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Two-Frame Animation

Two-Frame Animation
Two-Frame Animation

Animations on TV and movies are usually created by showing thousands of images very rapidly. It takes a very long time to create such animations. But actually, you don’t need that many images to create a simple animation. With two-frame animation, you can quickly create animations and understand the principle by taking only two pictures! 

Learn more about this simple technique and try creating your own animation with only two frames. We want to see what you come up with! Share your creations with us using the hashtags #StopMotion #TinkeringAtHome

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You only need to collect a few simple materials to try out making your own two-frame animations. Ideas for starting points to get set up for this activity are below. 

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Stop Motion Studio application. The free version of this application will let you quickly take and combine multiple photos into an animation. 

Phone or tablet and something to hold it in placeMake a stand out of books, blocks, or LEGO to hold your device in place and make sure your images line up. 

Everyday objects to animate. Consider animating kitchen utensils, shoes, toys, office supplies, and even fruits and vegetables!



Take Just Two Frames!

Look around your house and find an object that you want to animate. Decide what you’d like to happen between the first and second image. Here’s an example of a pin cushion with eyes, what emotion do you think it has? Surprised, awake, excited?

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Stop Motion Studio

Ryoko shares some tips and tricks for getting started with using the Stop Motion Studio app. Learn more and see step-by-step instructions here: Getting Started with Stop Motion Studio. 



Stabilize Your Camera

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Fix your phone or tablet in a stable position to prevent blurry images. Take your time and make careful movements as you adjust your objects in the frame to prevent unintentional movement of things you want to remain stationary. Consider using Stop Motion Studio’s timer to countdown a few seconds before recording to avoid camera shake. You can also use out-of-view clay or props to support objects or lift them off a surface at unexpected angles.



Ideas and Tips

replace this text Make an expressive face.
replace this text Use paper to make characters.
replace this text Animate household objects.
replace this text Make a moving mouth.
replace this text Create compelling narratives.
replace this text Use toys as characters in your story.
replace this text Play with size and scale.
replace this text Small changes can create a big impact.


Related Ideas 


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Two Page Flipbook

Make an analog two-frame animation with paper! Draw your two frames, then take your top page and wrap it around a pencil unil it curls. Then run your pencil up and down quickly, bringing your creation to life. Learn more about making two-page flipbooks →


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Another take on the physical, two-frame animation is a thaumatrope. Create two images on opposite sides of a piece of paper (or two papers glued together). Mount it onto something like a pencil or a wooden dowel. Spin the creation by rubbing your hands back and forth.


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Tinkering Library

We've selected a series of books that support playful learning and pair with tinkering activities, including explorations of animation. Visit our Tinkering Library to learn more about our favorite books to pair with animation