Stop Motion Animation: Nine Creative and Easy Techniques
If you want to draw some stop motion animation but donít know what to do this article
will help. Often times people think you have to spend endless hours drawing the same
figures over and over with just a slight change between each drawing. And while this is
true there are lots of creative techniques you can use to draw fun and interesting
animations without the endless repetition. This article shows you nine techniques.
You can do all of these techniques with very little tools. Apart from the necessary
things for any stop motion animation like a camera, computer and some free software you
will be able to do these things with a paper, pencil and eraser or my preferred method of
a dry erase board. I prefer the dry erase board because it is very easy to draw on and
erase things as you go.
1. Text and words
The point about an animation is to communicate a message or a story and text is a great
tool for doing this. You can write words and sentences directly on your work area. And you
can do it in an animation style by adding the letters or words one at a time.
2. Draw a background
This is often overlooked in animation but a good background or even a simple background
adds a level of depth to the story you are telling. You can animate it or simply leave it
as it is with no motion at all.
3. Simple motion
This is the technique of drawing an object on the work area, taking a picture then
erasing it and redrawing it in a new location. This motion of the object simulates
movement and is very effective and easy to do. It can be as simple as rain drops
progressing down the work surface or a ball bouncing across the screen.
4. Growth: add lines and features
Think of this as something growing right before your eyes. Trees and plants make good
subjects for this. You draw a line, take a picture, extend the line, take another picture,
etc until full growth is achieved. You can also reverse this technique and have objects
that shrink in size. You erase and take pictures in small increments.
5. Anthropomorphism: taking the human shape to express things
You can draw simple human shapes that are very expressive. They donít have to be
complex and even simple stick figures will do. But they will give you a very wide range of
expression from shock to excitement, happiness and well the whole range of human emotion.
6. Vary the speed of what is happening
This is an important tool. You have to remember that things donít all happen at the
same rate of speed so you should vary your drawings to reflect this. Characters can run or
walk and items can move slow or fast. A flower grows slowly and a rock falls from the sky
quickly. Space your drawings to reflect these differences in speed.
7. Vary the camera angle by panning or zooming
You can pan or zoom in the animation without moving the camera or the workspace. This
is a really neat technique that will make your video more interesting and more attractive.
To zoom in on an object you simply draw it in steps that are larger and larger, and while
you are doing this you are also bringing it toward the center of your workspace. If you
have drawn a background you can move it to the left or right to simulate panning.