Introduction

Making movies has never been easier. The wide availability of mobile devices, computers, and inexpensive software options (as well as free Open Source tools and Apps) means that filmmaking can be the domain of just about anyone with a vision of a story and the desire to create.

Stopmotion movies are built on the concept of frame-by-frame, meaning that a video file is contructed of many smaller parts: the frames or shots taken by a camera. The illusion of movement in stopmotion is just that - illusion. Our eyes see the frames moving together in unison, not a collection of parts. The task of the filmmaker is to make that experience as seamless as possible for the viewer, and create a veil of magic on the big or small screen.

Making a movie can be a rewarding experience, although one has to have patience when it comes to making a stopmotion movie. The results will be worth it, however, as your vision for story and characters come to life.

The Tools

With this kit, we will be exploring websites, software programs and mobile apps that allow you to create stopmotion movies. The wide array of options is designed to give you possibilities for what might work for you, given your own access to equipment and software.

The most important tool you can have is your imagination. Be creative with your vision for a story.

Some Setup Ideas to Consider

Make sure your computer has the latest version of one of the following browsers (to download a browser, click on the link and follow the directions).

This kit is designed to get you making and creating. You may want to work with a partner or by yourself. (In some ways, a partner is ideal -- not just for bouncing around ideas, but also for the moving of props and characters when you begin shooting your film.)

Note: This site is just the first page into activities and learning objectives around making stopmotion movies. Use the activities links on the right column to bring you to individual pages. We suggest you do the activities in sequence, as each builds on the last. But, you are in charge of your own learning ...

Learning objectives

With this kit, you will be able to:

  • Understand, through hands-on play, the way stopmotion movies are constructed.
  • Utilize web-based sites, mobile applications, and other software programs to explore movie making on the small scale.
  • Work through the production process from storyboarding to publishing of a small stopmotion movie.
  • Think through how to use what you have learned to film your own claymation movie.

You will have a better appreciation and understanding of the work and creative effort that goes into making stopmotion movies, and you will have created your own small production.

Patience and communication are key elements to a successful claymation project.

What participants will make

Participants of this project will become immersed in stopmotion animation software and websites and even Apps, and then begin to produce and publish their own short movies.

Remember that making a movie frame by frame takes time and patience. You are creating magic, bringing to life something that is inanimate. Be patient and be positive, and learn from your mistakes.

Review

Potential discussion questions:

  • How do stopmotion and claymation video activities connect to ideas around writing and making?