We'll show you how to make

stop-action animation movies

Hi !

called animated GIFs.  We'll


only cover the basics here.

Once you get the hang of it

we're sure you'll want to

learn more on your own.


Stop-action, or stop-motion animation simply means that each change of

action or motion in a scene is photographed, or stopped before the next

change in the action is set up for shooting.  So if you


want to make a stop-action animation of a running

ostrich, for example, you will need to shoot at least two

photos of it - one with its left leg forward and one with

its right leg forward since that's how it runs.  Many types


of animation formats are available for producing moving pictures, or


movies.  We'll only cover animated GIFs here because they are the simplest


ones for the beginner to understand and they have the widest use.  More on


this later.  For now let's get you set up for your first "shoot".



EquipmentThe main thing you'll need is a camera of course.  The least

expensive way to produce animated GIFs is to use a digital camera or web

cam that can take still shots.  A more expensive way is to use a 35mm film

camera or Super8mm movie camera that can be set to take still shots.

. .

It is easier to produce animated GIFs with a digital camera because the

photo is already digitized and ready for editing by your computer.  Also you

can create the animation frame by frame as you take each shot.  That way

you can see how the animation is progressing and make any changes in

the camera settings or model movements before the entire animation is

completed.  If you use a digital camera set it to low resolution to conserve

its batteries and speed up image downloading to your computer.  GIF
animation programs convert your images to low res (72ppi) images anyway
so you don't gain anything by shooting images at a higher resolution.
You will probably get higher quality images with a film camera though.

If you use a film camera your photos will have to digitized before they can

be used by your computer.  You have two basic options here.  You can have

your photo development shop digitize the images for you on a compact disc

(or if your computer doesn't have a CD reader the photo lab can probably

e-mail them to you directly).  Or you can scan your prints on a flat bed

scanner if you have one.  The major draw back of using a film camera is
you have to take all of the pictures before you can compose the animation.

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