Making a stop motion movie

As you may have guessed, making stop motion movies is an awful lot of work and an awful lot of fun. There were many steps in the process, i’ll briefly take you through.

Step 1: Sketch out animals. Scan drawings and trace using pen tool in Illustrator.


Step 2: Break the illustrator drawing into head, arm, legs, etc. and group according to what color paper they will be. Use Graphtec CraftRobo to cut out all the pieces. Assemble the puppet by fixing pieces together using string or eyelets. Allowing limbs to move.

paper puppets

Step 3: Set up a studio for shooting your stop motion animation. You will need a nice camera and tripod to keep things as steady as possible. I shot against a green posterboard to make it easier to key out the background. I used a free trial of a program called Dragon Stop Motion which allows you to hook your camera up to your computer via USB to track the progress of your stop motion animations.
*tips for shooting stop motion. Do it at night where you can control your light sources. be careful of shadows and glare. Avoid bumping the camera. Plan out ahead of time. Youtube is handy in researching how animals move.

the studio

Step 4: Batch edit all photos in photoshop to resize and get rid of background. Import into Premiere Pro and overlay your new png images over a background image. Export as FLV and import into flash.

working with Dragon Stop Motion

Step 5: Go back at least 5 times to fix things you did wrong the first time.

Technology, programs, languages

Canon RebelXS digital SLR
Background patterns from Docrafts
Puppets cut out with Graphtec CraftRobo
Canon Pixma MP640 printer/scanner

Dragon Stop Motion DZED systems
Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Flash with as3
Adobe Dreamweaver
Adobe Premiere Pro

a touch of PHP
Actionscript 3


One of the requirements of this project was to keep a blog of the entire process.

If you are interested in seeing the step by step process I went through you can check out the blog at My Major Project Blog


Check out some of my other work at my portfolio


You can contact Michael Mohler at