A Beginner’s Guide to Stop Motion Animation (On a Shoestring Budget)

Stop motion films are making a comeback. With the long and successful run of digitally animated productions, artists who subscribed to the old-school methods of animations were having a difficult time coming to terms with the dwindling popularity of Claymation and stop motion films.

Now that their films are being recognized, most notably the Academy Award-winning, “Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit”, stop motion animation has returned to the forefront of people’s minds and hearts.

To begin creating your own animated film, you must first purchase a camera. Many stop motion filmmakers use simple webcams, many of which are available for less than $40.00 (some are even occasionally advertised as free after rebates). Connect the camera to your computer, and you are almost ready to go!

It is essential that you have a good animation editing program in order to piece your movie together. Visit www.giantscreamingrobotonkeys.com and download a free copy of MonkeyJam software. This is an excellent program which is used by many professional editors today. And, best of all, it is completely free!

For lighting, gather up as many lamps as you can find. Take off the shades and place them around your set. Another trick is to use work lights that may be readily available in your garage. Remove the grills, and hang them above and beside your set.

Now that you have your basic equipment, consider the story you wish to tell with your film. Are you going to create an experim