How To Create Line Drawing Animation Using Stop Motion

Who doesn’t love cartoons? From cool, carrot-eating rabbits to transforming fighting robots, from heroic turtles to lazy cats, there’s a cartoon for everyone. Young or old, boy or girl, everyone just loves a good old-fashioned funny and exciting cartoon. If you have ever dreamed of someday coming up with the next great cartoon character, now is your chance. With a little practice and skill, you can draw and animate anything. Stop motion is one pretty cool animation technique that you can do at home with a few simple tools and you do not even have to be good at drawing! Here is how to create line drawing animation using stop motion:

  • The right tools. Stop motion animation needs some special tools. You need of course a digital camera. There are special cameras that are designed with features for taking stop motion pictures and for interacting with stop motion animation software. It is highly recommended that you get one of these but regular digital cameras should do the trick. You also need the animation software. Some good stop motion software includes Stop Motion Pro, MonkeyJam (which is freeware), StopMotion Station, Dragon Stop Motion and Boinx Software’s iStopMotion series. Now, most of these programs can be downloaded for free on a trial basis, but to get the whole package, you need to purchase them. If you’re serious about animation, it’s a good idea to get one of these programs. Finally, you need enough free hard drive space for storage, enough RAM and processing power so that your computer won’t lag or slow down while you are working on a project and a video card to give you more memory. Install your software and ready your camera and program because you are about to begin.
  • Creating your stop motion line drawing animation. You can start of by making a drawing template for you to follow when you start tracing and recording. This can help guide you along the way. Tape your template down on your drawing table so that it does not move around when you start tracing. Now take another piece of paper and put it on top of your template. Check first if you can see the drawing and if it can be seen on camera. You don’t want it to appear in your animation. Now you can start drawing and recording. Your drawing tool totally depends on your preference. You can use a marker, pencil or pen. For every line you draw, add a frame to your animation using the software. Short lines mean more frames and long lines mean fewer frames. Practice drawing/tracing and recording until you get the hang of it and make sure the camera doesn’t move. You can add color the same way so it’s up to you if you want to color your drawing as you go or after you’ve finished. When you are done with your project, play it back and see how you did.
  • Tips and reminders. The software allows you to play around with a lot of features such as how many frames per second, contrast, etc. Make sure you have a good light source and operate on a stable desk. You can also add text and words to your animation and even different backgrounds. If you really want to make it exciting, make more than one drawing at a time. And remember, the more lines you use, the more detailed your animation gets.

Creating line drawing animation might be a little tedious but when you finish, you will surely be satisfied. Practice, practice and practice some more and who knows how skillful you can get with a pen and camera.


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