How to make a Smooth Stop Motion


You see all too many jerky stop motion animation on YouTube these days.  It makes viewing the animation and following the storyline far less appealing than it needs to be.  It’s very simple to make your stop motion smoother. The results of spending a little more time and attention will not only satisfy you with results but also make the animation more inviting to watch. A smooth stop motion will attract more viewers and fans of your animation. So how do you make a smooth stop motion? The answer is simple ( in general ) – you need to make smaller incremental movements and take more snapshots per second

There is one other important aspect to improving smoothness and that is the principal of “Ease in and Ease out”. We’ll cover that in a separate post. But for now let’s talk about frame rate.

Faire un mouvement d'arrêt lisse


The number of images you capture to make up one second of animation is described as “frames per second” or “FPS”. The greater the number of images you capture per second the smoother your animation will appear when it is replayed. There is a limit obviously to how many frames you need to take per second. Thirty ( 30 ) frames per second ( fps ) is considered the absolute maximum required. In fact professional stop motion rarely uses more then 24 fps. Amateur stop motion can be very effective at achieving smooth stop motion at 15 frames per second. In other words taking fifteen images for one second of animation will give you acceptably smooth animation.

Shown here on video  are some examples of  animations done at a low frame rates and some others at higher frame rates. You can see the stark difference between the two of them. The 15 FPS is true stop motion animation whereas the first animation is barely animation. It could be seen more as a slide show.
5 FPS – Not how to make Smooth Stop Motion right?


In contrast to this advise Loneclone Productions makes a very interesting point in regard to over emphasising the frame rate. They make a comment on how there are misconceptions among beginners that number of frames per second will automatically give you smooth animations. However a lower frame rate may actually add to the animation. Take a look at the video and make up your own mind. 

It basically is saying a jerky ( on purpose ) animation can add to the atmosphere of the stop motion. It gives it a comical effect. But note this is done on purpose right! Adding in the cartoon style music etc. The video covers more than this though.. Really worth a watch