How to make a Brickfilm

Pre-Production
Step 1: Script writing

When beginning a brickfilm you should always know what’s going to happen before you start filming. Two free programs I recommend for script writing are “Microsoft Works Word Processor” for PC and “Pages” for Mac. If you are working as a team when brickfilming then make sure (if you are the animator/director) that the script will work for the film you are making.

Step 2: Voice recording
If you want to have the best audio performance in your videos then make sure you use a microphone. Mics can be priced anywhere from $10.00 to $100.00. There are several ways to record your voice, most of which cost money. The only recording program I recommend is “Audacity”. Audacity is a free program that allows you not only to record, but also lets you edit sound effects you already have.

Production
Step 3: Building the set
Now that your done script writing and recording it’s time to build the set. Set building is one of the most important factors of a brickfilm. Your going to first need a baseplate. Baseplates can be a bought almost any LEGO store. If you are just using one generic baseplate, which is normally a 32×32 then you should turn it upside down and put tape on the bottom so it will stick to wherever you’re filming. The point of this is to keep the set from moving when your filming. If you are just doing and inside view of a room then it doesn’t matter what it looks like on the outside. On the inside of the room it will look like I just used a whole bunch 1x somethings when in reality, sometimes I could be using a 2×2 with the other side sticking out on the outside.

Step 4: Getting everything ready
It is best if you film in room with no windows so you can avoid light flicker. It looks really bad. I recommend 2-3 desk lamps to light your set. Take some pieces of paper and tape them over the lamps so it’s not too bright and you don’t get so much of a glare from the plastic on the LEGOs.

Step 5: Animating time
Alright. You got everything ready so start animating. I will eventually do a tutorial on how to do stop motion, but for now you can watch other tutorials on YouTube.

Post-Production
Step 6:Editing
Okay. So let’s assume that you’ve taken all the pictures with a still camera. The next step is to import all of your pictures to your computer. The newer the computer, the better. If you are using a PC then you should use “Windows Movie Maker” for stop motion and editing. Windows Movie Maker is one of the few programs that allows you to do stop motion while editing. Once you’re on Windows Movie Maker, press the IMPORT MEDIA button and import all of the pictures to the program. I will make a tutorial for later on. For some reason, it didn’t take me very long to adapt to this software. It’s actually very easy.

If you are using a Mac then I recommend “iStopMotion” and “FrameByFrame”. iStopMotion unfortunately costs money, but FrameByFrame is free. FrameByFrame is an okay program, but is very amateur. On my Mac computer I use “iMovie HD” for my editing, but FrameByFrame files cannot be imported to iMovie HD that I know of. So I currently use iStopMotion for all my animating. If you have a newer Mac computer, you most likely have a newer iMovie so there’s a lot more you can do with it.

I hope this has been a good tutorial on how to make stop motion animation with LEGOs.

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