Stop motion, an animation technique used to make static objects appear to move on their own, has been made far more accessible in recent times thanks to affordable, consumer-focused software.

Indeed, the National Film Board of Canada has just rolled out a neat iPad app designed with budding stop-motion animators in mind. StopMo Studio proclaims to be the “most complete stop motion app in the App Store”, and though that’s a rather lofty claim considering the others that are out there, it’s still worth your time.

The lowdown

StopMo Studio is pretty idiot-proof. From the second you launch it, you’re good to go – snap a picture, shift the subject slightly, and then snap the next one.

Photo 14 03 2014 08 59 15 730x547 StopMo Studio for iPad makes stop motion animation childs play

You need at least three images to make your first stop motion video, though having only three images won’t make for the most compelling of animations. But it’s a good starting point for digging in to StopMo Studio, and seeing what makes it tick.

Photo 14 03 2014 09 00 10 730x547 StopMo Studio for iPad makes stop motion animation childs play

This app is also great for time-lapse work, letting you stitch together images to show something evolving (e.g. a sunset) over time. And you can also use both the front and rear-facing camera to capture shots, while onion skinning and the on-screen grid help you fine-tune your work-of-art.

You can also record audio over the top, throw in a soundtrack from a sound effects library, and mash it all together with the four-track mixing board. It also has effects such as fade-in/out, titles, brush settings, layers, and a feature that lets you sketch on top of the video.

Photo 14 03 2014 09 01 58 730x547 StopMo Studio for iPad makes stop motion animation childs playOnce complete, you can share directly to YouTube, Facebook, or Vimeo, or export your creation as an Mp4 movie to use anywhere.

As noted already, there are alternatives out there, but many of these are expensive and some require additional in-app purchases to gain access to full features. For $0.99, StopMo Studio delivers a pretty impressive feature-set. And it’s incredibly easy to grasp too.

Meanwhile, check out this animation flick created in StopMo Studio by animator Patrick Bouchard.

Related read: The Animator’s Survival Kit is a spellbinding iPad app for budding animators

StopMo Studio | App Store