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Lesson 001b – (Setup for Animation)

Setup For Stop Motion Animation:

Setting up for Stop Motion Animation requires some key essential tools.

The first most important tool is a camera. Because stop motion animation is a photographic technique you will need a camera. The type of camera you use is very important because each camera has a unique setup, function, and media type. There are cameras that are compatible with the modern softwares and computers used in making the technique easier to achieve. There are also cameras that traditionally were the preferred type of tool in the past but are now very expensive to maintain and use which renders them out of reach for most artists. Just know that all cameras can be used in stop motion but we will focus on the ones that are easiest to use in performing the technique.

This is an image from the Nightmare Before Christmas production where you can see the setup of a Mitchell Standard film camera used in the production.

Softwares and computers are key tools in the success of producing animations. The type of software you use is important in the features it offers and the ability to produce good quality video outputs. The computers you use are directly connected to those softwares since a software may only work on one type of operating system or require a newer computer that increases the cost of producing animation. Don’t worry… You can do this whole course using a smart phone or tablet that has a camera and readily available softwares that are either free or low cost. You just need to be able to set up your shots and output the animation to an online streaming service like YouTube to submit your assignments.

A very cheap and flimsy phone stand for animation. This will work but will not give you ideal results.

Link to above cardboard stand instructions: Link

There are 2 types of setups we will use in the course. The first being the standard down shooter configuration and the standard table top setup. There are however variations on these two techniques. Just know that we will explore your options and give you the ability to choose what is available to you.

Materials and Tools are simple. You will need at the bare minimum access to paper and cutting tools like scissors. For those wanting to do all the exercises you will need a modeling clay, some toys, some found objects, and sometimes your friends or family or maybe even yourself to be animated.

A professional still image setup using LED lights. SOURCE LINK

Lights are essential in the methods of animation but I will point out that they are not necessary if you are in a location in the world where access to quality lights is very difficult. The course is built for everyone in the world that has access to a camera, internet connection, and software. Read further into the topics section to get a detailed explanation and further information about the setups and tools used in this course and in producing animation.

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