How to Make Lego Stop-Motion Animation Videos for YouTube
Lego stop-motion animation videos can turn you into a YouTube sensation. Discover the tips and tricks the pros use for creating stop motion animation videos.
If you’re reading this, there’s a pretty good chance you’re still obsessed with LEGO. Regardless of how old you are, it probably started when you were a young child. After all, LEGO have been around since 1932. A lot’s changed in the last 86 years, but one thing remains; LEGO are the building blocks of our childhood. In fact, for millions, that passion for the little colourful bricks has extended into our adult years.
Are you ready to harness that passion and become a Lego Professional? You may be thinking, “How do I do that?” The answer is simple. Create LEGO stop-motion animation and upload it onto YouTube.
Do you think that’s intriguing but sounds a little complicated? Keep reading to find out how easy it actually is.
How to Make LEGO Stop-Motion Animation
So, you want to make your own brick flicks but you don’t know what you need or how to do it. We’ve got you covered.
The first thing you need to get started is – surprise! – a camera. But you’ll also need a YouTube account. Shocked, aren’t you?
Search for “LEGO stop-motion animation” or go to the official LEGO Movie 2 site and check out their trailer. No, it’s not stop-motion, but you can get some pretty cool ideas for your short. Once you have an idea what you want your movie to be about, let the process begin!
1. Gather Everything You Need
You’ll need a LEGO set, a camera, a computer, and your imagination. Seriously, that’s it. With more than 130 different sets sold in the U.S. every year, you’re bound to find one you like. You may even be sitting on a Back to the Future set or a LEGO Batman set that was your source of inspiration for making the movie in the first place.
2. Build Your Set
Yes, your LEGO set, but you’ll have to build your movie set, too. This will be your backdrop for your film, so get creative. Or, don’t. You can use a plain fabric backdrop for a minimalistic approach.
3. Frame Your Shot
Set up your actors, put your camera on a tripod or stand, and frame your shot. This means looking through the lens and making sure everything looks the way you want it to. Doing this now will save you from having to go back and re-shoot scenes because they weren’t centered.
Also, make sure there’s no glare and that you can’t see anything unsightly in the shot, like, that pile of dirty clothes in the corner. Make adjustments as needed. When everything looks good, you’re ready to film.
This is the time-consuming part. Stop-motion animation takes a long time to film. How long? Let’s do the math…
You’re going to want to edit it at 15fps for the best results. That means “frame per second.” So, if you’re dreaming of a five-minute movie, that’s 15 frames per second or 900 per minute. That’s 4,500 shots for a five-minute stop-motion video.
You’ll actually want to take more in case some of the don’t work out. Perhaps then it’s best to start small, maybe no more than a minute, then build your way up as you improve.
Move your actors, but only a little. This is discretionary. The smaller the movement, the more fluid it will look. But, considering you need to take over 900 shots, you can plan on moving the Minifigures two paces or so for each movement. Keep this up until you reach the number of shots you need.
5. Get Ready to Edit… For a While
You can use any stop-motion application on your computer that you can set to 15fps. Use Windows Movie Maker, iMovie – any of them will work and are easy to use.
Upload your photos and put them in your storyboard order. You may decide you don’t need all the photos you took, which is expected. Go ahead and delete them but don’t forget to keep one for your thumbnail. This will let the viewer know what your video is all about.
As a rule of thumb, the best YouTube thumbnails have added graphics like typography. There are programs out there like Adobe Spark that will guide you through this step.
6. Finishing Up
Once you’re done editing and everything looks good, you’re ready to upload your movie.
Since your LEGO Minifigures can’t change expressions on their own, you’ll need to do it for them. To do this, you’ll have to swap heads with other Minifigures.
This will add a lot of production time, so you may not want to do it until you get the hang of the Lego stop-motion animation process. If you’re thinking about getting a new LEGO set for your brick flick, be sure to check out our Reviews and remember to always Play Well!