How can I make a rad Stop-Motion animation in Final Cut
April 24, 2009 7:31 AM   Subscribe

How can I make a stop-motion animation in Final Cut Pro from a series of many photographs? Details inside.

I have a bunch of pictures that I'd like run in time with Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King." I want to end up with a sort of stop-motion animation of these hundreds of pictures. Ideally, they'll play in time with the percussion (which speeds up--another headache).

When I drop a photo into my timeline, it automatically plays for 10 seconds, which is way too long given A. how many pix I want to show in a two-minute song and B. I want the project to have a filmic quality, and ten-second long frames don't give the illusion of motion. I can shorten their duration manually, but I'm dealing with more than a hundred shots here, but I'm guessing there's an easier way. So my question is:

How do I change my settings so that once I figure out how long (say, 14 frames) I want each picture to play, I can just drop a hundred or more of them into my timeline and they'll play for the proper duration?

Also, any tips on dealing with jpgs in FCP generally? I've played with them a bit in the program, but I've never done a project dealing exlusively with stills.

(My source files are over 100 jpgs, 1200x800px, and I need to end up with a 480x853 aspect ratio. I think I'll just have pillarboxing in my frame so as not to distort my images.)

Please ask for clarification if my query's not clear--I'll check the responses often. Thanks very much.
posted by andromache to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't think Final Cut is the easiest way to go for converting jpgs into a movie. There is a pretty easy way in Adobe Premier, but I don't remember how off the top of my head.

If you have access to a windows machine the easiest way is to use VirtualDub. Just make sure your images are numbered in the order that you want them, and open the first image with VirtualDub. Then save your file as a video, and open the video in Final Cut.
posted by gregr at 7:42 AM on April 24, 2009

Best answer: For Final Cut Express:

I dealt with this recently when making a stop-motion animation. Start by dropping in the photos. Once they are all in (I would put in about 200 at a time) do a select all (which you'll probably want to adjust to include only the frames of one "speed" for the percussion). Finally, right click on one of the images you selected and choose the "Duration" contextual menu item. You'll be asked for a duration (just type in how many frames you want it to last) and hit return. Tada!
posted by 47triple2 at 8:25 AM on April 24, 2009

Response by poster: 47tiple2 has it. Thanks very much!
posted by andromache at 8:28 AM on April 24, 2009

You can import a numbered sequence into Quicktime Pro. File >> Open Image Sequence, then set the FPS. Save as a quicktime file then import info FCP. Super easy and fast!

If you are open to other programs, iStopMotion is great for rad stop-motion.
posted by avex at 8:33 AM on April 24, 2009

You can change the default duration for imported stills in the FC prefs. And you can also import a folder containing a numbered sequence of jpegs.

posted by dpcoffin at 9:06 AM on April 24, 2009

Response by poster: These are great tips. I've finished my project but next time around I'm going to try avex and dpcoffin's suggestions.
posted by andromache at 1:29 PM on April 24, 2009

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