If you’re looking for information about how to make a stop motion video, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we’ll dive into what stop motion video is, how to shoot for stop motion, and how to edit stop motion. Plus we’ll share some ideas and examples.
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Stop motion is an animation technique in which one frame is captured at a time. In between each shot, the objects in the frame are moved slightly. When the images are strung together in a video, it gives the impression that the objects are moving on their own.
You’ve likely seen this technique used in popular films like The Nightmare Before Christmas or Wallace and Gromit.
But many brands are jumping on the stop motion bandwagon as well, creating simple animations to grab attention on social media. Here’s a super simple example, created by video production agency Visual Country for Neutrogena.
Today, stop motion videos are created using specialized software like Dragonframe, stop motion maker apps, and even stringing together photos in simple video editing programs. In the following sections, we’ll show you how to make a stop motion video of your own, using your phone or a simple camera to take photos, and Animoto to put them together.
So how do you shoot for a stop motion video? Basically, the steps look something like this:
Here’s a quick video to help you visualize the process:
Arguably the most important part of shooting a stop motion video is the setup. You need to make sure your camera stays still throughout the entire process. If your camera moves just a tad, that’s fine. But if it moves a lot, it’ll create a jump in your animation and it can be difficult to get everything lined up again.
To show you what we mean, here are 2 examples. The first, shot with a tripod, shows what a stop motion animation looks like when the camera remains still. The second shows what can happen if your camera moves during the process. It's been slightly exaggerated for effect.
To keep your camera steady, try using a tripod or simply lean your phone or camera against something sturdy. To avoid extra shake, you can try a simple bluetooth camera remote like this one.
Want to shoot something from above that’s resting on the floor or a table? Check out our article on how to DIY an overhead shot with what you have, including simply getting creative with it as in the example below.
Once you’ve shot your stop motion video, it’s time to put it all together! In this section, we’ll show you how to put it all together using Animoto. Animoto’s got everything you need to create marketing videos of all types, including stop motion capabilities using the Photo Burst feature.
If you’re not an Animoto customer yet, sign up for a free account to get started. Log in and click Create to start a new video. Choose Start from Scratch, and you’ll be prompted to select a theme and an aspect ratio.
Next, click on the small plus sign icon at the bottom of your workspace. This will open up the Add a Block window. Click Burst on the left-hand side of the window. Animoto videos are built by mixing and matching blocks. The Burst block allows you to add a quick sequence of up to 15 images to your video.
You’ll be asked to choose a transition. We recommend the Hard Cut transition for a clean-looking stop motion effect.
Next, upload the photos that you shot for your stop motion animation and drag and drop them into the Photo Burst block. Make sure you’re adding them in sequential order, from first to last.
If you’ve got more than 15 photos—the maximum number a single Photo Burst block accepts—that’s not a problem. Simply add a new Photo Burst after the first and continue adding your images.
Once your photos are added, it’s time to set the speed. Click the stopwatch icon in the Burst block, and you’ll find three speed options—Slower, Faster, and Auto. Click through to select the speed that feels best to you.
Once that’s done, you’re ready to put the finishing touches on your video and produce. Feel free to add more blocks, add text, or select music from our library that fits the mood of your stop motion video. When you’re ready, produce your video and share it with the world!
Now that you know how to make your stop motion video, it’s time to start brainstorming! We’ve put together a few ideas and examples to help inspire you. For even more inspiration, check out our post on 7 easy stop motion video ideas for business.
Animoto features several templates with stop motion elements already included, like the Giveaway Offer template shown below. You can also try out the Simple Holiday Stop Motion, Vocabulary Lesson, or DIY: Beauty Tutorial templates. Each features stop motion elements that are part of the template. You can keep them if you like, or just use them for inspiration.
Our first idea has everything to do with your product or service. Come up with ideas for how you can make what you’re selling stand out with the motion of stop motion. As part of a Brand Camp event, pro photographer Vanessa Joy and Animoto Senior Marketing Manager Sally Sargood created the following video for NYC café Bluestone Lane.
The video not only features a fun Photo Burst up front, using the Bluestone Lane cup. But it incorporates stop motion at the end when a cup of coffee seems to empty on its own. How did they do it? They carefully used a straw to sip out a little bit of coffee at a time in between shots.
For a simple idea, try simply adding items one at a time to your scene. As part of Brand Camp, Vanessa Joy also showed how this is done. Check out her quick tutorial below. If you’re interested in learning more, check out her full video about taking better photos and videos with your smartphone.
This style of video can work for all sorts of use cases, not just food on a table. For instance, if you’re selling clothing, try putting together and accessorizing an outfit, one piece at a time.
This example offers a different take on featuring a product. To highlight the crackers in the video below, I added a simple paper cutout and moved the crackers around in it.
Colorful cutout paper backgrounds and moving shapes are a fun way to capture attention. Try using your brand colors for extra recognition.
Create a stop motion animation about a trend related to your business. You can get it in front of more people by using hashtags related to the trend. Here’s an example of a video shared to remind people about Small Business Saturday. To learn more about making the most about trending hashtags, check out our article on Instagram growth hacking.
Last but not least, try including people in your stop motion video. People really connect with other people, so including a person in your video can lead to more people stopping to watch.
Here's an example, featuring my collection of Animoto t-shirts. It took about 15 minutes to make, using my iPhone and the Photo Burst block.
BONUS IDEA: Try turning your stop motion video into a GIF! You can post it on social media, or include it in an email. Check out our post on how to turn your video into a GIF, as well as our post on using video in email marketing.
Have you created a stop motion video? We’d love to see it! Drop a link in the comments or head over to share it with us in the Animoto Social Video Marketing Community on Facebook. Happy animating!