Stop Motion with GIMP, A Milling Machine, and an Env2

Here’s the results of quite a bit of work; I’ll explain how it was done and show my first video using stop motion animation after the break.

Jason Underwood, who has his own podcast, collaborated on this video after grilling some hot dogs.  The pictures for this were shot in 640 x 480 resolution which avoided some conversion hassles.  “More mustard!” – Jason

stop motion setupsetup for Hot Dog Droid videoThe above sequence was animated using an ENV2, the GIMP image manipulation package, and a milling machine. Some Lego figures, a hotdog, and a clay tiger were also used.  These posts on GIMP animation and my design for an ENV2 camera phone mount should give some background on the conversion process and setup if you want to try this yourself.  I used the phone mount with a “milling setup” pictured to the right to hold everything steady.  I then took pictures of slightly different scenes and put them together using GIMP.  This is pretty easy with this package as you just drag the photos into the different layers and save it as an animated GIF.

Once everything is saved in GIF format, you can insert a “photo” (animated GIF in this case) into Windows Movie Maker.  Save this as a movie and you have a format that can be uploaded to Youtube or wherever else you’d like to display it.

My first attempt at stop motion animation is shown below.  I used some “shop cookies” for this because they are easy to manipulate and stay in place well.  All pictures in the following “film” were shot in 1600 x 1200 resolution originally.  I had to use GIMP to scale the image back to 25 percent of the original resolution before WMM would handle it.  This can be done with the “scale” command under the “image” menu in GIMP.  The resulting resolution was 400 x 300 pixels.  As noted, the “Hotdog Droid” video was shot in 640 x 480 resolution which didn’t seem to have the same problems.

This mill setup might also work well to move the camera in a controlled manner so it looks like you’re flying over a landscape or something.  I haven’t tried this yet, but maybe in the future.  For more Stop-Motion madness, check out what I did with Post-it notes, or this one where Jason and I crush stuff with our bare hands!

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  1. ENV2 Camera Phone Mount | - pingback on January 17, 2011 at 6:23 pm
  2. Stop Motion Animation with Post-it notes | - pingback on January 26, 2011 at 4:48 pm
  3. More Stop Motion Animation – Crush Stuff! | - pingback on February 7, 2011 at 5:28 pm
  4. Stop Motion Animation with Post-it notes | - pingback on February 17, 2011 at 11:01 pm
  5. “Birth of PVC-Man” Animation Preview/Review | JCOPRO.NET - pingback on March 13, 2012 at 7:01 pm
  6. ENV2 Camera Phone Mount | JCOPRO.NET - pingback on April 21, 2012 at 10:23 pm
  7. How to Make a Stop-Motion Video in Ubuntu Linux - pingback on November 14, 2012 at 7:57 pm

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