I’m a huge stop motion animation fanatic. Huge. So I was pretty psyched when someone from Boinx Software reached out to me to ask if I’d like to check out iStopMotion for Mac and iStopMotion for iPad.
I used to do a ton of stop motion animating, though it’s been a few years. You can check out some of what I’ve done in my (now slightly ancient) animation reel or here or here. In general, I’m pretty traditional (some may say stuck in the Stone Ages) with my stop motion technique – taking a bunch of photos on my DSLR, Photoshopping each photo individually and then importing them into a video editing program to animate them. I was always aware that there were easier ways – back then Dragon Stop Motion (now Dragonframe) was a big one – but for whatever reason I never tried any of them out. Until now. What the heck was I waiting for?
I tried out the iPad version first, which seems like a great alternative for stop motion on the go. But when I sat down to try making a couple videos, I opted to go with iStopMotion for Mac – more features, a larger screen to work with, and the sweet ability to export animated GIFs (a feature that iStopMotion for iPad supposedly offers as well, though I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to do it). I used my iPhone as a remote camera, supported by a crazy contraption I built using a tripod, my Gorillapod and a piece of fabric.
Here’s a GIF of the first thing I made – a sponge animal (I can’t tell if it’s a monkey or a jaguar or what!) “hatching”, tipping over and sliding away:
It’s not a masterpiece, I know, but it helped me figure out the ins and outs of the program, which provides a number of options to help with shot composition, including a preview overlay that lets you view a transparent version of your last shot as you prepare your next shot, onion skinning of up to 5 frames to help with motion, and blinking, which “blinks” back and forth at various speeds between your last and current frame.
I created my next test using paper cutouts and I must say I’m quite pleased with how it turned out!
There are still some features I have yet to explore – including color correction, tilt shift and time lapse (which I’m dying to try the next time we get a good sunset) – and I’ll be sure to update once I do. In the meantime, have you tried out iStopMotion or a similar stop motion program? Would love to hear your thoughts – feel free to email me or leave a note in the comments below!