How to make a stop-motion video, part 2

Now that you’ve taken all the photos for your stop-motion film, you need to assemble them in stop-motion software. You could use any software that will allow you to make a slideshow where you can manipulate the length of time for which each frame appears.

This tutorial is based on iMovie.

1. Open your movie software.

When iMovie opens, it gives you the option to create a new project. Click on that.

2. Give your movie a name.

iMovie has you save it to your computer right after naming it. I recommend putting it in the same folder where all the photos for the movie are so everything stays together.

3. Import your photos.

You can do this either by going to File > Import… or dragging the photos onto the iMovie window. Either way, to select all the photos, click on the first one, hold down the shift key, and then click on the last photo. This will select all of them. (Or you can go to Edit > Select All.)

4. Prune the photos.

Once they have imported into the iMovie window, delete any that you don’t want or that were mistakes by clicking once on the clip and pressing Delete or Backspace on your keyboard (or right-click on the clip and choose Clear). You don’t have to move the clips to fill in empty spaces. And make sure you don’t move them out of the order in which they were taken.

5. Move clips to the viewer.

Inside iMovie, select all the clips (Edit > Select All) and drag them to the clip viewer or timeline viewer at the bottom of the iMovie window. I like the clip viewer for this purpose. (You change from one to the other at the bottom left under the video window; the clip viewer is a film icon and the timeline is a clock.)

6. Find the right speed.

Make sure all the clips in the clip viewer are selected, and click on the Photos icon above the viewer. Then go up to the little slider with the rabbit and turtle on either end. We usually set it at about :07, but you can experiment.

7. Play your movie.

Do this by clicking the Play icon under the video. If it’s going too fast, select all the clips and change the number on the slider, pushing it closer to the rabbit (left).

8. Add sound effects.

Change from the clip viewer to the timeline viewer (the little clock icon). Then click on the Audio icon on the right side above the viewer. It should show iMovie Sound Effects, or it may show your iTunes library. You can a song into your movie or click on the dropdown box and find the iMovie Sound Effects. When you find something you want in your film, place the playhead at the point in your movie where you want it by dragging the little downward-pointing triangle above the timeline viewer to the proper clip. Then drag the sound effect down to the timeline.

You can also record your own sound effects or voice (if your computer has a built-in microphone) by clicking on the red record button. Whatever you record will place itself in the timeline automatically wherever the playhead is, so you can watch what’s happening in the movie and be able to speak or make the sounds at the proper time.

9. Manipulate the sound.

You can move it left or right or cut part of it off if you need the sound to start or stop at a certain point. You can also click on it and delete it if you want to start over.

10. Save your work often!

In fact, every once in a while I’d save the whole project to another location on your hard drive. If you mess it up beyond repair, you can always go back to a point where everything was working well and retry your changes.

11. Export the video for YouTube, if desired.

Go to File > Share… and choose the QuickTime icon. After Compress movie for: choose Expert Settings and click Share. It will prompt you to save it somewhere and you can choose Movie to MPEG-4 from the dropdown box. That’s it!

See the post below this one for part 1 of this tutorial.

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