What is Stop-Motion Animation?

Stop-motion, sometimes called stop-frame, is an animation technique that’s been around for over 100 years, so you’re probably familiar with at least a few stop motion films. But do you know how it’s done? Here are the basics.

Objects, clay, puppets, and people can be manipulated and animated. The principals are always the same. Place the object in front of the camera, take a picture, move the object, and take another picture. Do this over and over again. Each picture is a frame in the movie. Usually, home-made stop-motion films are recorded at 12 frames per second. This means that you need to take 12 pictures for every second of film. Hollywood movies record at 24-30 frames per second to create a more fluid and realistic movie.

After a movie’s frame pictures are recorded, the film must be edited. At this time in post-production, we add splice together and/or remove certain parts of our movie. Then we add sounds and voices to complete the story. This is the process we use in our Stop Motion Animation Camp at Classroom Antics.

Coraline, Wallace and Gromit, Chicken RunThe Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Nightmare Before Christmas are classic Hollywood stop-motion movies.