“Stop motion animation is a great way to bring toys and other objects to life — and learn the basics of filmmaking.” The New York Times
I’m sure you’re familiar with stop motion animation but you might not have considered creating your own before.
As a photographer I’ve always steered clear of film making and stop motion animation as I feared it would be far too time consuming. I certainly didn’t consider that this would be a task my five year old would be able to partake in.
Thanks to an introduction by professional product photographer and stop motion animation artist George Fairbairn I found out how easy it can be.
At the beginning If the COVID-19 crisis George posted some videos on his Facebook and YouTube channels showing the process with his kids.
The key to having fun with stop motion animation is to experiment with it and to not worry about producing perfect results.
Tools you need to stop motion animation
The stop motion app
A tripod or stand for your phone
Consistent Lighting (an LED light is perfect for this).
Something to film. A toy that can stand is good.
I recommend you watch George Fairbairn’s videos as he gives some great tips but here’s a few thing to think about.
Stop motion animation Quick tips
Think the story you are going to tell. The key to a good stop motion animation is planning.
If you don’t plan then just have fun.
Try and keep the light consistent. This might mean using a lamp or LED light rather than using natural lighting.
Consider who the scene looks. Do you need to use a background? Even a piece of card works well.
Make sure to don’t knock your background or camera! Believe me it’s really easy to do with kids!
Our stop motion animation attempts
We jumped in with no real planning and just created a story of the fly. It made a really chaotic animation but was fun to do!
We used Lego characters as they stand nicely and have moving parts which can be animated. We did make all the mistakes I’ve mentioned in the quick tips like using natural lighting and knocking the camera!
Stop motion with people
We caught the stop motion bug and decided it would be fun to try this outside with real people.
My daughter came up with a basic story involving driving around in a car and crashing it into a wall!
It was ridiculous and fun, try it out and share your results.
Stop motion animation links
Describes the different types of stop motion animation
* Object-Motion — moving or animating objects
* Claymation — moving clay
* Pixilation — moving or animating people
* Cutout-Motion — moving paper/2D material
* Puppet Animation — moving puppets
* Silhouette Animation — backlighting cutouts
Step by step tutorial starting with what you will need and Storyboarding and giving advice on scene building and desktop editing.
Tips and examples of kids creating stop motion animations