Simple Ways to Make Animation and Stop Motion Videos

Thirteen years ago Common Craft introduced to the world a new style of explanatory video that blended concepts from animation and stop motion. That style became known as the “Common Craft” style. That is now a popular style to have students replicate when making their own videos to explain a concept. The videos can be made using free tools in your web browser.

Make a narrated, animated video with slides and a screencast.

It’s possible to create a narrated, animated video using a screencasting tool, clip art, and the animation/ transition tools available in Google Slides, PowerPoint, or Keynote. Build the animations with clip art and then narrate while recording the slides with a screencasting tool like Screencastify or Screencast-o-matic. Here’s a short video overview of the process.

Make a stop motion or time lapse video to show a long process in a short time.

The first day of autumn is right around the corner (here in the northern hemisphere). That reminds me of the fall time lapse video project that I wrote about a couple of years ago. The idea was to showcase the change in foliage over a couple of weeks in a short video. That same idea can be applied to showing any lengthy process in a short video.

A stop motion video is a good way to make simple animations. Those of us of a certain age will remember Gumby (and his pony pal Pokey, too). Gumby is a good example of using stop motion to tell a story. Cloud Stop Motion and Stop Motion Studio are good apps for making stop motion and time lapse videos.

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