Stop Motion Animation

Stop motion is an animation technique used to make stationary subjects look as if they are moving. This is achieved by slightly altering the poses of objects, photographing each alterations, then viewing them in sequence to make the illusion of movement.

Plenty of materials can be used for stop motion. Some of these are clay figures, wooden mannequins, and paper cut outs — but for this activity, we’re going to use the last one to do our little experiment.

There are no special materials necessary. We just used a whiteboard to sketch the storyboard and draw the backdrop, a digital camera to photograph the different poses (using a tripod is optional, although we recommend using one to make the camera steadier and the shots clearer), a photo editing software to remove unnecessary objects in the photographs, a video editing software to place the photos side by side and play them in sequence, and a printer to print out the illustrations we’re going to use for the project.

Before we started with the project, though, we tried to come up with a storyline first. The direction you want your story to go to is completely up to you, but we suggest you try to start with a simple one first because the more complicated the story is, the more photos it’s going to require; and believe us, taking photographs, sorting them out, and editing them could take quite a while.

After a few minutes of deliberation, we decided to do a short featuring characters from talk@tee’s World of Tokkats taking a jeepney ride, and to give us a better idea of how the project would play out, we did a storyboard featuring sketches of each proposed frame.

After we were done with that, we started drawing the would be background by drawing a typical cityscape on a whiteboard.

Photo of the background illustration used for the stop motion project.

Normally, we would have taken care of the characters first, but since we already had the designs we’re going to use on file, we simply printed them out and placed them against the background. Once that was done, we started taking photographs.

To do this, we assigned one person to take the shots, one person to hold the lights, one person to move the cutouts along the background, three people to move the whiteboard to make the illusion that the jeepney the characters are riding on is moving along the highway, and six people to cheer from the background (Go, guys!) πŸ˜€

All in all, 175 shots were taken, 152 of which made it to the final video. Some of the photos had to be discarded because of continuity errors and lighting issues (we had to shoot indoors under artificial lighting, so we had to make some adjustments every now and then) and some new photos had to be taken because editing some parts out would have taken more time and effort.

When the photos that would be used for the video have been picked, we superimposed some text on the photos in the extro to let people know where to get their own talk@tee shirts.

After that, we used a video editing software to place the chosen photos side by side and play them in sequence then we we gave it a final touch by adding some music on the background – the result of which you’ll see in the video below:

How about you guys, have you tried this before? Do you have any tips or stories that you can share? (^_^)