Photoshop Tutorial: How to Create a Stopmotion Movie

Photoshop can do a lot of things, including making a stop motion movie. In this tutorial I'll show you how to make one fast and without any headaches.

You can find my final movie here.

End result:
How to Create a Stopmotion Movie Final Image

avatar robvdn

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Score: 8.18 / 10
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Practice tutorial


Step 1

First of all you need to get a subject for your movie, this can be anything you want. Get your camera (and preferably a tripod) out and shoot a long range of photos of your subject. This can be boats in a harbor or people on a market.

Program your camera to make a shot every half second or so for a longer period of time so you have a nice sequence of photos to work with. In this tutorial I used 49 photos of myself smoking as an example.

Step 2

These photos are to big for my movie so I'm going to re size them, for that I use a program called "Easy Thumbnails" which you can download free here:
With this program you can re size an unlimited amount of photos in 1 step.

Install this program on your computer and open it and navigate to your local folder which contains the photos you want to use, select the photos.

Now select or create a folder in which you want to store the thumbs.

Step 3

I'll re size my photos to 800x600 pixels but this is up to you of course.

To do this select the "settings"tab and turn the "JPEG quality" to 100%.

Step 4

Got the size set, all your photos selected, your output folder chosen? Let's make some thumbs!

All you have to do is click the "Make All" button and the thumbs will be placed in your output folder.

There's 1 important thing here: make sure all your photos are numbered and not skip one number. So do use the full range of photos you made. If you remove some photos (and therefor the range skips for instance from "photo0010" to "photo0012") the next steps do not work!

Step 5

Now you should have all your re sized images in your output folder, notice that "Easy Thumbnailer" added the word "thumb" to the title.

Step 6

Close "Easy Thumbnailer" and start "Photoshop".

Once "Photoshop" is open click on File > Open

Step 7

Navigate to the local folder in which you stored the thumbs.

1. Select the first image (the image with the lowest number!). Make sure you only have the images in this folder you want to use for your movie.

2. check the "Image Sequence" option at the bottom.

Then click "Open"

Step 8

A new pop up opens in which you have to enter the frame rate of your movie (meaning the number of photos shown within 1 second), in this case I use 5 photos per second.

Remember the frame rate you want to use, you need this number when you export your movie in Photoshop.

Step 9

Basically your movie is ready!

But let's have a preview in "Photoshop" first and add something extra to it.

To have a preview you need to open your animation window, to do so go to "Window" and select "Animation"

Step 10

1. At the bottom the "Animation" windows opens. Double click on the lock in your layer pallet to open up the layer.

2. In the "Animation" window you find a small "play" button you can use to preview your movie.
Click this button to see how your movie looks like.

Step 11

Let' add something personal to your image, this can for instance be a watermark.

To do this you need to add a new layer.

Step 12

I've opted to add a signature in the new layer but if you want you can add a text also.

You see that the new layer is added in the timeline of the "Animation" window. It covers the whole image, if you want the new layer just to be show for a smaller piece of time you can control this by making the blue/green bar smaller by sliding the left or right side of it.
In this case I choose for the whole length of the movie.

Step 13

All is ready and we are going to export the movie. To do so go to File > Export > Render Video

Step 14

A new window opens in which you have to set some stuff.

- First give your file a name and select the output folder.

- Select a format to save your file, in this case I use "AVI" (in the settings I used as Videosettings "DV PAL" and a "Normal" quality.

- We re sized the images before so I choose 800x600 as document size.

- The frame rate we choose before was 5, you can either choose "Frame Rate" > "Document Frame Rate" or manually set the fps to 5. (Note you can change the speed of the final image here as well by changing the fps manually to another number).

All set? Then click render!

Your movie is rendered to your output folder and you are finished.

Hope this tutorial was clear and you had fun doing it.
My final movie you can watch here:
Please post your links in the comments below.

Step 15

Can't show you the final movie in this tut, hopefully the admin can add it in this step :)
The link to it is in the description and in step 14.

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avatar Ariana4Ever

I've learned something new today, thanks

(5 years and 437 days ago)
no avatar
Catherine says:

really simple and practical thanks

(5 years and 437 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

There is no "Image sequence" option in the load dialog of my Photoshop CS5.1
I'm guessing this is Photoshop Extended functionality only. No problem for those who have a spare grand lying around, but for me a waste of 5 minutes reading this tutorial

(5 years and 289 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

I have problems with rendering the video. I canĀ“t select settings next to quick time export. Why can this be?

(5 years and 278 days ago)
no avatar
[banned] says:

I can't choose fot Quick time export. Where do I go wrong?

(5 years and 275 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

THank you soo much for this tutorial!! I am doing stop motion animation for school. You have made it clearer for me than ANY of the professors! Thank you and cheers!

(5 years and 217 days ago)
avatar robvdn
robvdn says:

"THank you soo much for this tutorial!! I am doing stop motion animation for school. You have made it clearer for me than ANY of the professors! Thank you and cheers!"

I'll send you the bill in a week

(5 years and 203 days ago)
no avatar
Guest says:

Cool. Had no idea this was possible with PS

(4 years and 317 days ago)

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