- HD Camera (with loads of free memory space)
- Film Set
Stop-motion animation can be the most simple way of creating your own animation film. Not only can it be very fun but it also allows you to be very creative and artistic.
First of all before you start anything you will need to think of an idea to base your animation around. It can be anything from an artistic video with loads of creativity in, or a simple story which has a meaning to it to send out to the public. Which ever idea you choose, it is best to start of with a simple idea, something which will not be too hard to create being as it is your first time making a stop-motion animation.
Once you have come up with your idea you will need to create a set for your story to unfold on and also you will need to set up all the camera equipment including extras such as lights for example. When setting up your camera you will need to make sure that you have a tripod to place the camera on, this is very important as it will keep the camera still for each photo you take which will also reduce the chance of each photo being out of position which in the final product will show as a major mess. After you have set up your camera you will need to create your set, this can either be something as simple as a cardboard background with maybe images painted/drawn onto it to give the animation a feel of depth and atmosphere or it can be something creative such as lego or plasticine. However when filming you will need to make sure everything placed in the set stays in the exact same position unless wanting to move it, if not then the overall product again will look messy and un-professional. Finally when using l
ighting on an animation set, the one thing you need to take inconsideration is shadows. This meaning that anyone standing in the way of the light or anything causing a shadow onto the set will cause the finish product to look once again messy and untidy. So when using lights you must make sure that there is nothing in the way of it to cause a shadow.
When filming the characters you have made out of whether it be lego or clay or anything else, you must make sure that after each photo you take, the character makes a slight movement different from the other (unless you want it to stay still for the whole clip). Doing so will give the overall effect that the characters that you have created are moving around like a living thing.
Once you have finished creating your stop-motion animation, it is now time to upload all the photos you have taken on the camera to the computer. You may notice now looking back at all the photos that you have taken that there are in fact a lot of photos, this is why on the equipment list i stated next to "HD Camera" that there must be a lot of free memory to take up on the camera, otherwise you would of struggled to complete a successful stop-motion animation.
Now this is where your computer comes into play. You will need some sort of editing software on your computer in order to merge all of the photos that you have taken together to create your final animation piece. Simple softwares such as "Istopmotion" for Apple computers is a perfect example of a simple yet effective software to use as it is so easy to use and still get an amazing product out of it. Once you have uploaded all of the photos you have taking to the editing software of your choice, it is now time to cut them down into smaller segments for them to all be places together so when played, it shows a fluid stream of photos which create a moving image. To accomplish this you must change the length of each photo to be shown to a shorter amount of time, for example if it is shown for 10 seconds, you will need to cut it down to 1/2 seconds, otherwise the overall film will last for ages and will not look like one moving image.
Once you have cut down all of the photos together and made sure that they are in the right order then you have successfully made your first stop-motion animation. You can now go back and watch your finished product and make any changes if need be, but now that you know the basics of how to create a stop-motion animation, you can now create a whole new variety of different animations.