Stop Motion animation is a really fun way to use your existing LEGO collection. It is essentially many photos collated together to make it look like the pictures are moving.
- I recommend using an app called Stop Motion (app image above) it is easy to use and has loads of features like downloadable backgrounds, sounds, ability to record voices. It also has tutorials to watch, specially in LEGO animation, from the basics of setting up your device to take pictures to enhancing your projects with special effects.
- Keep the device taking the pictures still. If you are using a phone or an iPad make sure you use a sturdy stand or a tripod. You could always build a stand out of LEGO bricks!
- Think about the story you want to animate. Will you create your own story? Animate a scene from your favourite book or movie using the characters in minifigure form? Maybe even re-enact a historical event? My son animated a Greek Myth for a class homework (his History teacher was very impressed!) Whatever you decide it is good to have a plan of where the scene is going.
- Think about your background. You can draw or paint your own background, or you can use a plain wall or a baseplate propped up and then you can build on sky, clouds, buildings, mountains or trees. Using a background is much better than just having the rest of the room in your shots.
- Build a set, literally a LEGO set or your own creation. Do you need trees, buildings, a popcorn cart or a UFO in your movie? Whatever it is stick it down! You will probably be using a baseplate with your set on. Tape or tack down the corners of the baseplate down to stop it sliding around and affecting the final movie.
- Have ALOT of patience! 70 pictures will make about a 14 second movie! It is fun to start out with some simple projects, like a minifigure walking across as baseplate or spinning around. The more pictures you take with small movements the better your movie will come out.
- If you are using LEGO mini figures think about facial expressions and swap heads to allow emotions to be played out in the story.
Top Tips for improving:
- Use a device with a remote to take the pictures – this minimises any camera shake when pressing the button to take the picture.
- Don’t use natural light. If you are photographer you will wince at this advice! Using artificial light means you always have the same lighting on your project as you may be working on it for a few hours.
- I suggest you start with 10 Frames per second (FPS) – which means 10 pictures will give you 1 second of movie. 15 FPS is better and will make your move much more fluid. You can play around with the frames per second feature on whatever app or programme you use.
Above all else have fun playing around with all sorts of movement with different LEGO minifigures, sets and creations.
I cannot wait to see what you create!