Stop Motion 101: How to use stop motion in your content creation

A video post performs 39% higher than a photo post on Instagram but wondering what type of video is the easiest to create when you’re just starting out? In this blog post, our friends over at Life Lapse, a stop motion app that allows creators to make eye-catching videos with their mobile phones, dives into the stop motion technique and why you should be using it on social media.

What is stop motion

A stop motion video is made up of a series of photos that are stitched together and played back at a high speed to create a video. As a content creator, you’ve already perfected capturing photos so this technique will be easy for you to tap into as you capture a series of photos to piece together into a stop motion. Here’s why this technique performs well on social media:

  • The content is short and loopable which increases engagement when there is no clear ending to a video
  • 85% of people watch video without sound but the narrative with stop motion is visual so you can tell a story without relying on sound or text
  • You only have 1.7 seconds to capture the attention of someone while they are scrolling on a mobile device and with social media platforms autoplaying video content, stop motion instantly catches the viewers’ eyes and stops the scroll

 

Where to use stop motion

a. For leveling up your brand partnerships

With social distancing and quarantine in effect around the world, influencers will play a bigger role in content creation for brands heading into 2021 as companies are unable to access studios and are scaling down production teams and marketing budgets. Being able to provide a variety of content types to brands will open up more opportunities for you to work with brands on both a brand awareness and content creation level. Here are a few examples of influencers utilizing stop motion for their brand partnerships:

Emily of Classy Casita uses stop motion and Life Lapse to showcase Parachute Home’s product in her own home. Parachute Home reshared this reel to their own channel and it became their highest performing content to date.

We love how Sasha Exeter uses stop motion to tell Indigo’s key message that they are the go-to destination this holiday with gifts for everyone.

Austen shares an unboxing of small businesses she’s supporting this year with stop motion.

If you’re curious of the type of content brands are creating with stop motion, check out this Instagram Guide: 9 Brands Killing It With Stop Motion or see how Skims used stop motion in their most recent product launch:

b. For growing your own channels and engagement

From your blog to any social media platform, your stop motion can really be used anywhere and everywhere. Here are a few areas where your stop motions can stand out even more when it comes to growing your own channel and engagement:

  • Instagram – Video content on Instagram is set to autoplay in feed, stories, reels and the new guides. It especially helps your content stand out in feed and in guides where content is typically static.
  • Pinterest – On Pinterest, videos autoplay on mobile. Video is fairly new for the platform which means video content is favored and you can stand out easily amongst the noise.
  • TikTok – In this sound-on video environment, viewers are looking for unique content. We’ve seen influencers utilize stop motion on TikTok gaining viral results.
  • Email – Embedding a stop motion video as a gif into your email platform will make the video autoplay as the reader opens up your email. This is an engaging way to capture their attention.

How to create a stop motion with your mobile phone

Our stop motion app, Life Lapse, is an easy way to create stop motions using your phone. The app is available for both iOS and Android and is free to download.

  1. Download Life Lapse available in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store to start creating stop motions with your phone
  2. Set your scene as you normally would when capturing photos and determine what part of your image you will be animating and what movement you’d like that object to do.
  3. Use the Life Lapse camera to capture your images, lock your white balance and exposure. The camera has features like the ghost image overlay which is a necessary tool when creating stop motion videos so you can align objects and see how far you have to move objects between shots. If you have a DSLR, you can also import images into the app to stitch together into a stop motion.
  4. Capture your first image of the scene
  5. Move the object that you would like to animate a little bit and take your next photo. Example: if you have a hat and you’d like to spin around, turn the hat a little bit and capture that shot. You will notice the ghost feature when you take the second photo. Use the ghost feature to make sure the hat is in the same position and isn’t moving to the left or right of the screen from where it was originally placed. It’s important to make only small movements between each photo to ensure a smooth animation.
  6. Repeat this until you’ve completed the entire movement and using the hat example, once you’ve captured every shot leading up to the hat making a 360 degree turn
  7. Hit the play button to see your stop motion! Be sure to increase the speed. From there you can apply your normal photo edits like brightness, saturation, filters, etc. Save and share!

A few tips for creating stop motion videos:

  • The key to a great stop motion is a stable phone and consistent lighting like a ring light or light in your house (ie. no natural light as it can cause flicker when played back at a high speed)
  • Avoid touching your phone when capturing your shots by either using a bluetooth remote or setting the interval timer in Life Lapse. If you want to manually take each photo, do it gently so the phone doesn’t move.
  • Capturing the tiniest of movements in between each shot and increasing the speed will make for the smoothest stop motion
    If there is a shot within your Life Lapse project that you’d like to use as a still image later on, you can always save individual images captured in Life Lapse directly to your phone!
  • Will you be integrating stop motion into your strategy? If you need more inspiration, follow us at @lifelapse_app on Instagram.

About Life Lapse

Life Lapse is the easiest stop motion app empowering small business owners, creators and influencers to create eye-catching videos for social media marketing using their phone. Launched in 2017, Life Lapse is available on iOS and Android with over 1 million users across 175 countries. Download Life Lapse for free or upgrade to Life Lapse Pro for its in-app camera and editor to create quality stop motion videos comparable to $15,000+ worth of cameras, computer and professional editing software, and to create videos 10x faster. For more information, visit www.lifelapseapp.com.

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