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Computing - Stop Motion Animation

What is Stop Motion Animation?

Stop motion animation (also called stop frame animation) is animation that is captured one frame at time, with physical objects that are moved between frames. When you play back the sequence of images rapidly, it creates the illusion of movement. If you understand how 2D drawn animation (early Disney) works, stop motion is similar, except using physical objects instead of drawings.

The basic process of animation involves taking a photograph of your objects or characters, moving them slightly, and taking another photograph. When you play back the images consecutively, the objects or characters appear to move on their own.


You see stop motion animation all the time—in commercials, music videos, television shows and feature films—even if you don’t realise it. While it is common for people to think of stop motion as just one specific style, such as clay animation, the reality is that stop motion techniques can be used to create a wide range of film styles.


Capturing Stop Motion Animation

Early stop motion was captured with film cameras. Animators could not see how their work looked until they got their film processed. They used surface gages to keep track of where their characters were, and how far to move them. If the animation was not fluid, if the set had been bumped, or if the lighting was bad, the work was lost and the animator had to start all over again.


Later, special video machines allowed the animator to view the last one or two frames, and compare those to the live video from the camera. This allowed them to get a sense of how their animation was progressing.



How to Make Stop Motion Videos

Stop motion is actually a really easy thing that everyone could integrate into their videos. Here, I start out with a broad overview of where you could start and then where you could end up. I also provide a really easy way that everyone can create great stop motion videos for cheap!

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