Are your kids really into the LEGO stop action films? How would they like to make one of their own? Stop action films have always fascinated me. I think it goes back to making flip books when I was younger. Well, this past semester we actually made a little stop action film in my LEGO Brainiacs class at co-op.
Making this Stop Action Film was a really cool process to go through, and I’m going to walk you through it here, because your kids are gonna love it!!
Supplies needed: Camera and tri-pod OR computer with camera, backdrop, LEGO, props.
This took us a few 1 hour classes to get done.
First: Write a general story line for your movie. There won’t be any talking in it, so just a general outline of where the characters are and what they will do during the movie will be just fine.
Second: Gather your props; LEGO characters and builds to support your story line. Having a big box or blanket as a backdrop is helpful also, so whatever is in the room where you take the pictures will not compete for attention.
Third: Take all of your photos. Set up your backdrop, props and characters at their beginning locations. Take a photo. Move the characters only slightly. Take a picture. Repeat a few 100 times until your story line is complete. Note that you need approximately 100 pictures for a 10 second film. No kidding!
This is where the age of the children comes in to play – the younger they are, the less photos you will have. No biggie, just do what they can and enjoy the process!
If you have to take pictures over a few days, put tape on your table or floor where your camera, backdrop and props were so you can pick up picture taking on another day and not have too large of a movement in between your pictures. Save all your photos in one folder on your computer, and make sure they are sorted by date with the oldest first.
Fourth: This is where your steps will vary depending on what software you are using.
For a MAC with iMovie:
- Open iMovie
- Go to Properties>Timing. Change the preferences from “Ken Burns” to “Fit in Frame”. This will keep your photos from zooming in and out during the stop motion effect.
- Import your photos to iMovie.
- Adjust the duration of each clip. To do this, double click one of the images. This will bring up the inspector window. Change the duration from 4 seconds down to .1 seconds. Make sure the checkbox to “apply to all stills” is selected. Click “done”.
- Save your project, select music to play with it, and export the video.
For a HP with Movie Maker:
- Open Movie Maker, click on tasks>import pictures. Open the folder with all of your pictures in it, press Ctrl + A to select all of the photos, then click and drag them into the Movie Maker screen.
- In Movie Maker, use Ctrl + A to select all photos again. Click on video tools>edit and set the duration to .1 seconds. You can play with this a little depending on how many pictures the kids took and how long you want the film to be. With .1 seconds that means that each photo will be on the screen for a 10th of a second, giving you 10 frames per second.
- Click on Play Clip and adjust your timing as needed.
- Add any audio if desired, save the project, and you’re done!
Export your video and share that baby around – post it to facebook, pinterest, email to family – show it off!
Check out our little video below. The music cracks me up, fits just perfect. You can also create a pdf with the “credits” information and drag it to your story line in either program.
We only have 34 pictures in this little film!! I set the duration to show each picture for 2 seconds. My students were young, but they enjoyed the creative process and are proud of their finished product. They certainly have a new appreciation for stop action movies. 🙂
Making this Stop Action Film is just one of the activities we did in our semester long LEGO Brainiacs Class. The LEGO Zip Line was another huge hit.
Sign up below to download a free sample of this class. I will also email you when this product is released (SOON!) and you’ll get a limited edition coupon for purchasing the full class.