Here's an example of a short stop-motion movie as an animated gif:
And here's an example of a longer build:
Step 1: Get the stuff and write a story
- a completed Lego model, including all necessary actors (mini-figures)
- a computer
- a webcam (or a digital camera, preferably with a tripod)
- a photo processing program (we used Picasa)
- two kids, but one will do if you're prepared to help out
For this style of stop motion, the plot should include some reason for the construction of a Lego set. My boys love Lego Star Wars, and the Force provides a useful excuse as to why something is being magically constructed. Ask the kid(s) to write a few lines describing what will happen in the movie. Keep it simple! The above is an example script.
It helps if you then write down what has to be done, REVERSING the order of everything above. The "trick" that makes this stop-motion effective is the dismantling of a completed Lego set. So for the example above:
- The speeder reverses over the clones, who then jump to their feet. The speeder disappears backwards off the screen, then reappears (backwards).
- The clones back off the screen.
- Obi-wan and the others get off and back away from the speeder.
- Take apart the speeder, and put all the bits down in sight of the camera.
- Back everyone off the screen.
Step 2: Set up and film!
Note that this approach is also a slick way of documenting a custom Lego build.
Step 3: Rename photos in reverse order
Step 4: Make a time-lapse movie
Select Transition Style > Time Lapse, and set the slide duration to 1/15 second (or faster or slower, as you see fit). Under the Slide tab you can add a title. During the movie, you can use the same tab to add captions - to stop them flicking up for a fraction of a second, cut and paste the dialogue across several slides.
See how it looks by using the play button, then hit "Create Movie". You're done! Enjoy.
Note: there are of course many, many other ways to achieve the same end, and many more powerful tools for doing so (especially if you pay for them!). If you have alternate suggestions, please share them in the comments.
Step 5: Animated gifs
If you'd rather make an animated gif because your movie is a short one, this is easy too. Just follow steps 1-4 then upload your images to one of the many free online animated gif makers (I used gifmaker.me). Adjust the animation speed to whatever you think is appropriate (I used 150 ms), and to make the file size manageable, reduce the dimensions of your photo (the one on this page is 320 x 240 px, and the one in the intro is 160 x 120 px).
If you need to crop, resize or add effects to your gif, try ezgif.com. See http://www.instructables.com/id/make-an-animated-GIF/ by mikeasaurus for a more detailed guide and many more options.