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Stop Motion Animation

What Is Stop Motion?

Stop Motion is animation that is captured one frame at time, with physical objects that are moved between frames.

Stop-motion animation is based on a simple process: placement, photography, and repositioning. The artist places all of the objects to be animated in their initial positions. An image of the objects is then captured. Then the objects are moved to slightly different positions and another image is recorded. Typically, this process is repeated hundreds or even thousands of times.

When you play back the sequence of images rapidly, it creates the illusion of movement. Stop Motion Animation is similar to traditional 2D drawn animation, except using physical objects instead of drawings.

Be inspired by these short stop motion animation films by students from SFK Academy.

Making your own stop-motion animation


A device to capture images – mobile phone or iPad or computer and web camera

Animation software or app– there are many out there but Stop motion studio is a good free app to get you started.

Something to keep your camera or device steady – tripod, homemade stand. If you don’t have a tripod, you can use anything that can hold your camera. Remember, keeping your device steady is essential to avoid unwanted camera movements!

Characters, props and backgrounds

You can create your own characters out of clay, plasticine, photographs, paper cut outs, drawings, silhouettes, Lego and other toys. You can create your character literally out of anything!

Basic stop motion production process is as follows:

  • The scene is modeled in real life with props, objects, and materials.

  • The characters are all created along with their different positions and facial expressions, and then set in the appropriate scene.

  • The scene is lit and composed and then it’s ready to be photographed.

  • The characters and scenes are then adjusted slightly, and another photograph is taken.

  • This process is repeated, adjusting the characters and scenes every time until the desired animation and pacing is fully photographed.

  • All of the photographs are then compiled together to create a 3D animation completely done with hand-made photography.

Types of Stop Motion

Claymation - three-dimensional (3D) figures are made out of clay or plasticine and filmed within a 3D set or against a background.

Found objects - characters can be created out of found objects such as household utensils, bottle tops, pencils, Lego etc.

Cut-out - two-dimensional (flat) characters and worlds are made from cut-out paper, pictures, illustrations, found objects and silhouette figures.

Pixelation – people's bodies can be animated one frame at a time.

Discover 30 best stop motion animated movies of all times from Rotten Tomatoes.

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