How To Make a Stop Motion Video for Instagram

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

How to Make a Stop Motion Video For Instagram

Instagram is probably my favorite social media platform, especially when it comes to promoting my etsy shop, Barnacle Designs. Facebook has become so huge and unpredictable; Instagram feels more like I'm interacting with friends. Friends who I've maybe never met, but who are like minded about how great handmade is and who don't mind having me as a crazy stalker person.

Awhile ago I decided to try my hand at making a stop motion video to post on my feed. It got a lot of views and likes, so here I am sharing how to do it with you. My video got about 50% more views than my usual posts, so I think it's worth it to bust out your creative director side and give it a go.

This is the stop motion video I made showing off a zipper pouch from my etsy shop.
Here's whatcha you're gonna need to make one yourself.

1. iphone camera
2. the "flipgram" app downloaded on your phone
3. little iphone tri-pod to stabilize your phone
4. remote camera shutter
5. items that will be in your video
6. some kind of background, I just used a white poster board

 Fancy! I bought the tripod and the shutter at Target, and they were each under $10. These two little workers keep your camera absolutely still while you photograph, and keep your camera exactly the same distance from your set up as you are taking multiple shots.

Once you have this set up, it's just a matter of taking a ton of photos, yelling "show me sexy! show me fierce!" and moving your items no more than 1/4 inch after each shot. 

Some things I learned along the way that might help you:

*Set everything up in an area with really nice natural lighting. You want all the photos to have consistent good lighting and you will have WAY too many photos at the end to have to edit them all for brightness. That would be so yuck.

*Plan your beginning, middle and end before you start shooting. Flipgram will load all your photos into it's "reel" in the order you took them, and while you can reorder them, it's easiest if you take your photos in the order you want them.

*With that in mind, delete any unusable photos (say because your hand is in it) as you go.

*Only move your items a tiny bit between each shot. More photos with smaller increments of movement will make a better finished video than less photos with bigger jumps in movement. Aim for about 1/4" in distance moved. I ended up using 120 photos for a 25 second video, that's about 5 photos per second!
*Here is a collage of some of the 18+ photos of the earplugs "walking" into the zipper pouch.

*Make a tiny mark on your background surface to use as a, well, mark for your items. In my video I made a small pencil dot on the poster board that appeared as the front and center of the frame when I looked at the camera screen. As I moved items around the circle I made sure the item in front at the time touched my dot. This kept the whole thing sort of centered throughout the video.

*Take multiple shots without moving anything if you want there to be a pause in the action.

Once you've taken all your photos:

*When you open flipgram it will walk you through setting up your new video. The most important option you have is adjusting the speed, it looks like a little slider with a bunny icon. 

*In my opinion a video for instagram should be no longer than 30 seconds and even shorter is better. Increasing the speed is mandatory as it makes your stop motion look smoother and makes your video shorter. Your goal is to make people want to watch your video again, not wish it would get over.

*When you load your finished flipgram onto instagram, you can actually use the built in editing tools to edit all of the photos in the flipgram at the same time. Way cool! And much easier than editing them all individually.

And there you have it. If you have any questions ask in the comments and I'll get back to you, and if you make an instagram video tag me @barnacledesigns so I can check out your ah-mazing work!

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