I have a had a few people ask how we make our stop motion movies, so I thought I would put together a quick stop motion animation tutorial. We use a free download from Microsoft called Movie Maker; if you use an Apple computer you should be able to do everything using iMovie.
How to Make Stop Motion Movies at Home
The first step in making a stop motion animation movie is to take your pictures! Set up your scene, take a photo, move one or more elements of the scene slightly, take another photo, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat. I wrote about making stop motion movies with our DSLR in this post; any camera will work but the DSLR is nice because you can use a camera remote control*.
*This is an affiliate link. Any other affiliate links in this post will also be marked with an asterisk. Purchases made via these links may earn me a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting my site!
Once you have taken all of your photos, you can drag and drop them into Movie Maker. Make sure they are in order – so long as your camera numbered them in order when you took the photos, they should stay in order.
By default, Movie Maker makes each photo last seven seconds. This is much too long! Select all and set a shorter length – you do this under video tools. 0.20 seconds works well for most of our movies, but sometimes we make it a little shorter (to make the pieces move slower). You can also set individual frames to last longer – we did this in Johnny’s Feathers short for the part when the alligator and dog were talking to each other.
Video tools also provides the option of adding narration. We have done this with some of our movies; others are silent. We use our webcam’s microphone for the narration, but you can also plug a microphone into your computer.
There is also the option of adding music – see the button off to the left? If you click the little arrow that points down, it will give you the option of using clips from the Free Music Archive – a feature we haven’t played with, but should!
Movie Maker makes it easy to add titles, credits, and more to your movie. Just pay attention to the text duration – the default is 7 seconds, which in our opinion is too long!
Make sure you change the video duration of your title, as well as the text – it is also set to a very long 7 seconds by default!
When you are done with your movie, you can publish it directly to YouTube, but we like to save ours to our computer first. We use the high-definition display setting, but if you use a webcam that setting may be too high, so you can just click the “Recommended for this project” option.
Happy movie making!