Stop Motion Animation

The technique of stop motion animation (also known as Stop Frame, and Claymation when using actual moulded clay) works by shooting one frame of an object or picture and then beginning to slightly transform the object or picture and shoot another frame. Repeating this process can result in the formation an animation when the pictures are quickly stringed together. It creates the illusion that there isn't any photos, but instead moving objects, like a movie. Stop motion can be achieved with many different objects such as on-paper drawings, clay objects and even humans and other household objects. stop motion has a second meaning in 1993 defined: "a device for automatically stopping a machine or engine when something has gone wrong"

Stop motion requires a certain amount of frames per second (FPS) for the illusion to achieve its greatest effect.
24 frames per second is standard but can be higher to create a smoother image.


Stop motion animation has been used in various films and television series since 1897. The people first credited of using this animation technique were Albert E. Smith and J._Stuart_Blackton for their animation of Vitagraph's The Humpty Dumpty Circus, in which they used the animation to bring a toy circus of acrobats and animals to life. It was often used to show objects moving as if by magic. One of the earliest clay animation films was Modelling Extraordinary, in 1912.

Comparison to CGI

Stop motion animation is more cost effective with the less need for computers or giant spaces just to hold all data. It may have a low entry price but comes with its own unique "look" and "feel" on it. Stop motion is still used on some projects such as children's programs, commercials and some comic shows.

Stop Motion Animation Process

  1. Gather objects and figures to use in your movie.
  2. Set up the figures (characters) in a particular position and within the "set".
  3. Place your camera in front of the set that you are going to take photos of.
  4. Set up a good source of lighting.
  5. Take a single photo of the figure in the selected position.
  6. Begin the movement sequence: move the characters bit by bit in tiny increments depending on how many frames you want per second.
  7. Repeat the movement sequence until your action step is completed, or your camera's memory is full.
  8. Save the pictures on to your computer in an easy to remember place
  9. Upload your images to you preferred movie maker.


Example of Claymation

Example of stop motion animation using hand drawn pictures in a flip book

Example of Lego Stop Motion know as a 'BrickFilm'

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