Top 3 Apps for Stop Motion Animation
Our Top 3 list is probably the only one that isn’t listing either Stop Motion or esp. Stop Motion Studio as the first of the list. Both of those apps repeatedly get top billing on blog posts only to yield a lot of complaints from folks reviewing apps for stop motion animation. People do tend to paraphrase each other’s blog posts about trending topics, so it could just be force of habit.
Clayframes is a go-to app for educators and grade school institutions because busy rooms full of kids are not great settings for glitches, bugs, and unanswered trouble tickets. Even still, it offers specialized features like onion skinning i.e. viewing multiple frames overlaid (in edit mode, to preview the motion effect freeze-framed), quick frame duplication and looping, soundtrack options, and you can even trigger the “shutter” (next frame) with a hand clap so you don’t wiggle the device.
This app covers stop motion animation and time lapse, both, and you can try it for free to make sure it meshes well with your exact environment before paying the whopping few bucks to upgrade from Lite to the full version offering high resolution, unlimited films and length etc.
Life Lapse Stop Motion Maker
(Android, iPhone, iPad)
Stop motion animation films can be produced entirely from your phone or tablet with this app, as well. It is another app we put above the obligatory Stop Motion Studio listing because, once again, complaints with which people are the most forthcoming in reviews (and there are always some) are less about bugs or counter-intuitive snags with Life Lapse and more to do with whining about whatever isn’t included for free. It’s hard to understand not wanting to thank devs with a dollar amount that’s less than the price of a cup of coffee, esp. when you’re using their software for hours and hours, frame after frame to produce media.
For this reason, Life Lapse Stop Motion Maker made our #2 spot which is also our #1 spot for iOS. It’s easy to use while still being packed with features from all the vital basics to onion skinning, effects, color correction and white balance. There are helpful soundtrack options including some stock, royalty-free music. It even has ghosted image overlay which is like onion skinning except you can choose to see it while you’re still shooting new frames, perhaps to influence nuances about positioning, or the next character movement you haven’t made yet.
This underrated app for stop motion animation should be on your device if you have only one or two that you use or try.
Stop Motion Studio
(Android, iPhone, iPad)
After slamming Stop Motion Studio because we feel people are parroting each other about it too much and it gets too much attention, honestly, it should be on your Android if you only try 3 and your iPhobe or iPad if you only try two. It’s very full-featured, there are a lot of amazing films that owe their existence to it, and one reason for the gripes about minor hitches is simply the sheer number of people using it.
While we recommend starting with the others for the best chance of a more seamless first experience, you still might want to try this one as a quintessential “must” esp. if you’re pretty into doing this. The app is not called Stop Motion Studio for nothing. As far as features listed for the top two apps, you’ll likely find this one has all those and more. Just because they’re popular doesn’t mean you’ll get satisfactory tech support help but, for several bucks, how much help can they afford? There are always ample free forums or folks who will help for a small fee on Fiverr and other sites.
Trigger Warning: Old Man Quote (from the authors):
Gone are the days of paying through the nose for Super 8 film, taking precious few minutes of footage, and then paying through the nose again (four-fold) and waiting two weeks to get it developed in a darkroom. Heck, gone are the days of even needing a DSLR and painstakingly doing the job on a computer. With a little careful savvy you can make a viral video that viewers have no idea is just a person with a phone and nothing else.