Lesson 000b – What you need for this course

What You Need For This Course:

This course is 100% online – The most important thing you will need for this course is internet access and a way to view the video and online instruction.

You will also need a way to photograph your animations and upload them to a video streaming site such as YouTube or Vimeo. We highly suggest that you at the bare minimum have a smartphone or tablet that can use a free stop motion animation software that is compatible with your phone or tablet.

Here are some configurations and setups that we suggest for this course:

Basic Setup:

  • Smart phone or Tablet that has a camera built in
  • Free animation software such as Stop Motion app
  • Internet Access
  • YouTube Account
  • Some type of light source such as a desk lamp or shop light
  • *A basic stand to mount your phone or tablet too. You can build this out of cardboard or wood if you need to.

Intermediate Setup:

  • Computer (laptop or desktop)
  • HD Web Camera with Manual Focus (Auto focus will drive you crazy unless you can turn off and lock that feature)
  • Free or paid for stop motion software (Helium Frog, Animator HD, Stop Motion Pro, Dragonframe, Boinx iStopMotion, etc..)
  • Camera stand or mount for your web camera.
  • Lights such as desk lamps, LED Lights, or shop lights
  • Internet Access
  • YouTube Account

Advanced Setup:

  • Computer (laptop or desktop)
  • DSLR Camera (Canon or Nikon / Though Sony and Lumix Cameras may be compatible with your software. Check with the software manufacturer).
  • Camera Tripod or Camera Mount
  • Free or paid for stop motion software (Helium Frog, Animator HD, Stop Motion Pro, Dragonframe, Boinx iStopMotion, etc..)
  • Photography level lights such as Photofloods or LED Photolamps and stands
  • Internet Access
  • YouTube or Vimeo Account


Because you will be animating real world objects and materials you will need the bare minimum materials to successfully execute completion of the course. The course is setup in a way to allow for anyone anywhere with the appropriate setup to be able to take the course. That being said you will need at the very least some kind of paper to animate and make the proper shapes to complete the exercises. We want everyone to be able to have the ability to take the course no matter what their location in the world is (we are in the USA so are unable to actually teach to countries that have information sharing sanctions and restrictions such as Iran). So many places around the world have problems getting materials such as plasticine clay. No worries, you can literally animate mud or make your own clay. The exercises are whats important and not the materials.

     Material List:

  • Paper of any kind
  • Glue
  • Hole Punch
  • Plasticine Clay (Any Color)
  • Some type of found objects (Could be anything as long as it fits in front of the camera)
  • You, a friend, or relative that you will animate in front of the camera.
  • Action figure or lego mini figure (Lego figures may need a pegged ground for the walk cycle exercise)
  • Aluminum or copper wire (Not necessary. It depends on your setup)
  • Vaseline, KY Jelly, Hair Gel, or Plastic Wrap (for water exercise)
  • Fiber fill or cotton (Fiber fill is the stuffing inside stuffed animals)

Final Notes:

Because the course is so wide reaching in terms of access to materials do not feel that you are incapable of meeting the goals set forth in this course. You as an individual must realize that the beauty of stop motion is in the problem solving and adaptation when it comes to both animation and the materials you have access to. Many many famous award winning animations have been done with objects found on location such as snow, mud, sand, leafs, twigs, and rocks.

Please checkout Kristen Lepore’s film Bottle and the Making of Bottle videos as a good inspiration in terms of materials and animation.

Bottle from Kirsten Lepore on Vimeo.

Making of “Bottle” (in 1 minute) from Kirsten Lepore on Vimeo.