Animation filmmaking is a world of many techniques – mostly digital. However, there is an animation technique that involves taking real world photographs and piecing them together. We’re talking about stop motion animation – the technique that is quite famously exhibited in movies like the Nightmare Before Christmas and popular children’s shows like Bob the Builder, Pingu and more. While the examples given are elaborate productions, it is not too difficult to make your own stop motion animation videos. However, there are a few things you’ll need before you can start.

What you need

To make a stop motion animation video, you’ll need:
  • A camera: The most important factor is clarity, followed by low-light photography. Many modern smartphone cameras would be good enough.
  • A tripod: The camera needs to be still during the same shot.
  • Animation subjects: It could range from toys, figurines, vehicles and more.
  • Lighting: As needed
  • Isolation: A breeze-free room

How to make a stop motion video

Here are the quick steps to follow:
  • Storyboard: Before doing anything else, hit the storyboard and visualise the entire sequence you intend to shoot. This will form the framework of your shoot.
  • Choose location: Someplace that is not too breezy and can have natural lighting if needed.

    Finalise your setup before shooting

  • Set up scene: The backdrop to your animation – the non-moving objects and setup – should be entirely in place. There shouldn’t be any possibility of breeze or shaking.
  • Set up camera: Fix the camera in place using a tripod and ensure that it is not moved. Use a remote shutter to minimise any possible disturbances.

    Use a remote shutter to minimize movement

  • Set up lighting: Once your camera and setup are in place, fix the lighting by checking the shot on the camera. Adjust it until you’ve got just the view you want.
  • Shoot: Click your frames sequentially, following the storyboard you created earlier with your animation subjects. You can click fewer frames for a jumpy effect, or more frames for a smoother or even a slow-motion effect.

    Move your characters and subjects only a little between frames

  • Record sound: Once you’ve got the shots you need, it’s time to record your audio. Pay extra attention to details and background sound.
  • Edit: Bring everything together in the editing software of your choice and complete the tweaks for your final version.

Voila, you’ve made your own stop motion animation video! Create more complex storyboards and intricate setups, and unleash your inner film-maker.

Image Courtesy: Canva, Wikimedia Commons, Pixabay