Stop Motion

What is Stop Motion?

Stop Motion, or stop action, is a way to create a video by piecing together pictures taken in quick succession. For our purposes, we will be putting our pictures into iMovie at 10 fps... That means it'll take 10 pictures to make one second of video! If you want to make a 1 minute video, how many pictures do you need to take? That's right... 600!

Stop Motion can be made with ANYTHING. There are lots of examples of "claymation" which is just stop motion using clay figures. A lot of people use Legos because it's easy to determine the exact distance to move your object frame by frame. Small toys work well. You can use ANYTHING.

Your Project:

To create a Stop Motion project, you need to have a plan. Are you sharing information? Are you illustrating a concept? Are you trying to entertain? Are you just going for a cool effect? Will portions of your video be shot from different camera angles? Do you have a beginning, middle, and end? Are you going to include music? What about sound effects? Voiceover? Do you need text slides between portions of your video to help explain your point? Plan, plan, and plan.

Camera: You can use any camera as long as you're able to then upload the pictures to a computer. Of course a regular digital camera on a tripod would be ideal, but you could also use a document camera or an iPod/iPhone. Again, you just need to make sure that the pictures can then be dropped onto the computer. If you take pictures on a camera or iPod from home, you can upload them to your home computer. Put them on a flash drive, then you can dump them onto the school computer.

Saving: When you create a new iMovie project, it will prompt you to save. It should automatically save in the Movies folder on the computer on which you're working. Be sure to use the same computer each day when you return to work on your project. Log in as the same student partner each day.


Lego Animation:

  • Lego Stop Motion The camera angles, choreography (planning), and sound effects really made this project sophisticated.
  • Star Wars Lego Stop Motion The filmmaker used narration to help tell the story. How did he do the animations that were "in the air?" The filmmaker also used a wide variety of camera angles for different portions of his movie, and used manual focus to simulate some special effects. How did he simulate the holograph of Princess Leah at the beginning?

Animating Other Stuff: