How to Make a Stop-Motion Video on Windows Movie Maker

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A stop-motion video gives the illusion that still objects are moving. You can achieve this effect by taking still pictures of objects, slightly changing their placement for each shot, then using video editing software, such as Windows Movie Maker (WMM), to compile them and generate the stop-motion video. Clay figures are a common choice because the clay's flexibility allows the user to easily position and change the clay figure's posture for each photo.

Things You'll Need

  • Camera
  • Clay
  • Windows Movie Maker
  • Mold the clay to make at least two basic figures. These clay figures will be the objects of the stop-motion movie.

  • Find a spot to set the camera and secure it in its position. The camera should remain in this position while you take pictures with it. You may change its angle a bit, but overall, it should remain in its position throughout the picture taking process to ensure a smooth stop-motion movie.

  • Set the two clay figures on a clear surface standing adjacent to each other in front of the camera and take a picture of them.

  • Adjust one of the clay figures--for example, move one figure's foot up, and take a second picture of them. Every picture you take will have a new change to it and in the long run it will create the illusion that your figures are moving, when in reality, they are still. Continue this process until you have enough pictures for the stop-motion movie. A hundred pictures will equal about thirteen seconds of video.

  • Right-click on your computer's desktop and select "New" and then click "Folder" to create a new folder for the pictures you just took.

  • Connect your camera, or its memory unit, to your computer and transfer the pictures into the folder you just created.

  • Start Windows Movie Maker, click "File," and then "New Project" to create the video workspace.

  • Click "File," then "Import Media Items..." and select all of the images you just transferred from your camera by pressing "Ctrl-A." Press "Import" to have them imported onto the workspace. Repeat this step to import any audio files you wish to use for the stop-motion movie as well.

  • Click on "Tools" and then on "Options..." to bring up the options screen.

  • Locate the "Picture Duration" setting (it might be under the "Advanced" tab depending on your version of WMM) and set the value to "0.125" seconds. This changes the picture duration of each picture to eight frames per second, which allows the stop motion video to play fairly smoothly.

  • Locate "Imported Media" on the left task bar (under "Edit") and click on it. This will bring up the tab with all of the picture and audio files you previously imported onto the workspace.

  • Click and drag your mouse over all of the pictures you want to use for the stop-motion video from the "Imported Media" tab to select them.

  • Drag the the selected pictures onto the video section of the timeline located towards the bottom of the WMM window.

  • Click to select any audio files you want to use to add sound effects in your video from the "Imported Media" tab and drag them onto the audio section of the timeline.

  • Click and drag the audio selections on the timeline to make them correspond to the video portion of the timeline.

  • Click "File" and then "Publish Movie..." to open the movie publishing options.

  • Choose "Publish on this computer...," name the movie and choose its save location, select its publishing quality (the "Best quality for playback on my computer" option is recommended) and click "Publish" to begin the video publishing process.

References

  • Photo Credit clay figurines image by fabersky from Fotolia.com
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