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Make a Stop Motion Animated Movie

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The Basics

Stop motion animation (also known as stop action animation) is the process of stringing together a series of still shots to create a movie. It can be done with clay (Wallace & Gromit and Gumby), puppets (The Nightmare Before Christmas) or anything else you can easily photograph and move around. Although you can achieve stunning results, don't be nervous! Stop motion animation is easy and fun to do with kids, even the younger ones.

Necessary tools:

  • a digital camera
  • video editing software
  • plenty of harddrive space to hold your photos and movie
  • for longer movies, a place where you can record and leave the camera and set uninterrupted if you need a break
  • optional: a tripod to keep the camera steady, adjustable lighting

As you get started, please keep in mind the following tips:

  • Stop motion animation is fairly simple, but it's also time consuming. Don't expect to make a feature-length film, or even a 5-minute short, on your first attempt.
  • You'll want at least 10 photos for each second of film. Plan accordingly!
  • One of the more important rules of stop motion animation is that the camera cannot movie during shooting. Use a tripod or a solid surface where you can keep the camera stable.
  • Directions always say this, but read this step-by-step through once before getting started. That way, you'll avoid surprises later.
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