Friday, September 11, 2015

Stop. Motion. Movies. So. Fun. So. Easy. So. Do. It.

I left our visit to the Museum of the Moving Image with a new found respect for the stop motion movie. I'd always imagined they'd be a pain to create, but after playing with the simple setup the museum offered, I realized that a little creativity and patience goes an awful long way. More than that, there's a certain addictive quality to creating them. You quickly realize that all you need is a few props and a storyline, and you've got yourself the makings of a film.

I was curious what it would take to recreate the Museum's setup at home. Of course, There's an App For That, so you need little more than a smart phone and your imagination to get started.

First off, I found PicPac, which combines photos you take into movies. Sure the free version of the app shows ads and limits you to low quality videos, but the results are still impressive. Snap a bunch of photos, select the frames you want to be in your movie, and Bam! it'll generate a video file for you. I've played with this a bit, but don't yet have any examples to share.

I need to bust out some Lego characters and start creating. At some point I'll probably enhance the setup by spending a few bucks on a tripod mount and remote shutter release. But even without the additional hardware PicPac is a winner.

Another fun option in the Stop Motion Animation world: FlipaClip. FlipaClip let's you draw old school flip books on your mobile device. Like PicPac, it's quite a bit of fun and a complete solution. Here's an example I whipped up in a few minutes:

The app is free, and while there's probably a reason to buy the paid version of the app, it wasn't immediately necessary. The user experience is truly top notch, so I could definitely see spending a few bucks on the pro version.

Don't think you have the drawing skills for this app? Nonesense. Hit the library and rent an Ed Emberley book. His Make a World book is perfect for powering just about any city scene you can imagine.

So next time you've got a long wait in the doctor's office, or a rainy day with the kids, put the time to work making a masterpiece. You've already got the studio, talent and location at your fingertips. What are you waiting for?

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