What is Stop Motion?
What is stop motion you ask? The answer is simple. Think of Wallace and Gromit or Gumby or Pokey . The characters are made of plasticine. They cannot move by themselves. Someone has to make them move..give them motion. That someone is you. You are the animator. Nick Park for example the creator of Wallace and Gromit simply puts his clay plasticine charaters in front of a camera, takes a snapshot ( picture ) then moves the characters ever so slightly and takes another picture. When you repeat this over and over again and when you replay the pictures you have taken in quick succession you give the impression that the characters are moving all by themselves. That is the answer to what is Stop Motion animation. In fact this principle is used for all methods of animation.
So you too can make an animation.
In general terms all you need is a camera and some animation software.
As for a camera, any type of camera will suffice. You can use a digital still camera, a DSLR camera or a webcamera. They all have their advantages and disadvantages but you can work with any one of them successfully.
As for animation software there is also a number of good choice available to you. You can find some free animation software or you can purchase your stop motion software ranging in $50 to $2000.
Step by Step
OK Step 1 – Consider your preferred medium to animate..What I mean by this is…what do you want to animate. Well there are a number of choices. Brickfilms or legomation has gained a following over the last number of years. It is simple to do and you have a ready made set, characters etc. as part of your standard LEGO kit. Clay animation sometimes called claymation is the traditional stop motion animation method most people are familiar with. For example Wallace and Gromit, Morph etc. Whatever you choose there are some common process or methods used in all stop motion animation.
One of the best introduction to stop motion available on youtube is from BrickBrosProductions. I would encourage you to view it if you are new or even not that new to stop motion animation.
But don’t forget to have fun !