Stop motion videos are extremely popular, now as much as ever, and a very creative way of creating a movie.  Inanimate objects that aren’t able to move or do anything, can be bought to life and given a character, using stop motion techniques.  By shooting the movie frame by frame and re-positioning the inanimate object between frames, you can create the illusion of the object moving when you play the frames back.  Stop motion videos can be produced on a relatively limited budget and using the resources most videographers will already have, as such they are a great way to practice your video producing skills without having to spend much money to do so.



Traditionally stop motion videos would be made using a camera, however, mobile phone cameras are now so advanced that more videographers are choosing to use their phones instead, the process in making a stop motion video, either way, is the same.

Equipment:

 

1) Digital camera

2) Tripod/Monopod

3) Video editing software

4) Objects and materials for a set

5) A lamp or two to ensure good lighting

6) A story

Method:

1) Find some objects to appear in your video: this could be anything from lego blocks to vegetables, to modelled clay or even a whiteboard with animations.

2) If you need one, create a set and include any props you may need.

3) Place the objects within the set and in position for your first photograph.

4) Set the lighting:  close curtains/blinds (unless you want natural light) and set up some lamps.

5) Take a photograph.

6) Move the object(s):  according to your decided storyline, move the object(s) slightly.

Repeat steps 6 and 7 until you have taken all the photographs you need to complete your video.  If you are using a digital camera you will need to transfer these photographs to your computer.

Use a movie making software to turn these photographs into a stop motion video, adding a voiceover, music, credits and much more. The editing functions of your movie making software greatly depends on which one you choose to use as some have more functions than others, and therefore create more professional videos.

Choosing the right movie making software is essential as this will greatly impact on the final outcome of your video. There are plenty of pieces of software out there, some come more recommended than others:

Desktop ‘stop motion video making’ software:

Windows Movie maker for Windows 

iMovie for Mac 

Virtual Dub for Windows

Adobe Premier Elements  for Windows or Mac

CyberLink PowerDirector 11 for Windows

 

Phone ‘stop motion movie making’ software:

Twitter’s Vine app: perhaps the most powerful app for creating videos, and sharing short videos.

Stop Motion Animation Maker Pro: great stop motion app for your iPhone

Frame X Frame: customisable, this app saves videos directly to the camera roll and is designed for ambitious beginners.

Stop Motion Café: customisable, this app allows you to save projects and come back to them, making it ideal for long term projects, you can save the final video to your camera roll.

You can find more stop motion apps for iOS in this post.

Stop Motion Video Making Tips:

1) Take plenty of photographs, the more you have, the smoother your video results will be.

2) In single frame, 24 pictures equals one second of film. You may find it quicker to take two pictures of the same shot, so you only require 12 different pictures in total.

3) Avoid creating shadows over your set and/or objects that change with each frame.

4) Set your camera’s white balance and exposure settings to manual mode so they don’t change with each shot, this will reduce flicker and create a fluid animation.

5) Be patient, making a stop motion video could take a while.

6) Watch other stop motion animations for inspiration. These may give you some new ideas about how to do your own animation. “Wallace and Gromit”, “Fantastic Mr Fox” and “Knox” are fresh and popular animations.

7) Don’t be too disheartened if your video is quite short, you will need to invest time taking plenty of photographs to make it longer.

8) If your software doesn’t have an auto save function, make sure you save your video regularly.

We hope you enjoyed our little guide, good luck with your stop motion videos.

Image Credits

featured image – https://pixabay.com/en/playmobil-photography-photographers-765112/