Here’s how to create stop motion animation very quickly using the stop motion effect on TikTok. But if you’re not a TikTok user, this same effect can be achieved in Instagram Reels or Facebook Reels, so stay with me!
Stop motion animation by definition is an advanced flipbook-style form of animation. It involves photographing/filming multiple shots and physically moving objects within your frame. As each frame is played in sequence, the technique creates the effect of an object moving itself.
Having worked on production sets for 30+ years, I know how involved it is to create stop motion. Some of the classic shows like Rudoph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or Wallace and Gromit use clay to create stop motion, which is also called Claymation.
I am amazed how easily these complicated effects can be done now with the tap of the screen on a smart phone in just minutes. But just knowing how the effect works on your phone is not enough information to create really magical videos.
Here are a few helpful tips to creating really effective stop motion animation:
- The TikTok effect is so helpful because you can simply tap the screen, store up the stop motion frames and then press record and the app does the editing for you! It’s so helpful.
- Make sure that your phone/camera does not move for the entire process. So use a tripod or create your own set up with the phone so that it doesn’t move or you don’t accidentally bump it.
- Keep the lighting consistent. If you are using natural lighting, make sure the sun is not moving in and out of the clouds are you film.
- Be mindful of your own shadow in the scene. Position yourself so your shadow is now in the background of the shot
- Plan the beginning and end of the movement so you know the range of motion in the frame. You won’t want to be halfway through your video and not have enough space to do the action you planned.
- Think about the timing of your video because in TikTok, the effect will shoot 10 frames/shots for each second of video. So if you shoot 50 frames, your video will only be 5 seconds long. If you want to create a :15 video, you’ll need 150 frames! That is a lot of little micro moves.
- If you want to have a specific action happen in a certain place in the music, you really have to listen to the music a few times and figure out how many seconds in it will be. If it’s 5 seconds in, you’ll need to shoot 50 frames before getting to that point in the music.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY – each time you tap to record a frame, make sure your HAND IS OUT OF THE SCENE! Otherwise your video will feature your hand popping in and out randomly, ruining the magic.
Here’s the tutorial for TikTok:
Stop Motion Animation on Instagram
The difference in doing stop motion on instagram is that there is not an effect you can use to tap the screen to save the frames. But it can still be done without too much trouble. The only difference is that in Instagram you can’t tap the screen to store up the frames, but you can double tap the record button to create the sequence.
The same list of helpful tips applies since the key to creating stop motion is knowing the production thinking behind it.
Here’s the Instagram tutorial:
Get Creative and Have Fun!
If you didn’t notice from the lessons, I really enjoy the creativity of doing stop motion animation. Knowing the time it takes on a full production set as I’ve witnessed in my career, I am just amazed at how easily it can be done using these apps! It’s a great way to show off your products and your creativity with a quick tap tap of the screen! For more tips check out our FREE WORKSHOPS! The next one will cover how to use effects on these apps to your advantage.