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Easy and Creative Stop Motion Animation Techniques

by Will Kalif

Stop Motion Animation is a very creative hobby. It is also very inexpensive to start out in; and you can probably do it for no cost at all. All you need is a typical digital camera, some basic software, and a few ideas. Here are some thoughts and tips to get your creativity flowing in this hobby.
When thinking about doing some kind of animation you have to think outside the box and realize that just about anything at all will make a good subject. And you have to think about the fact that just about any medium will work well also.

Two Dimensional Ideas

Working in two dimensions gives you a lot of creative and inexpensive options. You can simply draw pictures on paper and erase then redraw them to show the motions you want to make. An alternative to erasing is to draw series of pictures on separate sheets of paper and photograph them individually. This can give you extraordinary results but is very challenging to make sure the images stay cleanly tracked without slippage which would make it very jerky and shaky.

An excellent way to draw pictures is to use some kind of an erasable surface. This tends to be much easier than drawing pictures on paper and two excellent mediums for this are the dry erase board and the chalkboard. These make it very easy to erase potions of your drawing and redraw the motions. I highly recommend using a dry erase board if you want to get some great looking animations and if you have some skill in drawing.

Drawing images of figures and objects then cutting them out and using them in animations is an excellent way to get very creative and very expressive animations. There are two important additions you can make to this style of animation. You can cut the drawing into segments to show motion. An example of this would be to draw a human form then cut it into its different parts like arms, legs, head and torso. This way you can move them individually much as a human moves. Another way to enhance cut out drawings is to make multiple drawings of the same object to show motion or rotation. A good example of this would be a face. You would draw multiple faces such as one with the mouth closed and one with the mouth open. This way you can alternate between the drawings and simulate talking.

Three Dimensional Animation

There are some exciting possibilities available to you when you start to think about doing animation in three dimensions. And the first place you could start is with clay or play-doh. If you don’t have any of these materials you can easily make some out of flour, salt and water. Another very simply yet very expressive technique is to use wire. You can easily shape it into figures and objects. It holds its shape well yet is easy to manipulate into simulations of motion. Wire is so effective that it is often the frame over which many modern figures are made. This technique is called using a wire armature.

Action figures and dolls make great animation subjects as long as they have movable joints and body parts so you can articulate them. But you don’t have to stick with that. Just about any three-dimensional object can be used in interesting ways. You can draw small eyes, noses, and mouths then attach them to any object and come up with an interesting anthropomorphic little project. You can even carve potatoes or apples and get some great videos. And just moving objects around can be the source of some interesting videos. Watching furniture move around a room can be a good idea or watching items move around a desk can also be interesting.

Animating yourself and the real world is also a fun way to approach the hobby. If you stand at attention and take a picture then move forward six inches, stand at attention and take another picture you can come up with a great series of pictures that show you magically sliding around without moving your feet. You can also do the same thing by jumping into the air and snapping a picture of yourself. Move forward six inches, jump, and snap another picture. With this technique you can create an animation that shows you floating around.

Some final tips

Don’t forget the camera. If you really want to make your animations special you should move the camera as you take your series of pictures. You can do this by either zooming in or out or panning from side to side. This moving of the camera is the single best way to make your animations stand out.

While the medium you use for your animation is very important and can turn a plain animation into something special to look at you should put some time and thought into the story of the animation. This is what can turn it into something truly remarkable. Surprise your viewers and keep them guessing as to what will happen next.

Just about anything in your every day world can be transformed into something extraordinary with a little bit of animation magic and a little bit of creativity. Just look around your house and you will discover lots of great ideas.

For more stop motion animation project fun visit Will’s website at: Have fun with Stop Motion Animation

 

About the Author

Will Kalif

Will's site StormTheCastle is a must visit for all creative souls! Will covers a number of different topics in Arts and Crafts. He is also the author of two self-published epic fantasy novels. More info on his site Epic Fantasy.

Copyright for this Article - Will Kalif©


 
   
 

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