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Guide To Stop-Motion Animation: Introduction

Beginners guide to stop-motion animation for artists, movie buffs, hobbyists and teachers.

Will this be useful for me?

Whether you want to explore the genre for its entertainment value, make some animations yourself, brush up on your cinematic vocabulary and research or integrate stop-motion animation into a lesson plan, then this guide has something for you.

What is it?

Stop-motion animation is a film technique that is created by compiling a series of single frame photographs together. The technique enables the creator to make small movements in between shots that brings objects alive.


Claymation- Animations molded in clay

Object-motion- Animated 3-d objects

Cut-out motion- Animated collage

Pixilation- Animated people in stop-motion

Drawing stop-motion- Stop-motion animations made by drawing and erasing

Cel animation- Created by drawing frame-by-frame movements of characters onto clear acetate cells, layered on top of a single, long background composition.

Dynamation- Uses a ‘split screen’ technique with a combination of stop motion animation and film together, invented by Ray Harryhausen.

PES 2008, Western Spaghetti, YouTube, PES, 5 July 2008, viewed 21 October 2019, <>.


This video introduces the capabilities that are achievable with the technique of stop-motion animation and object-motion. This is a contemporary example of the genre showing that stop-motion animation’s relevance is not outdated with the advent of computer generated graphics. This clip was nominated as Time Magazine's second most viral video of 2008 and another film ‘Fresh Guacamole’ by PES was nominated for an Academy Award in 2013.


Industry terms

Go Motion- Creating a motion blur in the photographs which results in a more realistic effect.

Strobing- Disjointed and clunky film scenes as a result of not enough frames per second.