What are stop motion videos and why you can’t miss them!

In this post we will explain what is a stop motion video, how many types there are and where they perform better

Marketing Team
Video Marketing What are stop motion videos and why you can’t miss them!

Table of Contents

The stop motion video technique is a video making methodology that is characterized by taking many single frames and then editing them in sequence. The items are slightly relocated within the frame of each photo, creating the illusion that the objects are moving independently. 

Stop motion videos existed even before digital cameras were invented, flipbook-style. It was enough to sketch a small object, a stick figure for example slowly performing an action, such as sitting and then standing up, in the lower right corner of a notebook. By quickly flipping the pages, you have the impression that the stick figure is moving. We can think of stop motion videos as a more complex version of flipbooks. 

This video editing technique is usable for many types of content as we will explain below. This includes educational videos, to interactions within traditionally filmed videos, where inanimate objects move independently next to animated people. In marketing, this feature provides an added value for stop motion videos: they can be used in many contexts and will always be original. 

What is a stop motion video? 

A stop motion video – involves the action of taking continuous photos of the same scene, gently changing the details in a progression, and then tying together each frame.  

The result? A sequence of a moving element one frame after another. If you want to change the flow of how the image evolves, simply stop editing between one frame and another. This complex realization is immediately forgotten if you look at the final result: the product is simple, fluid, and natural, as if the action had actually been carried out independently by the object. 

This series of images gives a sense of fluidity: the video may seem two dimensional, but it’s made with real objects rather than illustrations. In fact, it’s this characteristic that is key for “stop-motion” or “stop-frame” videos and animations: being recorded and made frame by frame, with real-world objects moving in between. 

By shooting in sequence, the protagonists (objects or people) gain autonomy of movement. The methodology of video in motion then consists in taking a photograph, a frame, an object/ subject or character, then moving it slightly, and shooting again. 

All of the top marketing trends for 2023, show how visual content prevails – more and more – over text formats. Why? Because visuals are pure entertainment and they are more successful. 

It is estimated that it only takes two seconds to capture an audience’s attention, which is why stop motion is great for marketing. Stop motion is a somewhat “magical” technique, and this characteristic represents an added value in content creation. These kinds of videos are visual and their brevity and simplicity of action help make them memorable to the viewer. Hence the brand can build a positive image and promote brand appeal: a stimulating and powerful quality that not only leaves a lasting impression, but also motivates them to share content, helping to nurture leads. 

In any industry, programming these kinds of achievements in your marketing strategy can be beneficial. The popularity and virality of stop motion videos on social media and video sharing sites brings users closer and makes them feel like an active part of the brand. 

While creating stop motion videos takes time, it’s definitely an activity that provides positive ROI. An ideal strategy for using them involves integrating  this kind of content with the remaining, more classic and standard. A practice that involves both professionals, who appreciate the complexity of the realization, as well as those who have no family through the process. 

Types of stop motion videos 

Stop motion videos can involve different objects. They don’t just concern animations of inanimate or animate objects, but also of people. Everything you can shoot and capture in one shot can become the subject of a stop motion video.

There are several types stop motion vides (source: Adobe.com) 

  • Object movement: Brings an inanimate object to life; this is good if you need a low-budget solution 
  • Claymation: Modeling clay by making it move like an autonomous object, in various shapes and sizes. 
  • Pixilation: a typology involving real actors, willing to repeat single frames in sequence many times. 
  • Puppets: puppets, wooden puppets, guided figurines, everything can move and be the protagonist of their own story. 
  • Silhouette animation: a game of light and shadow, which, through a backlight, recreates shapes and sequences. 

Each type of video meets different needs and should be chosen by reflecting on the target audience of the content. An animated object isn’t just for children–it could still workfor an adult audience. 

How to shoot and edit a stop motion video 

After understanding how and why stop motion videos are important and necessary, let’s look at how to make them. To make these stop motion videos, you need a real technical kit, as well as creativity and imagination. Everything starts with the tools: 

  • Camera: any type, clearly digital, the more professional the better. This could even be achieved with a mobile phone.  
  • Support: an essential part of the operation. You will need to mount the camera so that it stays perfectly still throughout the production process.  
  • Editing software: the editing program is essential, as it helps ensure optimal quality of the video so that you can share it on the brand’s main platforms with confidence.  
  • Objects/Subjects: identify the protagonist of your stop motion video project. 

As we mentioned at the beginning of this post, the methodology and work sequence is always the same for stop motion videos

  1. Place the object-subject in front of the camera in the “set” you have built. 
  2. Take an initial photograph and adjust the rest of the work, centering the framing and beyond. 
  3. Then, move the subject-object and take another photo, and so on. 
  4. Try to merge all the frames and you will see that the protagonist of the action always moves on his own. 

It takes about 12 frames to get a one-second video. You’ll need many more for a more articulated and longer animation: try varying the complexity of the action over the duration of the animation. 

Where stop motion video performs best 

Many brands are working to permanently incorporate stop motion video into their marketing strategy. One of them is IKEA. In their stop-motion videos, the furniture and accessories move independently between rooms, walls and floors, which helps keep them top of mind for the customer. Carpets that crease themselves, a kitchen that equips itself to prepare tacos (Source: instagram.com/ikea), etc. 

But where do you share this content? The most suitable spaces and platforms for your stop motion videos are definitely your social media platforms and video sharing websites like YouTube. 

Instagram and TikTok are the two most visual social networks. The hybrid shapes of the Reels and TikToks themselves offer the possibility of having a space where you can make the scene as fluid as possible. These are short videos of 60 seconds maximum that contain the entire narration. A platform like YouTube, on the other hand, is better suited for longer videos and animations: here, users expect content to last longer than a minute. Just don’t forget to capture their attention immediately at the beginning of the video! 

Another important consideration: don’t forget how to achieve the desired stop motion. You can present a product physically, showing it from above or work metaphorically and rhetorically. The stop motion strategy goes beyond the type of product you’re marketing. Elements that move in a creative way can be inserted in a corporate and formal language, including around elements that characterize the brand and in more serious settings ( such as a website). Merging seriousness and the simplicity-creativity of animation helps bring the viewer closer with a narrative that is no longer an I-you but an us. 

In conclusion, when thinking about the type of stop motion and the best platform to choose, keep your target audience in mind. Working on the data collected from the analysis of interactions is a necessary and essential step in a digital and visual marketing strategy. Trying to create engagement with the customer is the ultimate goal. 

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