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Stop Motion Animation

Stop frame animation – a beginner’s guide


This post will cover starting out in stop animation exploring the  process through a variety of media. It’s ideal to support both teachers running a short series of activities in the classroom or as a co-curricular activity/club and keen parents. An ideal starting age for these activities is 7 or 8 years but speaking personally my daughter has been stop animating from 5 achieving brilliant results.


Why stop frame animation?

With the debate about screen time raging on in our schools and society at large, I personally feel children could well be choosing to use their devices in a far more creative and meaningful way. Speaking of transforming learning experiences combining play and ownership and most importantly not having the screen as the single fixation. The practise of stop frame animation is wonderfully multimodal requiring the child to develop skills and conceptual understanding of narrative and storytelling, character development, art direction and set design, cinematography – composition, framing, exposure and lighting, sound design and foley, use of graphics and titles and editing.

It’s also a wonderful way to work with others develop collaborative understanding and sharing responsibility or even specialising. Animated films (Pixar, Disney, Aardman) are released by vast teams of animations. Then there is the capacity to sharing and screening finished films and receive critique.


In terms of the technology, stop motion animation truly represents technology transforming learning and wiothout such apps as XXXX the process really wsnt accessible. the constant self critic numerous but character traits including grit, determination and above all patience bravery


Starting out


It’s important not to expect too much when starting out. The process can be finicky, and takes enormous patience and resolve. However young children once they have understood the initial principals which can be spellbinding develop their technique quickly.

I recommend starting small and simple. During the clubs I have run I provide children with a piece of clay to start. Keeping it simple is key as children obviously like to express themselves and produce quite complicated creatures. A ball or a worm, devoid of features or limbs is by far the best way to start.

Week one: The worm Studio set up. Locking down the ipad, understanding light: daylight versus continuous lampo light. Studio options start from above.

Capturing interest: the industry – the examples – the magic! Setting up the studio.

Add picture of set up. Gaffers tape – boxes for ipads


Week two: Get verb cards to develop language: slicing, funnelling, revolving, Splitting, growing, rolling, twisting, multiplying, fusing, flattening, USE CHALLENGING VERBS


Week three: Creature feature


Week four: Evolution. Easing in and easing out. Using the frame. Creature feature and fact file.


Educational context – explanation of physics and atomic theory to traditon storytelling ot retalling


The tech:

The apps


The set up


Sound in film is defined as being almost as important as visuals in the practice of storytelling.

Media Literacy, Student Agency