If you’re reading this, I’ll assume you’ve already seen the videos I’ve recently been posting HERE on Instagram and Tsumthing’s YouTube channel. Interested in making your very own stop motion featuring your own cast of Tsum Tsums? Well, I’m here to show you how it all works!
First let’s go over the supplies you’ll need. Obviously a camera, I used a Canon EOS 7D with a 50mm lens, but honestly even a simple point and shoot camera would do fine. Then you’ll need a tripod to hold the camera into place while you move your props around. I also have a little remote that controls my camera’s shutter so that I can take photos even when I’m not literally behind the camera. You’ll also want to have some tape or string on hand to create a stage for your adorable, little actors. Another important piece to making your video look good is natural lighting. I’ve been doing mine right by the window first thing in the morning. Then of course there’s the Tsums (plush or vinyl) as well as any other props you have at home.
Notice in the photos above how I used the string on the ground (tape also works) to create a box that frames what area the camera’s lens is actually picking up. Now I can tell where Tsums can and cannot be seen. This also helps me keep track of where to make their exits and entrances happen.
If you’re using a wide angle lens, remember that you’ll have to make your string/tape go outwards toward the top (seen above). Honestly though, I would really recommend the 50mm lens or similar. I feel that when shooting objects that are already so small, this works best as it really allows me to get into their tiny world. Another quick note is to remember to have your lens on “Manual Focus” to focus the camera yourself so that it doesn’t vary from photo to photo.
Another little item I wanted to add (but is completely optional) is a notebook or sketchbook to have a story line plotted out in, depending on how complex you want your video to be. Since I’m doing an unboxing in each of mine, I never really know how the end of the story will turn out. When I see what’s inside the Mystery Pack I just kind of make something up from there.
Now, once everything is in place you can start moving your Tsums upon their stage, but remember to move them as little as possible between each photo to really make it look like they’re moving on their own.
At first I was making the Tsum Tsums kind of glide but now I’m enjoying making them wiggle a bit as they move. If you want a Tsum to move an object in the video, use the Tsum to actually push the item in front of them, but assist when necessary… like when using scissors, for example.
Once you have ALL your photos, and believe me, you’ll have hundreds… even for a minute long clip… You can bring them into your editing software, which is the last item on the supply list. I use Adobe Premiere but since you’re only using photos even a video editor that comes with your computer will do fine, like iMovie or Movie Maker.
Then carefully put each photo into place on your timeline and make each one’s duration about .08 of a second. You can try a little faster but anything more than that just moves a little too slow.
You can also add in some audio! I have been collecting music from a site that offers free downloads called FreeMusicArchive.org, but remember to give the artist credit if posting your videos online!
Once you’ve got everything together, you’re ready to share your creation with the world! If you do make your very own stop motion we’d love to see it! Share it with us by tagging #teamtsumthing on HERE on Instagram or Twitter when you post it! Good luck, and most importantly HAVE FUN!