A couple of stop-motion questions please

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Greenone, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. Greenone macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2005
    Hello -

    I have a Powerbook G4 and a Panasonic PV-GS300 camcorder, and I'm considering getting iStopMotion to hopefully complete this set of tools needed to do stop motion animation.

    My son and I are having lots of fun with his Playmobil medieval castle and knights set (he got at Xmas) and when we stumbled across other people's animation of Playmobil on youtube, he fell madly in love with this concept! A friend (eleven years old!) came over today with his laptop and older version of iStopMotion and using my camcorder and tripod we put together a VERY short stop-motion film of our drawbridge coming down and the castle's inhabitants moving around a bit and then a knight riding in on his horse. It was such a blast but now we need to learn how to do it on our own and with all our own equipment.


    Will I be able to add sound effects, dialogue and music, etc. using either iStopMotion and/or iMovie? Which will I use or am I leaving anything out, such as other accessories I might need (microphone? Or is the built-in microphone good enough)? I'll use the free trial software first of course.

    I've saved a link or two to stop-motion related forums, but if any of you really like a particular site or have any resourceful information that you think would be helpful in addition, I'd be most appreciative! :)

    Thanks very much!
    Green One (always new at something!)
  2. coil macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2002
    You will want to add the audio in iMovie. You can get a microphone if you want but i'd see how the animation progresses before investing in expensive gear. A few good lights (desk lamps will do while getting started). A good solid table helps, nothing worse than bumping your setup and ruining a shot.

    An alternative to istopmotion is frame thief. Although it has not seen much updating lately.


    If you haven't been to stopmotionanimation then I'd recommend it. It's a great resource for all things stop motion.


    good luck
  3. SthrnCmfrtr macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2007
    Las Vegas, NV
    Ah, stop-motion animation -- perhaps the most difficult and frustrating kind of animation to do right :)

    If you haven't yet, you might want to go on Amazon and find The Brothers Quay Collection, a eerie/downright disturbing collection of work by a pair of men who are basically the peak of stop-motion animation.

    Not than you and your kid are necessarily going to want to do that sort of stuff, since it's a truly mind-numbing prospect and the Quays are sort of insane, but it's good for inspiration. They used trash to create their scenes, and had an amazing ability to use optical illusions to create effects in the watcher. As inspiration, really, it doesn't get any better.
  4. Greenone thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2005
    Thank you both, so much!

    I look forward to checking out the Quay brothers...sounds interesting! I wonder if my brother knows about them. He works for Will Vinton (actually they're now called Laika) which is a stop-motion animation studio. I'd ask him these questions but not only is he out of town at the moment but he's really busy.

    Our castle is so big that we're doing the filming on the floor which is nice cause we can just set the video camera right on the floor...otherwise we'll use the tripod for higher shots. We experimented yesterday (I was surrounded by little kids all moving parts and there was a lot of chaos!) and we didn't spend much time on it so we only have about 2 or 3 seconds of results (I need to learn how to slow it down which I'll learn once I get to play with the software myself)...but here it is:


    Coil, are you saying I don't need a micophone at all (can just use the laptop's internal microphone) or simply not to buy an expensive one? And to beat a dead horse, all I need is my imovie to add the sound (which is compatible with iStopMotion, correct)?

    Thank you both!

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