Stop motion animation is a highly versatile visual medium. But if you look at stop motion clips of brands on social media, you’ll be surprised that many of them use similar techniques all the time. Now let’s take a look at five of the most common animation methods you can try yourself!
Stack Them Up
If you need to animate several products at the same time, you can try stacking them up! This method is so simple that we even recommend that this as the first technique you try if you haven't done animation before.
First, take a photo of your set without anything on it. Now place your first object in the frame, take a picture, and stack another on top of it. Keep doing it until all the items you need to photograph are on top of one another.
Depending on the look you’re after, you can either stack your products neatly or create a more staggered arrangement. Just make sure you don’t move the existing stack as you add more on top. Otherwise, you’ll end up disrupting the illusion of your animation.
Another fun way to animate is to create patterns with objects. It may seem tricky at first because the process is not relatively as straightforward as the other techniques. But once you understand the steps, you’ll realize how easy it is to execute.
The first step is to create a pattern using all the objects you wish to animate. You can do all sorts of styles, from regular rows and columns to criss-cross designs.
To make sure everything is straight, nudge the items into place with a ruler. For precise arrangements, use the ruler to measure the distance between each object.
Once you finish your pattern, press the shutter to record your first frame. Then start picking the items one by one and take a photo each time. Keep removing products until there’s nothing left.
In the editing stage, you can arrange the order of the frames backward. Photoshop, Adobe Premiere, and After Effects all have a feature to let you play your clips in reverse. And even if you don't have editing software, you can still stitch your photo sequence together using free GIF maker apps such as EZGIF!
Officially called replacement animation, this technique involves replacing an object with a different one for each frame. That way, when the images are played in quick succession, one item would appear to turn into another object magically.
Replacement animation works just like how it sounds. You switch one object with another while you’re animating. But for best results, make sure the items you animate generally stay in the same spot within your frame. That way, it would be easier to create the illusion that the objects in your animation are constantly transforming.
The replacement technique is popular in stop motion animation and has a lot of variations. Feel free to experiment with the objects you use and their placement in the frame to create different results.
Move, Slide, Bend, Spin
Another popular way of animating products is by animating their moving parts. Play around with the objects you’re using for your project. Do they fold, extend, spin, or come apart?
If a product folds, you can slowly unfold it and capture the process frame by frame. If it comes apart, you can separate the individual pieces and assemble them back together in your animation.
Apart from the creative aspect of using this technique, it also allows your social media audience to see firsthand how a product works. So we suggest you use this method, especially if you’re animating objects with many moving parts.
Rock and Roll
Animating products for social media can sometimes be tricky because not all objects have moving parts. So what do you do if you find yourself in this situation? Let them roll on the table or the floor, of course!
But how do you create the illusion that the product is rolling? Simple! Imagine the base of the product as a clock face. Roll the object in two, five, or even thirty-minute increments. You start at 12 o’clock, take a picture, and move it slowly until you reach the two or five-minute mark. Once you reach twelve o’clock again, it means you finished one full rotation.
It’s up to you how many rotations you want to do. If you want a minimalistic approach, you don’t even need to do a complete cycle. But keep in mind that the more you roll an object, the longer the distance it will travel.
Also, to keep the object in place while you’re animating, place a blue tack behind it. Just make sure it’s not visible in your images so you don’t have to edit it out in Photoshop.
The secret to creating eye-catching stop motion animation for social media is practice. If your animating experience is still limited, we suggest you try the techniques we showed you. Apart from the fact that they’re easy to do, they also allow you to hone your skills as a budding animator. As you become familiar with the tips we taught you, we guarantee that you’ll find executing more complex movements more natural!
Want access to more exclusive content? Be part of our creative club!