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How To Become a Stop Motion Animator

How To Become a Stop Motion Animator

If you want to become a stop motion animator but don’t know what to do, this article may help. Oftentimes, people think you have to spend endless hours drawing the same figures over and over with just a slight change between each drawing. And while this is true, there are lots of creative techniques you can use to draw fun and interesting animations without the endless repetition. This article shows you nine techniques you can use to create a stop motion animation with less hassle.

You may be able to do all of these techniques with very little tools. Apart from the necessary things for any stop motion animation, like a camera, computer and some free software, you will be able to do these things with a paper, pencil and eraser, or dry erase board.

Here are some of the techniques you can practice to make your own stop motion animation*:

1 – Text and words: The point of an animation is to communicate a message or a story, and text is a great tool for doing this. You can write words and sentences directly on your work area. And you can do it in an animation style by adding the letters or words one at a time.

2 – Draw a background: This is often overlooked in animation, but a good background or even a simple background adds a level of depth to the story you are telling. You can animate it or simply leave it as it is with no motion at all.

3 – Simple motion: This is the technique of drawing an object on the work area, taking a picture, erasing it, and then redrawing it in a new location. This motion of the object simulates movement and is very effective and easy to do. It can be as simple as rain drops progressing down the work surface or a ball bouncing across the screen.

4 – Growth – add lines and features: Think of this as something growing right before your eyes. Trees and plants make good subjects for this. You draw a line, take a picture, extend the line, and take another picture, etc. until full growth is achieved. You can also reverse this technique and have objects that shrink in size. You erase and take pictures in small increments.

5 – Anthropomorphism: This means taking the human shape to express things. You can draw simple human shapes that are very expressive. They don’t have to be complex and even simple stick figures will do. But they will give you a wide range of expression and emotions.

6 – Varying speed: This may be an important tool. You may have to remember that things don’t all happen at the same rate of speed. So you should vary your drawings to reflect this. Characters can run or walk, and items can move slow or fast. A flower grows slowly and a rock falls from the sky quickly. Space your drawings to reflect these differences in speed.

7 – Vary the camera angle: You can do this by panning or zooming. You can pan or zoom in the animation without moving the camera or the workspace. This is a really neat technique that will make your video more interesting and more attractive. To zoom in on an object, you draw it in steps that are larger and larger. While you are doing this you are also bringing it toward the center of your workspace. If you have drawn a background you can move it to the left or right to simulate panning.

8 – Have multiple events going on: Often times, when drawing an animation, it may be easy to get fixed on one central character. But if you want to make your animation more interesting, you should remember that more than one thing can be moving at any given moment, even if it is just because of wind blowing.

9 – Tell a story: This is an important technique and you may want to give it a lot of thought. It is the hinge that the whole animation rests on. This is the reason for what is happening in the animation and it gives the viewer a good reason to continue watching. If the viewer perceives a story is unfolding, he is more apt to stick with the video to see how it turns out.

If you have earned a bachelor’s degree as a multimedia artist or animator, the median pay is about $28.13 an hour, or around $58,510 per year. The job outlook is slightly slower than average in the next ten years, with the growth rate around 8%**. Depending on where you live, your skill set, and what you want to do, these numbers can vary accordingly.
Stop Motion animation is a wonderful creative pursuit and you don’t need a lot of materials and tools to make some great animations. You also don’t need to draw hundreds of pictures that are just a repetition with slight changes. With a little thought and creativity, you can make animations that are easy, fun, and make your career a rewarding one.


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