Stop-motion animation help, please!
November 11, 2009 10:10 AM   Subscribe

What is the most user-friendly, online, (and hopefully free) tool for making simple stop-motion animation shorts.

I am in the process of creating several stop motion animation shorts with my 3rd grade students. We have about 4 animations of 35-50 frames each (so about 4-5 seconds each) that i shot with my digital camera. Is there a simple way that I can feed the images into something and have them play back as a video file? Is there a program I can use that maybe has a free trial? Please help!
posted by shrimpsmalls to Technology (9 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I doubt it is free, but Lego had something like this a couple years back - but I don't know how well their software works.

Do you have access to a Mac? Won't the built-in software work?
posted by jkaczor at 10:13 AM on November 11, 2009

If you have a Mac, Boinx iStopMotion is very good, and it has a 5 day free demo.

It also does time lapse and is, unfortunately, very addictive to use.
posted by quin at 10:16 AM on November 11, 2009

MonkeyJam is more designed around capturing frames of animation live, but it's free and should do what you need it to do.
posted by burnmp3s at 10:17 AM on November 11, 2009

I can't see how you'd make an online tool for this, and I can't see why you'd want to.

You can use a free trial version of Thumbs Plus. In the "Image" menu, select "Build slide show". It'll allow you to create an EXE file which will frame-flip at whatever frame rate you specify. If the frame delay is short (e.g. 50 milliseconds) then the result is a movie.

But it isn't a video file in the classic sense.

Windows Movie Maker can do the same thing (though requiring more work to set up) and it will create WMV video files for you. Windows Movie Maker comes standard with XP and Vista, and can be downloaded for free for Win 7.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:20 AM on November 11, 2009

I'm pretty sure VirtualDub can handle image sequences. VDub is free and has the added benefit of not requiring a traditional installation. So if you are confined to a school computer where software can't be installed without admin rights, this may work.
posted by whatisish at 10:42 AM on November 11, 2009

Seconding VirtualDub (for Windows).
posted by bjrn at 10:50 AM on November 11, 2009

Response by poster: thank you! thank you! these are perfect suggestions.
posted by shrimpsmalls at 11:04 AM on November 11, 2009

Quicktime Pro allows you to open image sequences. Your boyfriend has a copy.
posted by mike_bling at 1:46 PM on November 12, 2009

Related question. I use mencoder (a free command-line tool, available for Linux or Windows).
posted by russilwvong at 2:29 PM on November 12, 2009

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