Monday, April 17, 2017

Stop Motion Apps

Stop Motion is a simple way of creating videos without the need to take up time and space with learning lines, getting costumes or space to film.

There are a range of apps available to create stop motion movies. Here are a couple of links showing a range of Stop Motion apps.

In this post we will look at three applications for creating stop motion as well give you some tips. We chose iMovie because a lot of our students have iMovie on their laptops. Stop Motion Studio and Lapse it are two iOS and Android apps that have been given high ratings.

1. iMovie

  • All our students in ES, MS and BS (including a large number of our HS students) have Macs and iMovie is installed
  • It is easy to drop the photos from a device into iMovie 
  • An iMovie project preferences can be setup to automatically size the images to a set duration (we have experimented with making the photo size 0.2 seconds)
  • You are able add voiceover using iMovie

2. Stop Motion Studio

  • Available on the ES iPad cart
  • Allows you to take the images on your device and places them together immediately
  • When taking an image you see a faint impression of the previous image so you can line objects up easily (onion skin).
  • Able to adjust the light settings of the camera within the app. (See tip about lighting below)
  • You can adjust the frame rate to play the images faster or slower
  • Able to record voiceover but not add music
  • Able to edit individual images
  • You can export the finished project to a number of places including your camera roll or Airdrop it to another device.
  • A number of features are Pro features ($4.99 ) such as themes (allowing you to add music) and camera settings.

3. Lapse it

  • Allows you to do all the features mentioned for Stop Motion Studio (SMS)
  • Same sort of restrictions as Stop Motion Studio
  • Found it not as intuitive as SMS
  • Picture taking slower - sometimes caught my hand in the picture
  • Couldn't find a way to delete individual images


Tips for Stop Motion

  • The smaller the movements the smoother the motion. Stop Motion can be very time consuming and create a lot of images but the more small adjustments you make the smoother the movements.
  • Using Lego pieces, particularly the characters is a quick and easy way to do stop motion
  • Make sure that the device is secured on a tripod or frame of some sort. Having students hold the device just doesn't work for stop motion.
  • Storyboarding is vital. Just like with other forms of digital storytelling, planning gives direction and saves time. use the storyboard to work out camera angles and closeups etc.
  • Keep the setting small and contained. Using a box to contain the foreground and background is a great idea. You want the device to just capture the story and not distractions like people or furniture in the background 

  • Lighting is important.  Too little light will make the images grainy but too much light will wash out the photos. Also be aware of shadows created by the device and other objects. Using a desk lamp could be useful.