How to Make a Stop-Motion Animation Using iMovie

Hi Everyone! Here is a fun project I did with my 6 year-old son in the early days of quarantine when we still were feeling motivated and creative. Please let us know if you try it out and share links of your work. We would love to see what you and your kids come up with!

  1. Come up with a short story or one you already know. Here is a link to a free storyboard template you can print out if needed: https://www.powerproduction.com/storyboard-templates/six-HD-storyboard-template.pdf
  1. Make your characters: We made ours out of cardboard and painted them.
Making characters + backgrounds
  1. Make background/environmental elements. You can use a plain colored paper for your main background or “sky” and tape it to the floor or table so it does not move around.
  1. Take photos: Ideally use a tripod with the camera facing down. You can try to use a handheld camera, but you need to be sure that the camera position does not move too much or the animation will not look smooth. Move your characters across the background in tiny increments: think about 10 images for each second.
  1. Load the pictures onto your computer and assemble with a video editing software: I used iMovie. IMPORTANT: in iMovie you have to go into iMovie-Preferences and change the Image duration to ,03 seconds, and the Photo Placement to “Fit.”
  1. Use file-Import to browse for and import your pictures and drag them into the timeline.
Import Media
  1. Record voiceover in iMovie : Choose Audio on the top left, then click on the microphone at the bottom of the image viewer, then the red record button. It will beep three times and then record. Click again to stop recording. It is best to do this in segments. If you need to cut the audio, right or Ctrl-click on the audio file and choose “Split clip” then delete the part you don’t want. You can also add sound effects or music as you like. (iMovie has some built in)
Record Voiceover
Right or Ctrl-Click to Split the Audio Clip
Built in Sound Effects
  1. You can adjust the still image duration individually if you want an image to last longer to match your audio length: select the photo in the timeline and then go up to the “info” button at the top, there you can change it in the Duration box on the upper right.
Change Individual Still Image Duration to Adjust to Audio Length
  1. When you are ready, return to Projects and click on the circle with the three dots to Share-and export the movie to email, file, Facebook, Youtube etc.

If you want to see our finished version of The Three Billy Goats Gruff, you can view it here: https://tinyurl.com/ybzrz2xk

We also did a German version to share with his school friends. Send us a message if you want to see that one too.

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