Stop motion animation is not a new hobby spurred by 21st century technology. This type of animation has existed as long as movies have been made. Early pioneers such as Wladyslaw Starewicz and Willis O’Brien went on to influence artists like Ray Harryhausen, who in turn influenced contemporary filmmaker Tim Burton. However, you and your family don’t have to have expensive equipment or a Hollywood-sized budget to make your own stop motion film at home.
So many kids become enthralled by Lego. Long before Cartoon Network started broadcasting the Lego Ninjago series, Lego enthusiasts started posting stop motion videos on the Internet. In addition to Legos, objects kids can animate include action figures, dolls and clay figures—just about anything that can be easily moved or manipulated.
To start your project, you will need a digital camera or use the camera on your phone, some type of video software like Windows Moviemaker or iMovie for Mac and a tripod or other sturdy place for your camera. Or, a specialized camera made for kids might make a well-received “big gift” for the holidays.
Gather the figures and materials you wish to use in your short clip. To have a smooth video in the end you will need to shoot about 10 photos per film second.
As you snap your photos, be sure to make slight adjustments for each movement of your objects. Using slight adjustments will keep the end product from looking choppy. Once you’ve taken all the pictures you’ll want, import the photos to your video software in the order in which they were taken. Each picture is a separate frame of the video. Add music, dialogue or text. Then, sit back and watch.