Have you ever watched Shaun The Sheep? If the answer is yes, it means that you have watched a stop motion animation. 

Stop motion is a filming technique that captures one frame at a time, with a physical object moving between frames. The illusion of motion will appear when the image is rotated quickly. 

Stop Motion Animation 101: The Best Way To Do It

source: boomerang.asia

The principle of stop motion is actually similar to the principle of 2D animation in early Disney cartoons, but stop motion uses physical objects instead of pictures/illustrations.

Each object movement is captured with individual frames. Taking photos of these individual frames will produce many photos according to the movement of the object, so that when this series of frames is played in quick succession and repeatedly, the object will appear as if it is moving.

Want to know more? Let’s dive further into the world of Stop Motion!

Types Of Stop Motion Animation

There are 7 types of popularly used stop motion animation:

1. Object Animation

Object animation is the most common type of stop motion animation. This type of stop motion uses solid objects such as blocks, dolls, or drink cans. These objects are arranged and moved according to the concept and are used as the main visual points.

Object animation is often used in video tutorials, advertisements, or videos that are used for marketing or marketing needs.

2. Clay Animation

Clay animation is a type of stop motion animation that uses elastic and flexible materials such as clay (ahem, Shaun The Sheep!) or flour that has been shaped like dough. These materials are shaped like statues or certain shapes that are used as the main object in stop motion.

3. Pixilation Animation

Pixilation animation uses live actors or people who then act like dolls. Shooting in this type of stop motion is usually done repeatedly by utilizing the movement of the actor little by little to the next frame like a moving doll.

4. Cut Out Animation

This stop motion animation involves taking pictures from paper, cloth, or photos that have been cut into many parts. It is most often used by beginners. Why? Because not only is the process easy, but the materials for making cut out animation are also easy to find.

5. Puppet Animation

Puppet animation uses objects like puppet characters, dolls, or other figures. Puppet animation uses materials that are flexible and easy to move when shooting frame to frame, such as carved wood, cloth, clay, and so on.

6. Graphic Animation

At first glance, this type of stop motion is similar to 2D animation. Graphic animation is a type of stop motion animation that uses photos or images as animated objects. This type of stop motion animation is more conceptual than the cut out stop motion. The difference between stop motion graphic animation and 2D animation is that this type involves many photos or images that have been physically printed beforehand, which are then arranged according to the concept of a stop motion story and the pictures are taken frame by frame.

7. Silhouette Animation

Silhouette animation uses objects that have been cut previously, then assembled as a black shadow (silhouette) or dark image. This type of silhouette animation is now more often used as a work of art.

Also read: Things You Need To Know About Animation Showreel

How To Make A Stop Motion Animation

How To Make A Stop Motion Animation

So how does one make a stop motion animation? Check out the steps below.

Step 1: Do A Casting Call

Look around to see the little things you want to move. For example, when you are inspired by breakfast, you want to use a sunny side-up egg as an object. 

Step 2: Create the Scene

Next, find an area with plenty of light. You can use natural light or artificial ones. Windows and lamps can also be good sources of light. Papers or other background objects can be utilized to create an interesting color palette.  Glass plate is a great idea to keep your object and background separate and avoid getting wet. The glass also creates interesting shadows under your object.

The key to a great stop motion animation is to keep the camera or phone as still as possible. Use a small stand or tripod. If you don’t have one, lean your device on something sturdy. Set a timer so that you don’t accidentally shake it when you hit the shutter button. Take a few test shots of your scene to find the combination you want.

Step 3: Shoot, set, reshoot

Once the scene is ready, it’s time to set the animation steps. Stop motion animation is theoretically easy: take a picture, move or change your subject, repeat. This can take a while, but don’t worry about making mistakes along the way. Minor vibrations or imperfections can add charm. For a smoother animation, make small, gradual adjustments to your subject. More dramatic movement between images will give the animation a choppy look.

For example, if we want to make a stop motion animation with the egg gradually being bitten bit by bit, use a glass or spoon to chop off the bit, taking photos after each “bite. 

Step 4: Stack it up

Once you are done taking the photo, you can do some basic editing in Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom on your device and then save the photo to your computer. Then, you will need to use Adobe Photoshop as one of the applications to make stop motion. In Photoshop, select Load Files in Stack from the File menu, browse to Images and click OK. This part may take some time as Photoshop loads the images and creates individual layers for each image.

Step 5: Set things in motion

From now on, most of your work will be done on the timeline, so open the timeline and select Create Animated Frame from the dropdown menu. If Photoshop adds the first frame by default, continue to the next step.

Step 6: Add and reverse

The pop-up menu at the top right of the timeline contains most of the options you’ll need to move it around. Start by selecting Make Frames From Layers. Depending on how your files are named, your windows may be in reverse order. To fix this, select Select All Frames from the menu and then Reverse Frames. Press the spacebar on your keyboard to see the animation.

Step 7: Make it double time

To repeat/loop the animation, select all the frames again and click the + icon to repeat it. With the duplicate frames still selected, select Reverse Frames and delete the duplicate frames in the middle of the animation.

Step 8: View the Effects on Time

Experiment with time to see how the different settings affect the animation. Adjust the time of specific frames to create a pleasant pause in the animation.

Step 9: And Done!

If you want to share your animation on Instagram, save it as a video. Select Render Video as the Export option, name the file and select a destination. To save it as an animated GIF, select the Save for Web (Legacy) export option, select GIF as the file type, set the image size, set Looping Options to Forever, and click Save.

Also read: Get to Know What is Motion Graphic and the Examples

The Easy Way To Make Stop Motion Animation Videos

Are you ready to make an easy stop motion to introduce your product? You can make it the easy way! Superpixel is ready to make stop motion videos for you. Contact our team in Superpixel Singapore and tell us your ideas, we’ll make it happen!