How to Make a Stop Motion Film
What You Need to Know
Creating a stop motion film is an art form, and has grown in sophistication since its first inception. Similar to Disney’s early animation process, stop motion animation uses objects that move ever so slightly in each frame. Due to its complexity, it’s important to have the right equipment when creating stop motion animation.
At Meets the Eye Studios, we’re focused on creating the best experience possible. As filmmakers ourselves, we know what you need and how to keep your shoot uncomplicated. We offer a pre-lit green screen cyc wall and a white wall, which are the perfect backdrops for your stop motion film, project or short.
What is Stop Motion Animation?
Stop motion animation uses numerous individual frame shots to make objects appear to move, (the object being shot is moved a bit in each frame.) There’s a unique fluidity with stop motion that makes it rather alluring to some filmmakers who still use the process today.
After the Wallace and Grommit franchise and Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas, not many major animated pictures featured this art form, though it was still being used in commercials and shorts. Kubo and the Two Strings, released in 2016, helped bring stop motion back to the attention of audiences and fans alike ahead of the much anticipated release of Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs in 2018.
In this Acura commercial, stop motion was used to show the TSX Sports Wagon being “built.”
In fact, if you’re used to older stop motion animation movies, Kubo and the Two Strings may not be a believable example. But with Laika Entertainment’s creative and intuitive blending of new technology and an old art form, we’re excited to see stop motion back in theaters.
What You Need to Make a Stop Motion Movie
Stop motion animation can sound complicated, but in reality it’s easy to get started. At the very least, you’ll need a background, DSLR camera, and props. If you want to invest in software and hardware to help create a smoother workflow, programs like Dragonframe are ideal.
It’s easiest to use a clean, simple background for your first few stop motion pieces. This means you can focus on the props and how they are moving without accidentally moving a backdrop or set piece.
In this Oscar-nominated short, PES uses a simple wood background as the set for making a rather unique guacamole recipe.
Why a Clean Background is Ideal for a Stop Motion Movie
Because stop motion involves putting images together in post production, a neutral background is ideal. With our white wall in Studio B, you can focus on making the objects move, not the background.
With our pre-lit green screen in Studio A, you can control every variable during the shoot, then add your desired background later. Because we’re also filmmakers, we understand what you need and have created a space that’s easy to use.
Stop motion movie making is a unique experience, and one we think every filmmaker should try. It helps you see a scene in a different way, and encourages a new creative outlet. At Meets the Eye Studios, we have the ideal studios for you to shoot your stop motion film, short, or project, whether you need a green screen or a white wall.
Contact us today for a tour of our San Carlos facilities, which includes free ample parking, a commercial kitchen, and 12×12 loading doors.