Stop Motion Video – Aloy Anderson
Through the Internet, I have met an avid advanced amateur photographer/videographer named Aloy Anderson. Aloy is always pushing to learn new and creative ways to use his cameras. I have never attempted stop-motion video myself even though it is a capability built into the Lumix Cameras. When Aloy shared his project with me, I asked if he’d mind sharing some of his thinking and his process with me. And now with you.
I invite you to check out his stop-motion video called Jungle Movie “Be Brave” and turn the rest of the post over to Aloy. Enjoy!
“My name is Aloy; I’m a photographer and Youtube content creator from Miami. From an early age watching Sesame Street, I’ve always been curious about how to make stop-motion animation films. In those days it took a 35mm camera with “miles” of film to develop which was out of my reach. When I realized my new Lumix G7 had the feature built in I was pleasantly shocked. I had to give it a try. My video “Jungle Movie” my first attempt at a storyline video.
When you enter the stop motion menu on the Lumix camera choose whether you will snap each shot independently with the shutter button or the camera can be set to shoot at your preset interval. I do a little of both to give me time to reposition the set pieces and camera placement. For simplicity, I chose 5 seconds between each shot to give me time to move the characters quickly and get out the way.
Stop-motion can be very tedious and time-consuming, and it’s tempting to take the easy way out by leaving the camera on a tripod in one spot. That would be a mistake akin to watching a whole movie from one angle. I suggest different scenes and locations for variety, using a wider lens to show establishing shots and standard lenses for shallow depth of field moments. Before you begin, have a definite storyboard in mind. I like to use manual focus and exposure for each shot.
Here are some tips.
1) Don’t to move each piece too far between each shot as I did in some of my Jungle Movie. The resulting video will have choppy movement. A few centimeters is a good start.
2) Keep the camera on a tripod or table-top to maintain a solidly grounded scene.
3) Every few shots check to make sure your exposure or focus point hasn’t changed.
4) As you improve, you will know what not to do next time and come up with more complex ways to tell your story.
5) Imperative before you begin, set your camera’s aspect ratio to 16:9 which will allow it to play back full widescreen rather than a smaller 4:3 photo size.
6) Finally, have fun!
I guarantee your first 10-second video attempt may look like a five-year-old did it but you will have a good laugh watching it play back with all its faults.
The good thing about the Lumix is when you’re finished making captures the camera will ask you how to customize your video rendering such as how many frames per second it will be and at what resolution. It will then stitch all those photos together into an MP4 file. The only downside is it will be a “silent” movie. In my case, I imported the MP4 into my video editor and added music and text titles to polish it off. It is crucial to add some form of audio to keep your video engaging. This information is not an exhaustive tutorial by any means, but the fun is learning as you go.
I invite you to visit my Youtube product review channel and my Flickr Photography album. Most importantly I would like to thank Bob Coates for inviting me to write this piece. Hopefully, you will have a good time learning this type of creative way to use your camera.”
Thanks to Aloy for sharing his first foray into stop-motion.
Yours in Creative Photography, Bob
PS – Most Lumix cameras have the stop-motion and time-lapse features built into the camera. If you have any questions about which camera might be best for your needs let me know.