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Tutorial: Faking Stop Motion

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In this Blender Cookie tutorial, Dave Ward explains how to properly lower the frame rate of your animation as a first step towards a stop-motion effect.

Dave Ward writes:

In this quick blender video tutorial, I go over a quick easy way of achieving a stop-motion look to a pre-setup animation by adjusting the Frame Rate settings in the Render panel.

To add more levels to this, you could try and adding longer random frames to simulate the error of the human ways. Moving an arm too much in one frame, then not as much the second frame. Have some fun with it! Post any youtube, or examples below in the comments.

In an interesting comment PLyczkowski (maker of the Suzanne Award winning animation 'Lista') writes:

Just lowering the frame rate or flickering the light (not a good idea) is not enough to achieve the stop motion look – you just achieve the low fps look. The key to a stop motion look is a little randomness in the character’s position in each shot. There are two ways in doing this – a clever script, which I don’t know how to make, and would be so happy to have it – or this: In Blender 2.49 leave framerate as is, go to curve editor, and ctrl-rmb click each animation channel every two frames, where there is animation, and when you’re done, change the interpolation to constant. Thanks to the by-hand clicking you get randomness, and only the character gets the low-fps (5 or 6 fps is way too low, in this way we get 12 or 15). This is how I made the stop motion look for “The List”. Cheers.

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About Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.

5 Comments

  1. I reckon the curve handle modifiers for 2.5 will be quite useful for making a little randomness in the animations. ;)

  2. in 2.5 there is now a Step animation curve modifier which can also be used to enhance the stop motion look by creating a stepped version of a (bezier) curve (step size can be controlled). it's especially useful if you want to animate different objects at different rates (ones, twos).
    e.g. if you want to have smooth camera movements (as if it was moved with a motion control rig), but jerky stop-motiony character animation. of course this should be combined with the above techniques.

    but still, there's nothing better than the real thing. :)
    .andy

  3. The simple (not easy) way to to it in Blender is just by animating each frame by hand. I actualy did this years ago before I learned about Tweens. I felt so stupid I deleted all the animated files and started over. Wish I kept them now. lol

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