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.
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.
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 place. Make 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?
Some Ideas to Get Started
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.
Use the onion skin feature to help you identify subtle differences between the two frames more precisely.
When you are happy with your two frames, save them as an animated GIF and share it with your friends or online! You can increase or decrease the speed of playback to achieve your desired effect.
If you want to make a stop motion animation from two photos you captured outside of an app, tools like Photoshop let you make a GIF from any two images.
Story Time + Tinkering
We've collected a set of our favorite books to use as inspiration for engaging with specific tinkering activities as part of our Story Time + Tinkering initiative. Learn more about Story Time + Tinkering →.
Book Pairing: Leaf Man
This beautiful book turns fall foliage into a material for making. Use the illustrations of leaves collaged into textured animals and landscapes to inspire your own creative arrangements of ordinary objects, or take your stop motion explorations outside to build your own leaf characters!
Take It Further
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.
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.
Experiments with science, art,
technology, and delightful ideas.