Beginner Stop Motion Animation - Learn How to Create Stop Motion at Home with Claire Oring | Claire Oring | Skillshare

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Beginner Stop Motion Animation - Learn How to Create Stop Motion at Home with Claire Oring

teacher avatar Claire Oring, Commercial Stop Motion Animator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Introduction with Claire


    • 2.

      Before You Shoot


    • 3.

      Animating Your Scene


    • 4.

      Editing Stop Motion In After Effects


    • 5.

      That's All Folks!


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About This Class

Want to learn how to create stop motion animation the comfort of your own home?

Your Beginner Stop Motion Animation Guide is here!

What’s included in your guide? 

Meet Your Teacher

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Claire Oring

Commercial Stop Motion Animator

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction with Claire: Hey, there, I'm Claire, founder. We create a commercial stop motion animation studio here in Los Angeles. Today I'm gonna be showing you some tips and tricks for creating a stop motion using natural way. There's so much you can do at home without fancy gear. And I'm going to break it down for you step-by-step. So be sure to download your beginner establishing guide and have that checklist ready for your first shoot. Let's get started. 2. Before You Shoot: To begin, let's go over the basics. What is stop-motion Exactly? It's essentially a string of photos edited together to create a video. In-between each photo, you'll move your object to small amount to take a photo, then repeat. This creates a magical effect, so your objects appear to come to life. To create a successful animation. You'll want to make small and even movements between each shot. You'll also want to make sure to keep your main object and focus by keeping it within the plane of focus you've chosen. To create your first stop motion. You'll need some basic gear, a reflector, camera, tripod, and a remote. I dig into why you need each of these in the guide, so be sure to check it out. I'll also link to my gear guide in case you need any recommendations. Essentially, these tools will help you make a smooth, well-lit animation without any camera shake. To begin, place a table next to a well lit window. You'll want to set up your scene parallel to the window instead of facing it so your shadow doesn't block you're seeing while shooting. Next, you'll want to consider prop styling, my favorite. For this shoot, I assembled a variety of organic, neutral props, so the color in my cookies would really pop in my scene. Layering prompts in the foreground and background of your scene op and adds a nice effect. I also tried to add some realistic touches whenever possible. So here you can see me painting my chocolate chips with cooking spray to give them a melted looking shine. You could also hit them with a heat gun. I also sprayed my milk jug with water for a bit of condensation. My scene is looking good, but before shooting, there are some important steps to ensure a successful shoot. We'll need to set up our reflector, set our focus, and sink our remote. Before we move on, check your camera battery and memory card to ensure you're good to go. You cannot touch your camera again once we begin. So if you run out, you'll need to start over. Once you're seen as styled, use Reflector or a white poster board to bounce light back onto your scene. Took up the red box to see how I'm able to take a good amount of shadow off of my cookies. Next, you'll want to finalize your camera settings, focus on your subject and set your karma to manual focus mode. Sync your remote with your camera, and then do not touch your camera or tripod again until after the shoot. If you accidentally bump it, you'll need to start over. If you're shooting at a time of day when the sunlight is going directly through your window. I recommend using a simple diffuser. This is an easy and affordable way to create soft lighting checkout. My gear guide, LinkedIn, your PDF for my favorite. One last note before we animate, it's so important when taking a photo to stand back behind your camera so your position doesn't interact with the lighting in your scene. Capturing your own shadow is one of the easiest mistakes to make when creating a stop motion and could create a flickering light when editing your scene. 3. Animating Your Scene: It's finally time to animate. In this scene, I'll have the cookies disappear one by one. So I simply remove a cookie, stand back behind my camera, take a photo and repeat until all the cookies are gone. Here we have a smooth, well-lit animation that could be shot in any home. Let's try this one more time. I'm styling another layered scene with cookies, but this time I'll be using a hand model. When using a model, make sure that they don't block your window light or accidentally bumped into your scene. Direct them to move inch by inch, pausing each time to take a photo. Their instinct is usually to move too fast, so clearly communicate to them when they should move into the next position. It's wise to do a test run before you even shoot. So you both have a plan. There, we have it. Another smelled well-lit animation. Let's review what we've made. I really hope we can use these tools on your own stop motion at home. 4. Editing Stop Motion In After Effects: To begin, I'm going to have my images in a folder ready-to-go. They've already been colored graded in Lightroom based on my preferences, and they're currently in order. I'm going to drag over my files and drop them into the Projects tab on the left side of the workspace. Your files will always be hanging out in this project tab if you ever need to find a file to pull from. Here it says our timing. This currently says ten seconds, which is a perfect amendment time for a project like this. So I'm going to keep it. Now you can see our images above and our timeline down below. All my files are currently selected, so I'm going to shorten them by dragging to the left and want them to be a little under a second Long. Now I'm going to select my top file. Hit shift, then select my bottom one. This will select all my files. The order you select does matter here. I'm about to tell the program to sequence my layers from top to bottom. To do this, hit the animation tab up top, go to keyframe assistant, then hit sequence layers. Then I'm going to drag this tab to the left to make my workspace shorter. Now let's take a look at what we've made. Go ahead and hit your Spacebar and it will play. Looking pretty good so far. But I've got a few more tricks up my sleeve, so you have even more control. I'd like a square composition for this project. So I'm going to go up to composition, composition settings. And then here are my pixels. I'm going to adjust my size, then hit OK. adam. With all my file selected, I'll adjust my composition by using the arrows on my keyboard. It's looking good, but to me, it feels a little slow. So let's fix that. To do that, we're going to need to combine our images into one layer. So select your files, then go up to layer, then down to decompose. Now we'll want to trim off the end by going to the end of our work section. Then we go up to file split, delete this extra blank footage. From here, right-click on your layer file and then go up to time and then time stretch. From here you can adjust your speed. A 100 means normal speed. Anything below a 100 gets faster, and anything above a 100 gets slower. To speed up your animation, you could try 50%. To slow down your animation. You could try a 150%. Speed is totally up to you and your preference. So try whatever you like. Let's give this another try. Next, we'll make a second layers or a video is longer. Hit control C, control V to copy and paste and drag your extra file to the next position. You'll want to make sure that there's not a gap between these two files. Once again, adjust the top bar to account for the extra layer size. Now let's take a look. Looking pretty good. To finish up, I'll show you one of my favorite tricks, how to make your animation loop seamlessly. A seamless loop basically means that they will continue to play without a breaker pause in the animation. This is great for a platform like Instagram that will automatically play a video on a loop. To do this, we'll need to reverse your second layer. Right-click on your layer, go to time, then time, reverse layer. As you can see, this adds a little blue bar to indicate that it's now playing backwards. Now we have a continuous loop with our cookies going down, then up, and a continuous cycle. Finally, or render our animation, go to composition and then add to render queue. And this menu will pop up at the bottom, adjusts the output and select the folder you'd like your animation to be created in, and then name your file. Next, click lossless and select the format options. Here, you'll want to compress your animation to Apple progress for Tutu. Now we're ready to go and we'll just click Render and wait for our animation to be created. Here we have our animation file, but wow, it's 583 megabytes. That's pretty big. This might not even playback correctly due to its file size. So let's do a quick compression. I am double-clicking on my file to open it in QuickTime. Next, go to File export and then select 1080 pixels. This is plenty big for web, but will make your file much smaller. Rename your file and compress it. And now let's see the difference. Okay, 3.3 megabytes versus 583. Crazy. It works so well. I use this trick for almost every project I create an After Effects because it really works. Here's our final video, ready to be posted. 5. That's All Folks! : Shooting in natural light is a great way for beginners to become comfortable with stop motion. But once you get the hang of IT, professionals quickly switch to studio lighting, shooting tethered, and more advanced software. I'm going to be teaching all of this in my upcoming stop mushing course, coming out soon, we'll be diving into advanced animation techniques, building an irresistible portfolio and managing clients like a pro. I can't wait to share Morrison.