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Stop Motion Animation

The art of moving inanimate objects

Julienne Mathieu having her hair brushed

from "El Hotel Eléctrico by Segundo de Chomón, 1908

What is stop motion animation?

•  Objects are altered slightly in increments

•  Each individually photographed

•  To appear to give motion or movement

One of the first set of photographic images by Eadweard Muybridge of a moving race horse taken in 1877 with a battery of 16 cameras was to prove that a horse did, in fact, leave the ground with all hoofs when running.  Unbeknownst to him at the time he also created the first photographic animation process. However, the capability of projecting the final results had not yet being invented, but we can see below the results his work.


Muybridge went on to produce more studies of motion on various activities of the human figure and published a portfolio in 1887 Animal Locomotion: An Electro-Photographic Investigation of Consecutive Phases of Animal Movements which were widely used by scientists and artists alike.

Human & Animal Locomotion

Modern Use

Some of the earliest stop motion techniques are still being used today to create amazing animations in main stream pop culture.  From music videos to cartoons to full length feature films.


Peter Gabriels music video  made great use of this technique for his hit song Sledgehammer, 1986

South Park

The popular TV show using a very simple, but effective cut-out animation style

Wallace & Gromit

A look behind the scenes of stop motion animation with clay models at Aardman Studios

Make your own stop motion animation


Think of a story you want to tell and write it down


Draw a few pictures of how the story looks and unfolds

Create the Characters

Design the characters and scenes you will need


Use you camera to photograph the individual frames


Ninja Doll - the animation

20 Wonderful Stop Motion Ideas
for Beginners and Kids

Why not check out this Wondershare site and get an overview of some stop motion ideas for kids and beginners.  A range of different techniques and ideas to help you get started on your stop motion storytelling odyssey.

wondershare logo

The Brothers Quay

To end I'd like to introduce my favourite animators The Brothers Quay, identical twin brothers born in America they now live in England. Most of their animation films feature puppets made of doll parts and other organic and inorganic materials, often partially disassembled, in a dark, moody atmosphere, and shows the highest level of stop motion animation skills that can be achieved.

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