Stop motion videos – the effect of strobing images in sequence – are all over Instagram. Instagram itself is experimenting with a native Stop Motion effect for the Story camera. In this post, I’ll introduce Kapwing’s free online software tools to help you make and share good-looking Stop Motion videos.

How to make a stop motion video

There are two ways to make a stop motion video:

  1. Take a series of photos and stitch them together into a video.
  2. Start with a video and snapshot a series of frames to fake effect #1.

Approach #1 is the classic technique. It’s a great way to make inanimate objects look like they’re moving, and all you need is a smartphone and some creative vision to make it happen.

Approach #2 is easier and cheaper because you can take any footage filmed on any camera and retroactively transform it to emulate the stop motion look. You won’t be able to make inanimate objects look like they’re moving, but you can make pretty cool, sharable video for Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms.

A stop motion sequence on Kapwing’s Montage Maker

Kapwing has tools for both approaches. You can use the Montage Maker to combine images into a video and the Stop Motion Video Maker to transform existing video into awesome stop motion clips. Kapwing is a video editing suite that works on all phones and computers and is free to use, although the output videos have a small watermark in the corner (you can pay a small fee to remove it).

Approach 1: Stop motion from a sequence of images

To make a stop motion video, set up the scene you want to animate in from of a camera in a stable position. Then, make small changes to the scene and snap photos of every new frame. Check out our blog article on Claymation videos for tips.

Once you have all of the images you want to combine into a video, find the Montage Maker on the Kapwing homepage and click “Get Started.” Upload all of the images, choose your options, and click “Create” to stitch the images together into a continuous stop motion video. You can also watch this YouTube tutorial on how to use the tool.

Montage maker screenshot

Upload images

Stop motion video for instagram montage maker

Once your Stop Motion video has been processed, download it directly from Kapwing. Go to Facebook and Instagram to share the video! Here’s a stop motion video that was made by one of Kapwing’s users online:

After merging your photos together into a video, you can add a musical soundtrack with the Add Music tool.

Approach 2: Make stop motion from an existing video

If you have an existing video clip, you can apply a Stop Motion effect to transform it by adding pauses between frozen frames. With this technique, you can retroactively add a stop motion feel or use footage from YouTube. Some video types look particularly cool with the stop motion effect:

  • Action clips: Film someone flipping, running, playing, punting, etc
  • A movement or changing expression: Watch something unbelievable happen with great second-by-second views
  • memorable moment: Bring on the wedding and birthday clips
  • Creative process: Show off the process behind making something complicated
  • A Selfie: Put an original spin on a selfie video or one filmed from your perspective

The stop motion maker from Kapwing

Kapwing’s Stop Motion maker

Find the Stop Motion Video Maker on Kapwing.com. You can watch this tutorial on how to use the Stop Motion Editor, but the site is totally self-explanatory. Just upload a video, choose a clip rate and speed to customize your output video, and click create.