Stop-motion is a great way to tell a story.
A story that goes way beyond traditional video and images.
With stop-motion, you can create the illusion of movement through a choreographed performance, and “hack” it into a video by combining multiple images (12 or 24 per second).
You can do skate tricks…
or you can bring objects to life.
Today we’ll explore the world of stop-motion, and how to do a basic stop-motion video with this incredible technique.
The first stop-motion was made in 1898
Stop-motion is an old technique. In fact, it is believed that the first use of this technique was back in 1898 for the movie The Humpty Dumpty Circus from the filmmakers J. Stuart Blackton and Albert E. Smith. The movie was unfortunately lost.
No matter how old, this technique remains used in many films and commercials in all sorts of ways even today.
5 Ideas for Stop-Motion Videos
1. Fight gravity
Just think of stop-motion as a way to animate anything in real life.
Objects, food, people – basically anything can be turned into animation of your choice.
2. Show your process
3. Do the impossible
A friend of mine did this great example of how creative you can get with stop-motion. Just get a glass of whisky.
4. Make something delicious
When I started making cocktail videos I had one idea in mind – I want to show the process of making the drink in a quick way. I wanted to have very accurate and vibrant colors.
I’ve decided to make these short videos in stop-motion, shooting .RAW images that I can easily edit and match with the perfect colors.
5. Show how it works
Put a spotlight on your product, by showing how it works in a stop-motion video. You can make it spin or fly.
This also allows you to do a lot of retouching by editing the original photos before you put them into a sequence.
3 Lessons for Perfect Stop-Motion
1. Stabilize your camera
Use a tripod, or mount your camera so that it’s stable. If your camera is not stable you will see a lot of movement and shaking, which will cause the stop-motion to flicker.
2. Constant Light
Use an LED light, lamp, or anything that will not change the lighting over time. Using variable sunlight will cause flickers in your stop-motion video, which will eventully ruin your sequence.
3. Plan the performance
Although stop-motion is not easy, planning your performance and actions will help you to avoid multiple takes.
Take some notes, or draw a storyboard of your timeline before you start filming. Then, make sure you have everything in hand when filming.
Get Stop Motion Studio
Stop Motion Studio is a great and free app that works with iOS, Android, Windows and MacOS! It has variety of tools designed specifically for stop-motion.
For example, it allows you to have a remote shutter by just using your heaphones volume button, your Apple Watch, or a Bluetooth device as a shutter release.
It also allows you to draw on top of your images with different painting tools.
Learn stop-motion with Kevin Parry
If you are looking for a great tutorial on stop-motion, make sure you watch this video from Kevin Parry. He perfectly explains how stop-motion works, and what are the steps you need to do in order to achieve the perfect stop-motion sequence, with your smartphone.
And if you want to get deep into it, there is an entire course on Motion Design School where he teaches stop-motion.