Tips to create the perfect Stop Motion Video
It’s quirky, it’s fun and absolutely cool without a doubt! Stop motion is one of the most captivating and intriguing styles of animation to ever exist! We’ve all been mesmerized by iconic stop motion animation commercials, which probably led us to go to the nearest art and craft store to try our hands on clay stop motion. But you can do much more than that. You can use stop motion animation format for the next holiday, celebrating your company’s anniversary or even a new campaign for thanking your customers!
Want a better idea of what we’re talking about? Check this really cool stop motion campaign we came up with!
But first, begin with some basic steps on how to produce a stop motion video:
Selecting your own concept
This technique works with just about any object- which can move, obviously! Small scale and handmade stop motion videos are highly doable for anyone who’s just starting out. Pick out two apples and make them walk around the office! A makeshift studio is more than enough in this case as this technique is highly liberating and allows imperfection.
Finding the perfect surface
Please for the love of God, stay away from platforms or surfaces that move! Seriously- No wheels! Not only will this reduce the chance of the perfect shot but will give inconsistent results every time you shoot. Having discrepancy from frame to frame is a big red flag.
Setting up adequate lighting
Avoid allowing natural light in the room, as the sunlight keeps on constantly changing- the slightest shift in your lighting will be highly noticeable in your video! The perfect lighting suitable for this technique is= flat, even and well placed lighting. Well placed light with some diffusion will work its magic or you can pull up those settings from your live action video- that works great too! Beware of reflections or hotspots.
Setting up the right background
The perfect backdrop for this would be a crispy and seamless paper backdrop. So grab that paper of choice- 4 foot paper roll, light stands, cross bar and some clips to fasten the paper to your surface of choice.
The right background you ask? Here you go!
Place your camera
When you’ve got everything in its place, it would be the time for you to steady your camera. A good ‘ol tripod will do the trick! Ensure the legs and the centre column are all locked down. You can even use your phone with a steady tripod for the shooting part!
Add an external display to your camera
Make the whole process more efficient by adding an external display to your camera. This way, you won’t have to keep running back and forth to the camera to track the progress. A small line of HD can work for this part, plug it in with your DSLR through HDMI, hook it up with a light stand and you’re all set. If you don’t have an external display, a spare monitor or TV can work too!
BONUS: Shutter release
Get an extra camera controller if you’re planning to invest in stop motion films for the longer run. This way, you totally eliminate the need to touch your camera. Remember, any external movement in your camera can jeopardize your film!
Choose your format
As stop motion films are just pictures, you have all the control over the quality. Most of the stop motion films are between 12fps and 24fps (1920×1080). We recommend JPEG at medium quality for a smoother flow. Having said that, we also encourage you to experiment!
Opt for a higher frame rate
When you opt for a higher frame rate, you enhance the overall flow of the animation. Want to move something across the frame? Why not take 24 pictures instead of 12?! Unlike other animation methods, planning isn’t the key here- experimentation is!
An insider tip: The more pictures you take with slighter movement, the smoother and longer your animation will be! Something took too long? No biggie. Just remove those frames.
Also! Take extra blank frames.
Import and navigate to the first image you took, click on it and select image sequence. This way, you’ll turn your images into a cohesive time-lapse on Premiere. All you need to do is get on with it! So get to experimenting!
Interested in increasing your brand awareness? Check this blog out!