EQUIPMENT FOR GETTING STARTED IN STOP MOTION
A+C Studio has an AWESOME blog with lots of handy tips. We highly recommend their blog post, "What Equipment Is Needed When Getting Started With Stop-Motion Animation?".
Check that your camera is compatible with whatever capture software you use. You can use a phone, webcam, digital camera, or DSLR camera. Be sure to have a constant power source (a way to plug in your camera so you don't run out of battery). You will need a way to support your camera that won't shift over time, like a tripod or a clamp. Don't forget to set your camera to the "manual" setting if it has one.
This is what you are going to animate. If you want to animate a human, we recommend that you start out with something that already has articulated joints like an action figure or Legos, or something malleable like clay.
In stop motion, you want to be able to control your light. It's best to start with a no light (a completely dark space) and then add your own lights. Be sure to have a constant power source like your camera—a way to plug in your lights so you don't run out of battery. Have a backup bulb that matches the one you start with just in case your bulb burns out. If using LED lights, make sure that they are flicker-free. Fluorescent lights are also likely to cause flicker.
OPTIONAL: EDITING SOFTWARE
Adobe Premiere or After Effects are the big ones, but when you're starting out just about any editing software will work (iMovie, Premiere Rush, LumaFusion (app), etc).
TIPS AND TRICKS FROM OUR HOSTS
— Limit what can move like your tripod, animation table, and props. Hot glue and tape can help!
—Isopropyl alcohol can be used to release hot glue
—Upside down canned air/dust off can be used as freeze spray for hot glue
—Try to shoot your shot in one sitting to help avoid set shift
ANIMATION EXERCISES FOR BEGINNERS
Generally, these exercises explore the 12 principles of animation presented in the book, The Illusion of Life. These principles are widely excepted by most narrative/character animation circles. While you don't have to follow these "rules" all the time, they're helpful to study while you're learning the basics.
12 Principles of Animation
1. Squash and Stretch
4. Straight Ahead Action and Pose to Pose
5. Follow Through and Overlapping Action
6. Slow In and Slow Out
8. Secondary Action
11. Solid Drawing
COMMON ANIMATION EXERCISES
Leaf/Feather Falling (exploring a light object and gravity/wind)
Flour Sack Pantomime: Aaron Blaise 2D Demo
Weight Test (a often character struggling to pick up a heavy object)
Overlapping Action (like a hair flip)
Walk / Run Cycle: Michael Parks Tutorial
Lip Sync: Michael Parks Tutorial
EPISODE 2 GLOSSARY
Frame Rate (Frames per Second/FPS)
Frame rate is the measurement of how quickly a number of frames appears within a second, which is why it's also called FPS (frames per second). Motion pictures, TV broadcasts, streaming video content, and even smartphones use the standard frame rate of 24fps. -Definition by Adobe
See "Understanding Frame Rate" above.
This is essentially the skeleton of a puppet—the framework used to support the weight of the subject.
A term for unwanted light that can "spill" and contaminate a scene. This could be the gap between curtains or around a doorframe.
A term used to describe the warmth or coolness color characteristics of a light source (yellow/amber being warm and blue being cool). The spectrum of color temperatures are measured in degrees of "Kelvin".
A term for the unwanted shift in light frame to frame.
When you no longer need the camera position to be controlled for shooting, you can "break" camera.
The movement of objects within the picture plane caused by changes in the environment over time (like humidity and temperature). This is something that you likely will not be able to notice by eye, but can be seen when you play back your captured frames.