Making Stopmotion Movies
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 and its offshoot -- claymation -- hold a special appeal for moviemakers of all ages. There is something magical about the way an inanimate object can seemingly come to life. This kit is designed to provide the framework for creating your own stopmotion movies.
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.
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 ...
Students Working on Stopmotion Movies
- Getting Started: Playing Around with Stopmotion
- Is This Thing On? Using a Webcam for Stopmotion
- Claymation Creation: Making a Movie
- Hack and Remix a Movie: Attack at the Zombie Factory
- Hack and Remix a Movie: A Boy and his Atom (from IBM)
Why We Are Doing This:
See the objectives of this kit and how it aligns to our learning goals. Don't get spooked, though. Our learning objectives include having fun with the making of movies.
An Overview of Stopmotion
And now ...
Start making your own magic. Head up to the Activities section and begin your exploration. We can't wait to see what you can make!
This Kit was created by Kevin Hodgson, sixth grade teacher in Southampton, Massachusetts, USA, and technology liaison with the Western Massachusetts Writing. The work here is supported by the National Writing Project .