What is Stop Motion?

Stop motion animation is a film making technique which makes it possible for anyone to create their own animated films. The concept is simple; set up your characters, then take a photo, move your characters a little, take another photo, move your characters a little more, take another photo and repeat.

How do you make a Stop Motion?

The images you’ve captured are then played back very quickly - usually at around 12 frames (images) per second. As you are watching your brain magically fills in the gaps and your characters come alive!

Try clicking on the next button, to step through the frames of the penguin animation one by one, then press the play button to see the images played back at 12 frames per second.

This technique has been used in many famous movies, from Jason and the Argonauts, to Wallace & Gromit, the Nightmare before Christmas and many many more.

With minimal equipment and software required to get started, stop motion animation is a wonderful way for students and young people to make their own animated films.

These days it is easy to create a stop motion animation, there is a range of software that allows you to view your scene via a webcam or your device's camera, so you can see on the screen, the image you are capturing. You then move your character or the scene and you will see what is called onion skinning which shows you the last captured frame and the live image, this gives you a guide as to how much to change the scene for the next frame.

After you've captured some frames you can playback your animation to see what you have created, you can then change the speed of the animation, slow it down or speed it up, delete any mistaken frames. This means you can perfect your animation and correct any errors quickly and easily.

You can then add sound and music, speech bubbles and titles and credits to make your animation come to life. Once you have finished you can export your film and share with your friends.

Blue clay man, ready for animating!

What are the benefits of Stop Motion?

Modelling an orange head out of clay with a red hat,ready to start animating
Creating stop motion animations is a great, creative activity, you can work independently or with friends and family and you can animate any topic. For example you could animate a story, a science topic, a historical event, a birthday poem, animation allows you to express anything in an interesting, novel way. Animation is an educational activity that promotes problem solving, critical thinking and builds confidence.

Stop Motion Animation is an inexpensive, adaptable project that can appeal to all ages.

What can I animate?

You can animate all sorts, why not give the following a go?- Paper - cut out pictures from magazines, or newsapers- Modelling Clay- Lego or Playmobil, make great animation characters, this genre of animations is called brick films.- Cuddly Toys - Any physical object, mugs, paperclips, food you can animate anything!
2 children creating an animation background with paper cut-outs and crafts