Stop Motion Animation – A Handy Guide for Parents


March 29, 2019

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Has your child ever made a stop motion movie? Stop motion animation is not a new concept, but today’s technology makes it accessible to all. Here is our handy guide to stop motion animation for parents and their children.

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If your child or teen has access to a smartphone or tablet, how about breaking out their creative side and encouraging them to produce their very own movie using stop motion animation? Here is a guide about stop motion animation for parents.

Stop Motion Animation – A Handy Guide for Parents

What is Stop Motion Animation?

stop motion animation LEGO man with camera on tripod

Stop motion animation is the process of photographing objects one frame at time while moving them marginally between each frame. By loading them onto a stop motion app, the frames you capture can be played back in sequence to create the illusion of movement. These apps enable you to speed up or slow down the frames and most offer extra effects to enhance the movie.

Stop motion animation has been around for over a century. It is used to create animation effects on advertisements, television shows, music videos and in films.

Stop motion can be used to animate inanimate objects, drawings and animate objects (if you can get them to stay still for long enough!).

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Apps To Create Stop Motion Animation Movies

#1. I Can Animate

stop motion appsCreate stunning and exciting animation movies quickly and easily. With I Can Animate you can bring the art of creating stop-frame animations to your iOS devices and then share them for all to see.

I Can Animate has some really great features:

  • Capture frames using either camera on your iOS device
  • Displays onion skinning, so you can easily see the differences between frames you are capturing.
  • Preview captured frames in the scrollable timeline.
  • Adjust exposure, white balance and focus automatically or manually lock the settings.
  • Duplicate & Reorder frames
  • Review last five frames and preview whole project
  • Undo support
  • Capture automatically using the inbuilt time lapse feature
  • Standard & Widescreen display
  • Change playback speed
  • Connect a bluetooth keyboard and capture frames without returning to or tapping the device (iOS7+)
  • Share movies.

Cost: €3.49

#2. Clayframes

stop motion appsClayFrames is easy to use and has a good set of professional features for making stop-frame animation (or claymation) and time-lapse movies.

Clayframes Lite is the free trial version, it’s worth trying this out before you buy the full version to confirm it is compatible with your Android device.

Clayframes includes these features:

  • Mp4 video exporter for Android 4.3 and higher. Plays with built-in Android player.
  • AVI video exporter and player.
  • Onion-skinning (transparent overlay) for smooth movement. Align the current shot with the previous one.
  • Preview Loop: Review your movie as you shoot it! Make fast progress without stopping to review.
  • Trigger camera shutter remotely using a hand clap or the phones proximity sensor. Avoids camera shake.
  • Timed shutter release option for time-lapse movies. Any interval from 1 second to 1 hour.
  • Add audio using the microphone on your device. Record your own vocals, effects or soundtrack.

Cost: €2.39

#3. StopMotion Studio

stop motion apps

Want to create movies like Wallace and Gromit or those groovy Lego shorts on YouTube? Then this is one app you might like to try.

Use Stop Motion Studio to create fun stop action movies with the following features:

  • Overlay mode to show you the differences between frames for precise control
  • Grid mode to position animated objects more easily
  • Ability to use the volume button on your device to capture images
  • Integrated movie editor with frame-by-frame preview at different speeds
  • Cut, copy, paste, delete and insert frames at any position
  • Automatically capture frames with an adjustable time interval feature
  • Zoom in and out on the timeline view so you never get lost, even if you have hundreds of frames
  • Fade your movie in or out for a professional look

It also has parental controls to manage access which is handy.

Cost: Free

#4. Lapse It

Lapse It is available for both iPhone / iPod / iPad and Android. You can use the free version to test it out before upgrading to the Pro version.

Here are some of the features the free app offers

  • Capture shots using your camera
  • Import pre-recorded videos to speed them up or slow them down
  • Auto and manual modes for controlling exposure, focus, ISO and white balance
  • Use any song from your library as the sound track of your video
  • Speed up your time lapse with millisecond precision up to 240x
  • Camera zoom includes even a zoom ramping over time
  • More than 50 filters, including the amazing Tilt-Shift effect
  • Share directly to Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo and many others
  • Tons of post-capture options including trimming, adding timestamp, square mode, backwards playback and more
  • Stop motion with onion skin and touch-less photo snaps
  • Schedule the capture to start and stop automatically

Cost: Free or the Pro version is €3.99

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Making Your Own Stop Motion Animation Movie

A few ideas to get started on your stop motion animation movie career include

  • using LEGO to create Brick Flicks
  • paper cut outs
  • drawings on a chalkboard, whiteboard or simply on paper
  • your siblings, parents, pets or friends
  • clay or play dough
  • dolls and mini figures.

To get going, you should do a few trials with different objects, background settings, lighting and getting the focus just right.

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Has your child (or you) made a stop motion animation movie yet? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!

A parent's guide to Stop motion animation - Mykidstime

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