobile device to act as a remote for your camera, but it comes with a whole host of editing tools as well. You can crop, rotate, and resize images, colour and edit your movies with the different paint tools, and a magic eraser that you can use to remove any bits of string, wire or other animation tools you wouldn’t want your viewers to see. It even comes with a green screen function. This app probably has the most to offer in terms of stop-frame animation gizmos and features, but may take a little longer to get used to. iTunes link: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/stop-motion-studio/id441651297?mt=8

Lapse It

Lapse It as its name would suggest, is an app that specialised in longer stop-frame animations known as time-lapse. With this app you can automatically take a photo at given intervals, which can be set yourself from milliseconds to minutes. These images, when ran in sequence provide a speeded up view of your photo target. Imagine setting your camera up overlooking a busy London street, or simply creating a 24hour animation of your own garden as the sun rises and sets, Lapse It gives you the tools to do this, and with such a simple tool and the right subject, the results can be amazing. You can find it here: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/lapse-it-time-lapse-stop-motion/id539108382?mt=8

All of the apps mentioned above can be found (at the time of writing) on the Apple store, and even the less complex apps can produce some very high quality animation. So if you fancy creating the next Morph, Wallace or Lego Movie why not download them and give them a go. You may also be interested in our previous post on how to make a stop motion video. 

Featured Image Credits – https://pixabay.com/en/playmobil-photography-photographers-765111/