Animation

How to Create a Stop Motion Animation Video Using a USB Webcam and AnimatorDV

Any film you see is produced by showing a series of images in quick succession. The UK PAL video format shows around 25 images to the eyes every second. In order for you to create your own stop-motion animation video, you’ll need to create an awful lot of images. This can be a tedious process, but software like AnimatorDV makes it a lot easier.

Download the AnimatorDV software, just type it into a search engine. The installation process is very easy, just go with the default settings. Before you start the program, plug in the camera you intend to capture the video with, wait until the computer recognises it and then start the software. If you’re running the software on an older computer, you might want to restart the computer first and run the software on its own (it’s quite CPU and RAM intensive).

Once you start the program, you’ll need to specify the directory the program should use to store the images you capture. When you have configured this and your camera settings, the main program window will load and display the live feed from your camera.

To produce your motion capture, as I’m sure you know, you’ll need to capture thousands of individual images, then string them together in a video to produce a film at the end. To start the process, click the red ‘GRAB’ button. If you have just started the program, you’ll need to create a new sequence for your animation, a window will pop-up to inform you of this. Click yes to create the sequence. You will now be free to go through the tedious process of capturing all the images for your first stop-motion animation. Click grab each time you want to take a new image, moving your subject a little time after each click.

Once you have captured all your images, you’ll want to export them to a video file that you can share. To do this, select ‘Sequences’ from the menu bar at the top of the screen. Then click ‘Make Avi…’ from the drop-down list. Select a location, click OK and your video will be created!

To see a sample video that I made, see:

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