So many stop motion brickfilms and claymations are disappointing to both the viewer and the new animator because of basic mistakes with lighting when using a webcam. We have all seen those claymations and brickfilms that are creatively very  good but fall down on their lighting or settings on the webcam being used and thus result in poor image clarity and color. You can get good results these days with a budget webcam such as the Microsoft VX-1000 ($20). You do not need a Canon EOS/D DSLR 40 / 50 D etc etc to get good quality shots.

The mistakes are made firstly by in some cases not even installing the webcam drivers but secondly by not using them when they are installed. Take for example the snapshot below of my brickfilm minifig. This is what the picture looks like when you do not adjust any of the settings on the webcam.

Webcam Default Settings

Webcam Default Settings

Now take a look at the image after a few clicks on settings dialogue of the webcam. The difference is dramatic.

Fixed Webcam Settings

Fixed Webcam Settings

So by spending 15 seconds clicking on a few buttons on the webcam dialogue you have moved from a “crappy” image to a near professional image for your stop motion movie. And as you know 15 seconds is a very short time when it comes to stop motion.

How can I do that for my stop motion?

This is how to do it…at least with the Logitech range of webcams.

Open up your webcam application (assuming you have installed it…if not install it!! ).

Turn on Auto First

Turn on Auto First


First of all turn on Auto White balance then under Rightlight settings ..choose use Automatic settings.
Now take a look a your image..much improved..?
Next go back and untick those two options. The image will remain the same.
Also turn auto focus off and use manual focus. If you do not have an option for focus on your webcam software then you normally will have control over focus by manual rotating the lens. If you have no control either through your software or manual on focus..then throw the webcam in the bin and get one that does. You can not make stop motion without control of focus.

If you do have autofocus turned on it is is better to turn if off and manually control the focus. Because if autofocus is turned on it will try to refocus when ever you put your hands in to move you character and will cause untold trouble when viewed on playback.

It’s as simple as that. Give it a go and see how much you can improve your animations.
Good luck with it.!