Few approaches to digital storytelling have been as popular among students as stop motion video. Students can make a high-quality stop-motion animation, or stop-motion video with very simple tools, including Keynote, PowerPoint, Google Slides, iMovie, etc. The basic idea is to take a series of photos that are assembled into a video to show motion. Stop Motion Studio is an app that makes the video creation process incredibly simple, allowing students to keep their primary focus on storytelling. Plus it’s free and available for iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows.
The best way to explain Stop Motion Studio is to see it in action. One rainy day while vacationing on the Narragansett Bay, my nine-year-old was looking for something creative to do. Two stuffed animals, a pillow, and an iPad provided a solid hour of creative engagement. It appears that we were not the only ones who wanted to be in the water.
Shooting Your Stop Motion Video
Two things are essential to creating quality stop-motion videos: A stationary point of view, and small movements between pictures.
Small Movements/Lots of Pictures: As a rule, the smaller the movements between pictures, the more fluid the animation. Our 15-second sample video consists of 76 photos.
Don’t Move the Camera: Our example video consists of 3 “shots” or points of view. The camera is moved only three times for a change of perspective but otherwise remains stationary between shots.
Stop Motion Editing and Production
After shooting all of your pictures in Stop Motion Studio, the app assembles all of your clips into a video clip. You can delete or rearrange individual photos, but your options don’t end there.
Record Audio – the microphone icon allows gives you the opportunity to record a voice over while watching the video.
Add Elements – add additional images, titles and credits, audio, or even entire video clips to your timeline.
Settings – the settings cog brings up a host of options
Movie Speed – clips change at a rate of 5 frames per second by default. Just don’t forget that changing the clip speed also changes the length of your video.
Transitions – add fade-in and/or fade-out to black.
Sharing Your Work
Students have five options for sharing their work. They can export a movie file or animated GIF. They can share an entire project file, which could be useful for sending a work-in-progress to group members. They can export all images, or create a flip book (PDF) of their project.
Our example video was imported into Clips to add titles and music. While you can add titles and audio within Stop Motion Studio, students might prefer these features in other apps like iMovie, or Clips.
Stop Motion Studio
Stop Motion Studio is available for iOS, Android, MacOS, and Windows. They also offer a paid version of the app, Stop Motion Studio Pro, if you’re looking for more features.
Stop Motion Tips
Do you have any tips or ideas for using stop-motion video in the classroom? Share your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter.