Easy Stop Motion Video Tutorial
You can make stop motion videos for social media, like Instagram and Facebook, with a few simple tools! You don't need to know a ton of tech to do so, or to even know how to use all the functions in Photoshop.
This is the way that I do it- I use my photo editing program (Lightroom) to edit and crop my individual frames and the timeline feature in Photoshop to create and export my stop motion videos. Before you get ready to create your frames in Photoshop, let's check some basics off the list.
For this tutorial, I decided to use a classic chocolate chip cookie dipped in milk. It's dynamic, relatable, and is good for a video that is looped.
Camera- phone or handheld
Tripod or steady place to mount/set your camera or phone
The burst or continuous/self-timer shooting option on your phone or camera and maybe a timer/countdown
Your stop motion subject- usually a dynamic movement in photographed in small increments to show "movement" when you create your video.
*I'm using the example of dunking a cookie in a cup of milk for the example
Editing app or program- I use Lightroom to batch edit, but you can use any software you like as long as you can apply the adjustments and cropping to the series of images you want to create your stop motion video from.
Photoshop- this tutorial is specifically for creating the video in Photoshop, but you can use similar techniques in iMovie or a video app for your phone.
Setting up your scene and shooting your images:
On my Canon Rebel t6i I used the self-timer continuous shooting, taking 10 frames, to take my images while my camera was mounted on a tripod. I find that 10 is a good amount of frames depending on what you are shooting. For a cookie dipped in milk, this is a great number of frames. For a longer shot, like syrup being poured on a pancake stack or a sprinkle/powder shot, you might want to just continuously shoot or do a few takes to get a longer stop motion video result.
Step 1: Shoot your frames. Review on your phone/camera to makes sure you have a good amount of stills to work with. It's always better to have more rather than less.
Step 2: Import to computer to edit and crop. If you're using this stop motion for Instagram, make sure you know the dimensions you'll want to work in. Square (1080px by 1080px), Portrait (1080 px by 1350 px) or Landscape (1080px by 608px). I recommend a square or portrait size for feed posts.
Step 3: Open Photoshop and create a new blank project with your desired dimensions.
Step 4: Select the still images that will make up the frames of your video. Select all and drag and drop into your Photoshop project. Place each image by pressing "Enter" for each frame.
Step 5: If you need to resize, move, or rotate the images, make sure they are ALL SELECTED when you make edits and adjustments. You will need to select/highlight ALL LAYERS to apply the same adjustments to each image. If you do not, you'll end up with a jerky and awkward looking video.
Step 6: Once all corrections (resizing, centering, etc.) are done, click "Window" and then "Timeline" from the Photoshop navigation bar (at the top of your screen). This will open up a Timeline with your frames.
Step 7: Locate the three lines in the upper right of the Timeline bar and click. This will open a list of options to choose from. Select "Convert Frames" and then "Make Frames From Clips" to create your individual video frames.
Step 8: Locate the three-square icon in the lower-left portion of the Timeline box and click to "Convert to Frame Animation." This will open a frame-by-frame view of your video, made up of each image layer. You will see that at the bottom of each frame there is a time duration selected. You can change this to determine how long you want each of your frames to be visible in your rendered video.
Step 9: Select your single frame or all frames to choose your frame display duration. Make the time shorter for faster frame transitions, or longer for a slower looking video. I usually selected between .2 and .4 seconds, depending on the subject and movement I want in the video.
TIP: If you want to make your video longer (maybe you have 10 frames and each frame is shown for .2 seconds, making for a shorter total video), select and duplicate your frames until you reach the desired length. For social media, I usually stick to 10-15 seconds.
Step 10: Once you have your individual frame length, duplicated frames, and are satisifed with the way the video will look, select "File," then "Export," then "Render Video." A box will open where you can name your video and select the destination where you want it to save. Review the size, quality, and format. To save as an mp4, make sure your format is H.264. When you are satisifed with your settings, press "Render" and your video will be rendering!
Step 11: Once your video is saved, open it and view. You can alwasy go back to Photoshop to edit the length and loops by duplicating frames or extending the time each frame is displayed. There is more that you can do from here, but I usually AirDrop or upload to a mobile-accessible folder so I can share on social media!
Here is my completed stop motion video using the steps outlined in this post
I hope that you found this article helpful and it gives you an easy place to start and return to until you get the hang of creating your own stop motion videos confidently! I have had a lot of fun creating so many stop motions for myself and other brand partners involving beverages, pour shots, styling steps, and more.
If you loved this tutorial, let me know by leaving a comment! If you'd like to see another step-by-step tutorial using your iPhone and iMovie, let me know as well. I'm always sharing styling tips and tricks on Instagram @foodieandthebeets and over at @erin_allday, where you can find tips for social media marketing, culinary marketing, yummy foodspo, and so much more!
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