How to Easily Create Stop Motion Animations with UShoot Studios

About Stop Motion

Stop motion animation (also called stop frame animation) is animation that is captured one frame at time, with physical objects that are moved between frames. When you play back the sequence of images rapidly, it creates the illusion of movement.

Imagine you’ve just drawn a character in the corner of your notebook in slightly different positions of each page. When you flick through the pages the character comes alive. This is in essence stop motion animation, only stop motion uses physical objects.

Adding animation and movement to your product is a great way to create an engaging and fun piece of marketing material. It doesn’t have to be complex or overly difficult, even a simple GIF will add value and encourage potential customer to convert.

Animation then makes a great addition to your social media campaigns.

Here is a Stop motion we shot in the studio with The Healthy Back Bag


Why Shoot Stop Motion at UShoot?

The answer, we make it easy.

Our StyleShoot machines are perfect for shooting multiple frames quickly and efficiently. There is consistent lighting and camera position, along with the machines automatically accurately cutting out the images, what this means is less post-production work on each image and less time taking each shot. It’s simply a case of move the objects, tap the button.

The Animation Guys shot the opening sequence of this cool stop motion in our studio.

The Process

Step 1. The Storyboard

Before you begin you need to know what you want. Whether that’s simply getting a bag to open or close, or something more complex like making a pair of trousers walk by themselves, or even if you want to add drawn in animations over the top.

Draw out a simple storyboard and use that to guide you quickly through the shoot.

Step 2. The Items

Gather up all the items you will need for the shoot.

Step 3. Shooting

Arrange your product and any other items you will be using on the table. Make sure they are as you want them, and now begin.

Note: Making sure you only move the items that you want to each time.

Our machines have a very handy overlay function, so if you do accidentally shift something your didn’t mean to, you can simple enable the overlay and line up the items with the previous image you took.

Step 4. Export & Reshoot

After going through your images you may want or need to reshoot a couple of frames. You can do this retrospectively using our overlay function as a guide.

Once you’re happy export the files.

Step 5. Image Editing

Just like you would with any product photography you want to show off your product in it’s best light. So, editing our any unwanted creases or blemishes on the product is a good idea.

You will also want to create the frame size and shape for the animation, do you want it square, for example?

Step 6. Animate

This is where things get a little more tricky.

There are a number of great animation softwares on the market, however, we like our Adobe software in the studio.

Adobe Animate is a great piece of kit that will let you do almost anything you want, however, you can also animate images in Photoshop and illustrator.

For a simple animation, Photoshop works pretty well.

How to Create a basic GIF in Photoshop

#1 Upload your images to Photoshop.

Go to File > Scripts > Load files into stack

#2 Open up the Timeline window.

Windows > Timeline

Photoshop Timeline.JPG

#3 In the Timeline window, click "Create Frame Animation."

Frame animation.JPG

#4 Select create a new layer for each new frame.

#5 Open the same menu icon on the right, and choose "Make Frames From Layers."

#6 Under each frame, select how long it should appear for before switching to the next frame.

#7 At the bottom of the toolbar, select how many times you'd like it to loop.

#8 Preview your GIF by pressing the play icon.

#9 Save for web.

Choose your settings and save you file as a GIF.

Et Voila! You have movement.