Stop Motion Animation Basics


  • Create a short stop-motion animation with photographs


  • 9.1 Decide when to use animation
  • 9.2 Recognize types of animation (frame-based, vector, rollover, morphing, 3-D, virtual reality)
  • 9.3 Create a storyboard
  • 9.4 Pose characters
  • 9.5 Incorporate timing
  • 9.6 Use software to create animation
  • 9.7 Crop multiple image frames
  • 9.8 Create backgrounds
  • 9.9 Test animations
  • 9.10 Convert files


  • Animation film saved as an .mp4 file


  • To be added


  • Searchfor “stop motion” or “stop action.”
    • Note ideas to bring to your group.
    • Note things that are physically impossible in real life.
  • Review stop motion filming stages and roles
    1. Planning
      • Record group’s brainstorm ideas on paper
      • Outline/script the series of events in your project
      • Storyboard (shot list) general composition of each event
      • Materials/equipment list
    2. Recording
      • Composition – This student is responsible for the setting, background, and blocking of each shot. Review photography compositions. View clip from “Hero”
      • Camera movements – This student is responsible for a steady tripod and camera. All camera movements are made in small increments. Review tripod features, quick release plates, pan, track, zoom, tilt…
      • Animator – This student is responsible for making sure movements are done in small increments.
      • Continuity – This student is responsible for making sure each shot flows to the next continuously with out changes to the background, lighting, or subjects. Watch Star Wars continuity mistakes.
    3. Editing
      • Edit/arrange clips
      • Color/effects
      • Audio
      • Import images/export video and submit final product
  • Form groups made by instructor
  • Show paper to instructor for credit during the planning stage (each student)
  • Begin recording stop motion
    • Groups self-assign recording roles
  • Upload images to Pictures folder or iPhoto (iPhoto will link directly to iMovie)
  • Edit (TO BE ADDED)


  • Point and shoot camera
  • iPhoto
  • iMovie
  • YouTube


Lesson co-developed with Josh Everson