If you're a stop motion animator, you know that you need the right equipment to make your animations as good as possible. But which stop motion equipment is best? The answer is simple: all of it! Just kidding.
In this list, we'll go through some of the bare necessities starting with cameras and ending with animation software. This blog should give you a good place to start if you're looking for new ways to improve your stop motion animation skills and make animating a bit less tedious and a lot more fun!
The camera is the most important tool in stop motion animation. It's what you're going to be shooting with, so it's important that your camera be able to take photos at a high resolution, has manual settings for stop motion and interchangeable lens so you can get macro shots of your models.
The more control you have over your stop motion camera, the better control you have over your stop motion animations!
Tripods are a must-have for animators. They allow you to keep your camera steady and secure, which is essential for stop motion animation. A tripod is also useful in other scenarios; if you're shooting with a DSLR or mirrorless camera, it will help keep the lens from shaking while taking photos (this can be especially helpful when shooting indoors).
A sturdy tripod is a great investment because it's something that will last you years--especially if you're using it for video production as well as still images. Tripods range from cheap plastic models that cost under $20 all the way up to professional-grade equipment costing thousands of dollars.
Remember, with all the equipment that you buy for your animation needs, follow the motto: buy nice, or buy twice!
3. Lighting Kit
A lighting kit is a game changer for stop motion animators. Lighting can be used to create different effects and moods, as well as add depth of field and shadows. Lighting also needs to be controlled in a stop motion environment because it's common for an animator to move their subject or camera from one side of the scene to another during shooting.
Lighting kits are available in all shapes and sizes, with prices ranging from $10-$1,000+. You may want to start off small with a basic kit before investing in something more advanced and expensive if you're just starting out with your animation career!
For example, if you want to start cheap but reliable, a diffused lamp and some black out curtains can do wonders to control the lighting environment of your stop motion animations.
You can't have stop motion without a stage. The stage is the base of your animation and will hold everything together as you animate it. It's important that it be sturdy and durable enough to handle whatever you throw at it, but also portable enough so that you can easily move it around and set up different shots in different locations.
The size of the stage depends on what type of project you're working on: if you're doing something small like a short film or an Instagram video, then an 8x8' (2x2 meters) will probably be just fine; however, if your project requires more room or multiple characters/objects moving around at once (such as an animated feature), then consider getting something larger like 12x12' (3x3 meters).
5. Posing Tools and Puppet Flippers
GIF via GIPHY
Posing tools are used to pose the puppet and move it around. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but the most common ones are long sticks with handles at one end, which allow animators to reach into their sets and move objects around without having to get inside them.
Puppet flippers are another type of posing tool that can be used in conjunction with posing sticks or alone if an animator doesn't have access to any other equipment at all. These are basically just wooden dowels screwed into a base plate with holes drilled in their sides so you can stick your fingers through them while you're filming stop motion videos!
6. Animation Software
Animation software is an essential tool for creating stop motion animations. You can use it to edit and export your animation, add sound effects, and even create simple animations on your own. It's important to choose the right one for your needs, so here are some things to consider:
- How much money do you want to spend? Some programs are free while others cost hundreds of dollars per month (or even more). If money isn't an issue for you then go ahead and get one of those fancy programs--but if not, there are plenty of other options available at reasonable prices too!
- What kind of experience do I have with computers? If this is your first time using any kind of computer program then I would recommend trying out a free online animation tool first before investing any time or money into learning how everything works since it may end up being too complicated anyway!
The Right Stop Motion Equipment Can Elevate Your Animations
While stop motion animation can be done with a camera and tripod, there are some tools that will make your life easier and help you create better animations.
The right stop motion equipment will elevate your animations by making it easier to get started, improving the quality of your animations and allowing you to focus on what matters most: creating great content.
Invest in the Right Stop Motion Equipment Today!
The right stop motion equipment can make all the difference in the world. If you're looking to get started with stop motion animation, we recommend starting with one of these tools: a camera (or phone), tripod, lighting kit and stage set up.
Once you have those things covered then it's time to add some posing tools like puppet flippers or other puppets so that your characters can move around freely without falling over all over again!
For more information about creating quality animations, as well as answers to any other questions you might have, get instant access to our FREE TRAINING here and check out our blog on “How to Start an Animation Studio”!