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  • Writer's pictureKaren Ruffles

Stop motion animation - turning photos into film.

This week I'm going to show you the basic steps in putting your photos together to create an animated sequence. I normally use Videopad which offers a pro package for a small one off fee - I chose it because it's also very similar to the old Windows movie maker but that's got slow lately and I needed to do a quick clip in a hurry. While rummaging through the apps on my laptop, I discovered that Photos has a video option so decided to give it a whirl. This is what I've used for the screenshots below as it's also really basic and easy to see what I'm talking about. They all work in basically the same way, you do the same things in the same order, some programmes just have more extras - filters, effects that help smooth things out and so on.

How to make a stop motion sequence using Photos.

Step 1. You need to add your photos into your editor. If your film is one continuous scene, grab the lot. If you have several scenes, just add the photos from the first one. It's much easier to do one sequence at a time, save it and move on to the next, then deal with stitching those together and how you transition from scene to scene later. Also, you may want to reuse some of this material for a future project so having a copy of each element can be handy down the road.

Step 2. The main thing that's going to affect how your film looks is the frame rate. I mentioned in the last post that 12 frames per second works well for starters. This means you need to change the clip speed/duration to make sure each photo is shown for the correct amount of time. Depending what programme you are using, you can do this when you have added the images or in Photos, when they have been added to the storyline. Simply select all of the images and set to 0.08 seconds.

Step 3. Save it! Save your video at the highest resolution, this will look better and display well on a larger screen. You can always reduce it later. Have a quick look at the saved video to make sure everything is ok, then do any other scenes.

Step 4. Titles and effects. Title cards are a really easy way to finish off your film. One at the beginning with the name you've chosen for your animation gives it a good start and another at the end can include any credits, website address or a message. These need to show for a longer time than your photos obviously so next is a very quick clip with a title card at the beginning set to 3 seconds followed by a dozen photos at 1/12 of a second to give you an idea how all this looks in action.

There you have it - in four steps, a stop motion film with titles. Told you it was easy :) In the final post on the topic, I'll go through some additional editing options - adding sounds, transitioning smoothly between scenes and video effects to give you more creative options. See you next week!

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