When the term ‘stop motion’ comes up in conversation there are 2 characters that pop into our brain boxes first: Wallace and Gromit. The characters were created by Nick Park, (who is the current director at Aardman) during his time at The National Film and Television School. Animation companies like Aardman and Laika have been creating stop motion feature films and shorts for a while, but with social media becoming ever more popular, brands have also started using this technique to create mini ads to promote their products:
The plasticine puppets are brought to life through stop motion animation: the process of moving a static object and taking a photograph of each change, then playing the photos in sequence to simulate movement.
Anyone can try stop motion animation, you just have to improvise:
All you need to get started is something to capture and store the frames on, for example: a camera or smart phone. You also need something to steady the device so the movement of the character will look more authentic: ideally a tripod or rig. Not everyone will have these so in the image above you see that I have created something to steady the device using things around the office: blue tack and a cereal bowl! You will also need a static object to animate, you can create a character from plasticine or clay, or use anything you can find: paperclips, pens, fruit, desk buddies – anything you want!
Now we can start animating our character. It’s good to think ahead and have a movement in mind that you want the character to simulate, as this will help you when you create each frame. For the sake of the tutorial I’m just going to make the wooden man’s arms move. I move the arms slightly and take a photo, and then repeat until the arms have completed the movement I want to achieve.
For a smooth animation you would need to have 25 photos per second of animation, but as this is stop motion (and just for fun!) you can get away with less to achieve the whimsical strobe-style movement.
After you have all of your images you will need to transfer them to a computer and edit them using one of the following programs:
-Windows Movie Maker
A more in-depth method and how to use these programs can be found here:
What are you waiting for? Get animating!
If you would like to see my stop motion music video about a frustrated robot, you can view it below:
Written by Vicky