For the past few years, NCTV has been offering Stop Motion Animation courses through the Norfolk Recreation Department and this summer is no different! We are almost finished with our July session and have another full session scheduled for August! This year, however, we’re stepping up our game and teaching a brand new program called Dragonframe.
Dragonframe is professional stop motion animation software and is the same software that was used to create feature films such as Coraline, The Boxtrolls, and Shaun the Sheep! While I’m sure we will only scratch the surface of its features in our week long adventures, the software can be used at any time (and for any age) in our studio if you’re looking to create your own work!
No matter what your project is, there are a few features you’ll want to know about to create your one-of-a-kind piece:
Live View - This feature takes a live feed from our Canon T2i (or practically any camera) and sends it directly to the program so you can see your changes in real-time.
Onion Skinning - This is by far the favorite of the staff. This allows you to see the difference between the previous frame that was taken and the live view so you can see the differences between the two. Onion skinning is key for learning that small movements make big changes!
Focus Assist - With this little feature, you can temporarily zoom into a small section of your live view to make it a snap to focus the camera on what is most important.
Paths - Paths allow you to indicate on the computer monitor where your characters will be moving so you don’t lose track of your intended motion as you continue through your project.
Camera Controls within Software - The software also lets you control the aperture, ISO, shutter speed, white balance, and more right inside the program. This makes it super easy to adjust your image without touching (and messing up) the camera! Hands free is always best when it comes to animation!
Export Options - There are a ton of export options including the one we like best, which is to export as images. This way we have full control over each frame back in our editing software where we add sound effects, titles, etc.
Audio Track - We didn’t use it this week but we discovered the importance of including audio clips while filming frames and will use this feature in the future! This way, you can line up dialogue while you’re filming the action so there are plenty of frames to cover the action.
If you’re interested in seeing it first hand or learning more, join us at our Stop Motion Animation workshop on August 9th! All ages welcome!