The Idea – The Plan – The Video

…I’m actually a bit proud of this one

and had entirely too much fun doing it. For those with the creative kids who like to draw, sculpt or build, this is a super easy and entertaining project for them.

This is the first video I’ve posted for awildwaypoint.com and it consists of 174 separate pictures taken from my IPhone and about 20 characters/actions that I drew. It all began with me just me goofing around and experimenting with different media for a short, stop-motion animation (possibly an intro) for future videos, but as I really started playing and discovering how simple and ridiculously amusing it was, I found myself drawing and cutting out all sorts of new characters and backgrounds and I’m already looking forward to making the next one.

The video itself is a 1.5min video about our future plans and what is hopefully to come. It’s extremely detailed and thought out, but if, after watching this, you still believe we need to do a bit more planning and research, then send me a message and let me hear your thoughts!

Feel free to share if you can think of anyone else that might enjoy this!

The How-to:

01 – Draw, build, mold all the characters and backgrounds and any actions they might have in the scenes. I used color pencils and thick paper, but there’s no reason you couldn’t build models out of clay, Legos, dolls or action figures, model airplanes, fruits and vegetables, or anything you could possibly think of.

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02 – Set up your camera. Mine wasn’t a complicated setup nor does it have to be. My Iphone was simply resting on a book on a windowsill above the kitchen counter because that was the easiest for me.

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03 – Get your characters and background into their first position.

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Pro tip: Tape your background to something so when you’re moving the characters, the background doesn’t move.

04 – Adjust your camera to the background and take a couple of test shots to make sure it fills in the whole scene. It’d be a huge pain to do the whole animation and find out later it was slightly askew, (I got halfway through when I realized it).

05 – Snap away! I found that turning on the flash helped with shadows and having a sensitive finger on the camera button helped to keep it from moving.

06 – After the first snap, move the characters ever so slightly. I found that about a quarter/half inch seemed to work for what I wanted, but you might want to experiment with different speeds and frame rates.

Pro tip: If you have multiple movements per character per frame, try and move them in the same order each time so that you can remember them all.

07 – When finished, upload all the pictures into a movie maker on your computer. Windows has Windows Media Viewer (.wmv) already installed, which is what I used, and I’m sure Apple would have something similar.

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08 – Now you’re an editor! Edit the frame times to work with the movie you’re trying to create. When I uploaded them to .wmv, each picture was set for 7 seconds, and after adjusting them all, I found with the quarter/half inch movements of the character, a 0.2 second frame worked for me. Again, play with it.

09 – Throw some music in there and opening and ending credits and then share what you or your kids created.

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