Have you seen a stop motion on Instagram or elsewhere and thought you would like to have a go? Or wondered how they are made? I have made a few lately. Whilst I am still learning I thought I would share all I know so far.
If you are new to the world of stop motions then effectively they are a mini movie made up of still photos. The ‘movement’ of the items in the movie is made manually by yourself in increments and a photo is taken at each stage. They work much like a flip book you may have had as a child. A stop motion is a great way to make items move that wouldn’t normally move and visually represent something in a way that will delight or surprise others.
To make the stop motions below I used my iphone 6, a small grip tripod on a larger camera tripod, and a bluetooth remote. I had a white back drop which is a piece of shelving placed on a table. Props such as flowers, pencils, pencil case, notebook.
The apps I used were Photoshop (not essential) and iMovie on my Mac laptop. There are apps on your phone which you can use but I haven’t used any yet.
I have written this guide to share how to make the simplest and shortest stop motions. The one’s I have made are no longer than 14 seconds.
How to make a stop motion
Before starting it is a good idea to come up with a creative idea and maybe storyboard or plan what you are going to make. For the three below I wanted to convey the idea of creating beauty with words so I thought about how to visually represent that. Hence, pencils for the action of writing words and flowers for the beauty created.
Then I needed to think what I wanted them to do. For one stop motion I thought that I would like the pencils to dance a bit and then shoot out the flowers and the flowers to dance. In another I wanted the pen to write something so it made a number with petals. Then in another stop motion I wanted the flowers to appear in a notebook as if from a pencil and then for them to dance.
Here are some stop motions I have made:
Weekends are for playing. This one is for the writers who create beauty. . . #hopewriters #bloomandgrowtogether #dayofsmallthings #awakethelight #tinytinymoments #simplepleasures #abmlifeisbeautiful #beautyinthemundane #flowersofig #lovelysquares #dayslikethese #graceupongrace #stopmotion #WHPoddlysatisfying
There’s so much information out there on writing and publishing it’s hard to know where to start and who to trust. . There is a process and it doesn’t have to feel like a mystery. . From a blog post to an article, to a book, publishing is about sharing your work. . You are already on the writing path! . The hope*writers have created a short fun quiz to discover where you are in the writing path and how to move forward. . Access the quiz via link in my profile. You’ll discover your stage in writing process and tips to get you to the next stage! . 🎼bensound.com
It is really important that you set up your camera on a tripod so that all your photos are of the same area. I used a camera tripod and as I was using my phone and don’t have an adapter for the larger tripod, I used the mini grip phone tripod to grip around the tripod. You will need to face the camera/phone as face down as you can get it. Here’s my set up in front of a window but not on a bright sunny day – despite the paddling pool in the background!
Then I took a series of photos moving items a small amount each time. I use a Bluetooth camera remote so I don’t have to touch the phone and risk jogging it. It also makes the process quicker. You can use apple headphones as a shutter release. For example here is a series of the first few shots of the ‘How’ movie. There were 42 stills in the movie in total. (If you are looking for a letter board like mine, here is a link.)
I edited the photos in Photoshop by brightening them (recording the action and batch processing so that it is consistent across the whole movie) but if you have good enough photos, that are lit well then you may not need to do this.
Making the stop motion in iMovie
Here is a mini movie of making the movie!
Make a new movie with no theme, add media – your photos to project media. (my photos are all square because I want a square movie for instagram)
Select all and drag to your movie time line window.
Make sure all the stills are selected and go to the crop button and select fit.
Make sure all the stills are selected and you want to change the duration to something between 0.2 -0.6 seconds.
Press play and watch your movie!
You may notice the flow isn’t quite right (or like I did, a rogue hand is in one of my stills), so you can go back and delete or add more stills or add stills again to repeat a section. You can also add music if you want to, but this is just a basic guide.
Share on Instagram
To share the movie on Instagram, I put the finished movie file into my Dropbox which I can then access on my phone to share on instagram.
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