Getting Started with Stop Motion Animation in After Effects

with Richard Harrington
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Getting Started with Stop Motion Animation
Video duration: 0s 1h 53m Appropriate for all


Stop-motion animation has a long history in Hollywood, from films like King Kong to Coraline, but it can also be a fun and relatively easy weekend art project. Whether you're a hobbyist looking for a creative outlet for yourself or your kids, or a professional who wants to try stop motion, this course will help you create your own short stop-motion films. Rich Harrington shows how to shoot the initial sequences with an iPad, smartphone, or DSLR camera, and then assemble them into a short animated movie using iMovie and the iStopMotion app. He'll also show how to export your final project and get it ready to share or move into a professional or semiprofessional video editing application.

This course was created and produced by RHED Pixel. We're honored to host this content in our library.

Topics include:
  • What is stop motion and how does it work?
  • Stop motion vs. time lapse
  • Shooting stop motion with a tablet or smartphone
  • Lighting your environment
  • Directing the animation
  • Working with filters and color
  • Shooting in reverse
After Effects Premiere Pro


(electronic, rhythmic dinging) Hi. My name's Rich Harrington. I'm a motion graphic artist as well as a professional photographer, and today I'm going to combine those two things into something I love called stop motion animation. Now, stop motion is a popular technique. You've seen this used in feature films throughout the years for animation, but it's also something you can do on the weekend with your kids. It's really easy and it's a lot of fun, and it doesn't take a lot of tools to put it together. We're going to start by taking a look at some of the essential principles. How does stop motion animation work? Once you understand the core concepts, we'll pull the gear together that you need.

Today I'm going to be using a tool called iStopMotion, which is available both for iOS and for the MAC platform. But if you're using a PC or an Android device, there are other tools that are available and I'll point some of those out. It's really important that you're just going to learn the core concepts, and these will translate across really any platform. Now today we're going to start pretty basic. We're just going to shoot with the iOS device using the iPad and a smartphone, but then we'll step up and take a look at a more advanced workflow using something like a DSLR. All of these pieces are easy to put together and all I want you to do is go grab some things that you have laying around the house or office.

I literally raided my kids' room and picked up some toys, and this is going to be fun because we're going to bring some of these inanimate objects to life with stop motion animation. Now once we've got all the things captured there's a little bit of processing you could do, getting the movies properly exported and getting them formatted, but when it's all done you'll have movies that are ready to easily share whether you want to put them on the web directly or take them into a professional or semi-professional video editing tool. We've got a lot of things to cover; let's get started.

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