Stop Motion Photography!! What do I need??

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by AV Happy, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. AV Happy

    AV Happy
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    Hi,
    My 12 year old son is really into making short stop motion clips with his Ipod touch. He seems really good at it and has the patience to make really good short clips. However the Ipod is obviously a bit limited and i was wondering about trying to get him some simple equipment so he can persue this a bit further, however i know very little about photography and dont have a clue as to what to get. Could someone please point me in the right direction as to what type of camera etc to look out for, Obviously the cheaper the better as this is only for a 12 year old.

    Thank you in advance :thumbsup:
     
  2. BubbleDouble

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  3. AV Happy

    AV Happy
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    Thank you Domino, my head is now spinning :rotfl:, I'll have to have a proper read of this article when i get home from work. However it looks like i can use a DSLR with the correct software. My wife has a Nikon D40 so my son could maybe try that to see how it goes, Now i will have to find some free software to stitch the pictures together. :smashin:
     
  4. BubbleDouble

    BubbleDouble
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    You're welcome! It seems you can achieve stop-motion using pretty much anything, but the amount of processing varies greatly depending upon which hardware is being used.

    I tried something like this with my Canon 350D, taking a series of shots and then putting them together using Windows Live Movie Maker in Windows 7. Seemed to work okay for my needs and it's free. This assumes you're using a Windows PC of course...I don't know anything about Apple Macs.

    Darren
     
  5. AV Happy

    AV Happy
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    Darren,
    Thank you again thats a great idea, our home PC is running windows 7 so I'll take a look at movie maker and see how simple it is to use. He will be thrilled if he can make and edit movies easily on the PC.:smashin:
     
  6. mucca_D

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    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  7. AV Happy

    AV Happy
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    Thank you Mucca, I came across a few videos at lunchtime, but not this one, It all looks straight forward enough. I have a suspision once my son gets hold of his mums camera she will have all on to get it back once he's up and running.

    Cheers

    John
     
  8. Jammyb

    Jammyb
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    A remote shutter release would be a big advantage and cost less then a fiver from amazon or ebay. A tripod. Set the camera to manual mode, keep the ISO low (below 400) and adjust the shutter speed until it looks right. Set the lens to manual focus.

    Try and use a constant light source and a set the white balance so it looks ok.

    Then every shot will be the same. Just change the scene and use the remote shutter release to snap away.

    May be worth setting the camera to record lower quality/resolution jpeg files as you won't need it and it will make the render faster. You have options:
    Image sizes • 3008 x 2000 (Large, 6 MP)
    • 2256 x 1496 (Medium, 3.4 MP)
    • 1504 x 1000 (Small, 1.5 MP)
    Image quality • NEF (12-bit compressed RAW)
    • JPEG fine
    • JPEG normal
    • JPEG basic
    • NEF (RAW) + JPEG basic

    I'd be tempted to go small and basic unless you're planning to make something 1080P
     
  9. AV Happy

    AV Happy
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    jammyb,
    Thats just the sort of advice i need, thank you very much appreciated. We have a remote for the camera and a tripod.

    Any recommended settings for the camera would also be appreciated..
    Perhaps this will be the push i needed to use the camera properly and learn about all the settings. To date we just turn it on and leave everything in auto mode.

    Thank you again

    John
     
  10. Jammyb

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    Manual mode, ISO200 say. If you're using a tripod and a static subject then shutter speed doesn't matter, so just adjust it using the meter or until a test image looks nice, adjust the white balance for your lighting (the camera manual or the net will show you how to set a custom white balance to get it bang on or choose one of the tungsten or fluorescent type presets if they look ok)

    Aperture wise it depends what you want to do artistically, you could go F11 for front to back sharpness with everything in focus or go wide open (smallest F number) for a narrower area of focus (blurry foreground/background) which looks better usually but harder to work with. You can zoom in and get in close to increase this effect.

    Switch the lens to MF, you don't want it refocusing after every frame.

    That's all I can think of. If you wanted to get more advanced you could shoot RAW instead of JPEG and then batch process all the frames, punch up the colour and contrast and crop to a video format, in Lightroom say. But probably easier to try and get it right in the camera to start with.
     
  11. AV Happy

    AV Happy
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    That's brilliant jammyb thank you, really really helpful we'll have a go at the weekend and if possible ill post the results
     
  12. Johnmcl7

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    I'd recommend Virtualdub (free open source software) for the initial processing of the images, it had this very clever but not well known feature that if you put all the photos together in one folder and then open the first in Virtualdub it automatically sequences the rest into a video. You can then set the speed, any filters (such as to even out frames to remove flickering) then export it to Moviemaker or similar to add titles, music and any other material. When I've been doing time lapses which are similar to stop motion, I've found this the easiest way to combine all the photos into a video.

    I agree with Jammyb's recommendation for camera settings so no need to add my own.

    John
     

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