You always wanted to shoot your own stop motion movie, but do not know how to start? Then you are exactly in the right place. This step by step tutorial will guide you through 10 steps from the planning of your film project to the final result. So nothing stands in the way of your creativity!
What is Stop Motion?
Before we start, we first have to sort out what a stop motion movie is. Stop motion is a film technique used to breathe life into motionless objects. You can use it to move plastic lumps in front of the camera, let your LEGO® figures experience the wildest adventure and achieve spectacular effects. Many movies were realized with this technique. The great thing about it is that you can shoot such a movie at home!
The Stop Trick
Every film camera takes a lot of individual pictures, usually between 24 and 30 per second. If these images are played back quickly one after the other, it looks like one continuous movement to the human eye. So, to make a stop motion movie, start with a photo. After photographing the subject, you change a little thing and take a photo again. If you act skillfully and repeat that often enough, the pictures will look like a normal movie if you show them one after the other. You can imagine it like a flipbook, just digital and with photos.
In this tutorial, you’ll learn everything you need for your first stop motion movie. How to develop the idea, which equipment you need and how to put the pictures together afterwards.
The stop motion technique is almost as old as film itself. Its founder is the French film pioneer Georges Méliès, who discovered the so-called stop trick in 1896 (supposedly by accident). He stopped the camera during the filming, removed an object and then let the camera keep running. When the film was played back, the object had disappeared in a “magical” way.
Throughout film history, stop motion technology has gained in importance through its use in special effects. For example, for animating miniature models in movies like King Kong and Star Wars Episode IV to VI. In this area, analog animation technology has been almost completely superseded by digital effects and CGI in recent years.
Modern stop motion films are usually very elaborate productions with models from 3D printers and the latest computer technology. But the big advantage of the stop motion technique is that anyone can create movies at home! If you want to shoot a LEGO stop motion movie you are not alone. On YouTube, a search for “LEGO Stop Motion” delivers over 2,800,000 results, that’s almost three million videos!
All you need for production is the idea, a camera, a small set and figures or other objects as performers. The use of LEGO® is a natural fit with the variety of available stones and parts. That’s why the so-called Brickfilms have created its own category of Stop Motion Animation, which deals only with the animation of LEGO bricks.
I’ll describe the animation with LEGO minifigures in this tutorial. Of course you can also use other materials or homemade figures.
Click the Next button and I’ll walk you step by step on your way to your first LEGO stop motion animation. I wish you a lot of fun!