Stop-motion animation is a very popular way to catch people’s attention in the sea of online video. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to paint your brand’s logo (or anything else!) in a stop-motion format. This is a great way to create a homemade and unique version of your online identity.
1. Use a Tripod
You don’t need a video tripod for this — you can use a photo tripod, because you don’t want the camera to move. Also, photo tripods are generally cheaper. I used the Manfrotto Compact Advanced Tripod here, but you can really use anything that will keep your camera still.
2. Use a Photo Camera with Live Preview
Attach a photo camera to your tripod. You can even use your phone camera if you like. I used a Canon 5D Mark III, but if you decide to use a phone camera, you’ll need to buy a case adaptor that enables you to screw the phone to a tripod. For example, for my iPhone 6, I purchased an iOgrapher case.
3. Start Taking Photos
The next step is to place your scene within the camera’s frame. I mounted a square white canvas on a fence, painted my first stroke, then went back to the camera and clicked a button to take the photo. You can use any type of paint (I used acrylics). It’s up to you to decide how much action (painting) you want to perform before you take the next photo. But I would suggest taking your time and just doing little strokes, then taking a photo after you complete the action.
You can also buy a timer remote, so you can just press the button each time you want to take a photo. This also reduces the chance of moving the camera when you press the button to take a photo.
4. Import into Premiere Pro and Adjust Photo Duration
After you complete your final picture, import all your photos into Premiere Pro. From the Project Panel, select all the photos, right click, and select “Speed/Duration.” Here, you can change the length of each still — or, since this is a moving picture, frame. For example, if your video sequence is 24fps, you can change each frame to be “00;00;00;24,” and each photo will show for one second. One second is a bit long, but I’d recommend at least 1/4 of a second. (24 divided by 4 is 6, so you can change the duration to be “00;00;00;06” and each photo will be onscreen for 1/4 of a second.)
5. Drag the Photos into Your Timeline
Select all the photos in your project panel and drop them into your sequence. Now all of the photos will be laid out sequentially in your video timeline. Render and play it back to see how the video flows; if it seems to slow, you can always delete all the photos from the timeline and go back to the Project Panel to select a new clip speed/duration.
From there, you can export your video as an H.264 MP4 file to share on social media. This same technique can be applied to all forms, even advanced forms, of 3D stop-motion animation, so if painting’s not your thing, just apply it to some other animated idea you have in mind. And if you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!