Stop motion photography is a creative animation technique that blends filmmaking and photography into one fun video. It’s a technique that has been used since the early 1900’s; in Claymation (remember Gumby or recently Wallace and Grommit?) as well as with puppets like in Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. More than a nostalgic special effect, stop motion has recently become very trendy again, with creatives using it to make eye-catching Instagram videos and more.
Trisha Zemp creates stop motion videos for brands such as Bath & Body Works, The New York Times and Martha Stewart Magazine, and in the following Slanted Lens video, shares four tips on how to make great stop motion videos.
- Camera: Canon 5D Mark III
- Lens: Canon 24-70mm f/2.8
- Tripod: Manfrotto 290 Dual Aluminum Tripod with Ball Head
- AC Camera Adapter: Tether Tools Case Relay
- Rosco 8 x 8″ LitePad Vector CCT LED Light
1. Avoid Camera Movement
It can take more than 8 hours to make a single stop motion video, so make sure you use a tripod to eliminate any camera movement. Use a remote to trigger your camera as well to completely avoid camera shake.
2. Frame Rate For Stop Motion Photography
Depending on which medium you are shooting for, your frame rate will change. A cinematic stop motion would have a faster frame rate for a smoother feel, while Trisha likes to use a 10 second frame rate for her Instagram videos because the video has a more bouncy feel, which makes it fun for the popular social media platform.
3. Lighting Stop Motion Photography
When you light for stop motion photography, you can use any light source, but make sure the quality of light remains the same. If you’re using window light, the light will move and will not match, causing a lot of work to clean up in post.
[REWIND: ‘RECYCLED’ – STOP MOTION MADE FROM THOUSANDS OF 35MM NEGATIVES SALVAGED FROM A RECYCLING CENTER]
4. Camera Setting For Stop Motion Photography
Set your aperture between f5-8 so that you’ll be reducing the vignette at the edges and a good depth of field across the entire object.
In the last half of the video, Trisha demonstrates how she creates a stop motion video with The Slanted Lens logo and jelly beans.