How do you make stop-motion movies? It's actually very easy!



> CAMERA <

For a camera I basically have a simple webcam (works well with a Mac or Pc or whatever you have). A basic webcam is pretty much compatible with any software you use.

Here is the model I have:
LOGITECH c615

It works fine, but I’d recommend spending an extra $20 and getting the next level up, this one:
LOGITECH c920

I think a lot of brick-filmers use this model. If mine breaks I’d likely get the c920—I’ve even thought about getting one just to compare with the c615.

* You can certainly get a tricked out DSLR camera (more control/more expensive) like one of these:
DSLR cameras

BUT… those cameras may not be compatible with certain software, AND… when doing stop motion you have to turn off all the automatic settings—and if you do this on a higher-end camera you kind of have to know a lot about photography and how to manually use a real camera.


> SOFTWARE <

I use a Mac, so unless you have a Mac you won’t be able to use these exact programs. But you do basically need three basic programs/application types.

1> STOP-MOTION SOFTWARE.
Something specific to do the actual stop motion photography. I use iStopmotion (Mac only):
iStopmotion

There are a lot of options for PC, but I haven’t used any of them. You want to look for something that has “onion skinning” and playback features.

2> VIDEO EDITOR.
You also need a video editor. This is where you assemble and edit the stop-motions you created, add sound effects, voices, title screens, etc. I use iMovie, which again is only available for Mac (and it's free!). The upgrade from iMovie would Final Cut Pro, which is much more powerful.
From what I understand, Sony Vegas is a great, affordable video editor for PCs:
SONY Vegas

3> AUDIO EDITOR.
It’s not one-hundred percent necessary, but it makes sense to have an audio-editing program as well. I use AUDACITY, which seems to be available for Mac/PC. This is what I use to edit sound effects/voices/music/etc. before I import into iMovie.
Sony also has a great editor (Sound Forge) for PCs.


> LIGHTING <

I’m no expert in this area, but have found that LED-type lights seem to work/look better than standard-bulb lights. This is my own opinion of course.

Here is what I use for light:
LED LAMPS (TARGET)

I have two of these and sometimes I use just one or sometimes I use both. They are LED lights – so they are plenty bright and don’t get hot at all. I usually play around quite a bit with where to place them—it takes some trial and error.

I also use some smaller LED book lights to occasionally add extra light, or to light something in the background.

Another lighting tip is to eliminate all outside light or any light source that will change. Find a room where you can close off all natural light and only use your lighting. A lot of people film at night for this reason.


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