Dragonframe software is the the premier image capture software for stop motion animation and I’m thinking of buying it. Hollywood studios and directors such as Tim Burton have used Dragonframe for their blockbuster films. It’s not too expensive for what you get, considering it’s around $300. I do have a couple really cool programs I’m using for stop motion animation that work quite well, but I’m curious to use what the pros have used. I know it doesn’t matter what gear you have, but how you use it….but I’m curious. Currently I am using stop motion studio pro on the iphone and it works perfect. It’s really well done and has a lot of cool features such as voice over and sound effects, along with titling. I’m having a lot of fun with it and have created some great stop motion animation short clips with lego. Another option I have is using the really cool stop motion animation feature built into my panasonic gx85 camera. I absolutely love this camera and sold most of my HD video cameras and use this exclusively for most things video and on the run photography when I don’t want to lug around my DSLR cameras.
For those of you not sure what stop motion is, it is the painstaking art of photographing still images in succession, to a computer. When put together, as with a flipbook, the characters will move. Just as with cartoons, each frame or drawing is put together to create movement. There are 24 frames or drawings per second so that means an artist had to draw 24 drawings for each second of a movie. Guess how many drawings were required to do your average Disney film? Do the math. Actually, Disney used 30 frames per second so its’ more fluid, back in the day.
Here is a 12 second clip I created with the stop motion studio pro app on iphone.
In the case of stop motion, a photograph is taking and the puppet, or object is moved a small fraction of an inch, or even fraction of a millimeter. After that move, another photo is taken, and so on. When all the photos are played together, a movie is created. From there, the movie is edited, sound effects are added, along with titles and dialogue. It’s a lot of fun and a lot of work. Depending on the production it can take about an hour or more for 10 seconds of video.
The original king kong movie was filmed using stop motion, along with the AT AT walkers from the Empire strikes back. The AT AT walkers were only about 3′ tall but appeared to be monsters on the silver screen.
So, although I have great tools currently, I may upgrade to dragonframe. Check out my stop motion animation and other projects on my you tube channel, ROTTER PHOTOGRAPHY.