Five ways to improve your Instagram motion

When you’re working on an #Instagram project, you might decide to use #photographic #images edited into a film, rather than straightforward #video, in order to add a certain element of punch to the finished piece.

 

But what you might not realise is that, when you create handmade video content in this way, you’re pretty much doing #stopmotion #animation!

 

Here are five ways to improve your #Instagram #motion and ensure that your #videos are as sleek, sophisticated, and sensational as possible…

 

  1. Use capture software

 

Stop motion animation capture software provides the technology you need to quickly and simply shoot, edit, and finalise a stop motion short, allowing you to access functions such as immediate playback, onion skin for refining, and enabling you to examine your motion frame by frame.

 

I personally use Dragonframe because, in my opinion and experience, it really is the best! There are, however, plenty of other software solutions to chose from, offering a whole host of different features and functions.

 

I Can Animate seems like a great software option for hobbyist animators, whilst Monkeyjam is a high performance, budget busting option. Pro Animate, Istop Motion, and Stop Motion Pro all sit somewhere in between.

 

Before selecting a capture software option, it’s advisable to look into the features, functions, and specifications. For example, some options are optimised for use on PC or Mac, not always both, so it’s important to check that the software will work with your existing set up.

 

  1. Use a DLSR camera

 

Although it’s possible to create content on something as accessible as a mobile phone camera, if you want to achieve the best results, it’s important to use high quality, hi-res photos. With this in mind, I’d always recommend using a DLSR camera.

 

Once you get started, make sure your camera is in manual mode so that you can set the focus from the start, and also ensure that it’s fixed onto a tripod to get really effective motion results. After all, locked off shots are way more effective than when your camera is flailing about!

 

Make sure that your software speaks to the camera so that all of your images are stored directly on the computer rather than on the camera’s memory card.

 

  1. Use lights

 

It’s important that your audience can actually see what your lovely creation is, so make sure there’s plenty of light.

 

Use lamps and make sure you block out daylight. Even if you’re only spending an hour creating something, there’ll be moving shadows on the final video if you rely on daylight alone - unless that’s the beautiful time-lapse effect you’re looking for, of course!

Light your subject, you could use LED lights like this

Light your subject, you could use LED lights like this

  1. Understand and apply the principles of animation

 

The principles of #animation were established by Disney’s nine old men, to ensure that the most attractive motion is created.

 

In very basic terms, the principles highlight that small movements will result in slow action, and large movements will make the subject move quickly when the footage is played back.

 

Applying the principles of animation to your production will ensure slick, fluid motion, and a charming sense of engagement that’s sure to impress your fans. This video gives a great overview, and the techniques can be studied further with my recommended read of Richard Williams’ Animator’s workbook.

 

  1. Use a high table top!

 

It’s much easier to animate standing up, after all, you’ll need to distance yourself from the subject matter whilst capturing to ensure you aren’t casting an eerie shadow on your work (when you play it back it will look like a creepy erratic shadow!).

 

With this in mind, your working table should be suitably positioned at standing height. Oh, and please don’t even consider bending over each time – your lower back won’t thank you! Remember that each second of footage requires at least 12 frames, so if you’re bending over to create say 10 seconds, that’s 120 times you’re putting strain on your lower back.

Taskmaster's Ryan practices stop motion animation technique

Ryan practices stop motion animation technique, with a potato starring in Spectater

Now go make some awesome content, and contact us if you want us to make something even more awesome for your products.

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