How to: Make a stop motion video to jazz up your Instagram

*I don't claim that this is the best or easiest way to make stop motion videos, this is just how I do it. *

What I use:

  • iPhone
  • Photoshop CS6 (or newer)
  • A cookie (to celebrate when you finish)

I'm going to show you how I made this quick video for my instagram @robertandstella.

F I R S T : Take your photos : I use my iPhone because it's easy and I'm lazy. If you're looking to make a higher quality, more professional video use a tripod + a real camera. The tripod will help create a smoother video because there will be less movement between the shots. This way is messier and more imperfect. Some might say it has more character - or maybe that's just me. Using my iPhone I just mark where I'm standing so the shot is (mostly) in the same spot. For the video above I took six photos. 

S E C O N D : Drop your photos into Photoshop CS6 (or newer)After I take my photos I email them to myself and open them in Photoshop. I layer them on top of each other in order so I can make sure they (mostly) line up with each other. Then I crop the image size to square for Instagram and save the photos out one by one. You can also edit them all at the same time here (brightness, contrast, etc.).

T H I R D : Put your photos in order : I took six photos and copied a few of them several times to create a loop.

Now I have 14 photos to create a little loop. Here's what the "storyboard" version looks:

F O U R T H : Make your video : Once you have all your photos in order you can make your video. Open a new document in Photoshop that is the same size and resolution as your photos. Go to Window > Timeline to open up the Timeline menu. It should pull up at the bottom of your screen. Make sure "Create Video Timeline" is selected and then click the button.

It should open up a new menu. Click on the filmstrip icon to the right of the Layer 1 and select "Add Media".

Select your photos and hit Open.

In the bottom left corner select the button to "Convert to frame animation."

You should see your photos pull up in the menu at the bottom. Now you can adjust the length of time that each photo shows up, delete frames, rearrange the order, etc., and hit the play button to watch it loop through. You can also select if it plays just one time or if you'd like it to loop forever. Who wouldn't want to watch dancing notecards forever?

Go to File > Export > Render Video to create an mp4 file.

I don't mess with the video settings, although I'm sure there are things I should be adjusting. And that's it! Now you can upload your video wherever your heart desires. I hope you haven't left more confused than when you came :)

Here's the other videos I put together for the Mini Cards and a Flower-works 4th of July celebration. 


Mini Cards Stop Motion

Flower-works Stop Motion