27 September 2014

Making a stop-motion animation

You may have noticed that recently I’ve had a few stop-motion animations here on emuse, yesterday’s raku pottery one for example. Whenever I take photos, I take a lot, because I like to choose the best one. While flicking through the photos on my camera, I realised they would make a fun animation, so I taught myself this way of doing it. It’s a great way of using your outtakes from a portrait or self-portrait session, and I think that children would find it fun to see pictures of themselves this way too!

This tutorial uses Windows Live Movie Maker, but other software is likely to have similar features.

1. Ensure that you’re on the Home tab, and click Add videos and photos in the bar at the top.
2. Browse to your photos, and choose the ones you want, holding down the control key to select a few or the shift key to select a whole bunch of them.
3. Press Ctrl-A on the keyboard (this selects all the photos)

4. Select the Edit tab at the top of the screen
5. In the duration box type 0.2 (this means each photo is displayed for 0.2 second). If you want it to pause on one photo for longer, try selecting that one photo and changing it to 0.3, 0.4 or 0.5.

6. Click the play button on the left to check what it looks like. Some of the photos might look fuzzy as you do this, but don’t worry, they will look fine in the final video.

7. If you want to change the order of any of the photos, drag them to rearrange them. To delete one, right click on it and select Remove (I did this to remove a few close-ups that wouldn’t have worked well among the other photos).

8. Click the Home tab at the top of the screen, and click Add music. Browse to a music file and add it.
9. You can then choose the Start Point for the music (for example if it has a quiet beginning that you want to exclude) and the fade at the end.

10. Play the movie a couple of times to make sure you are happy with it.

11. In the File menu select Save movie for computer. This will take a few minutes.

12. I find that if I add the photo directly through Blogger (which uploads it to YouTube) it comes out a bit blurry, so I tend to upload it to Flickr, copy the embed code, and add this to my blog post on the HTML tab. There are various online tools if you want to convert a short video, or a segment of a longer one, to a gif.

To make a one-minute long video like this, you'll need in the region of 300 photos (yikes!), but I usually make much shorter ones with fewer photos.

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