With your simple compact camera, you can make a pretty interesting animation provided you put in the time and effort. The video mode on your compact may be limited but with the storage capacity of your memory card, you are capable of making stop-motion videos or other simple animations. What you need is stills; a lot of stills and a video making software. It’s as simple as that. It’s an incredibly fun thing to do when you see the results of your hard work. This is also a good way to understand terms like ‘frames per second’ and the likings.
The easiest thing to do is to make a stop motion video with tiny objects, like action figures. Get creative and share with the rest of the world. Before you start snapping hundreds of shots, make sure to set your settings to manual – manual ISO, manual focus, manual white balance. Why? You wouldn’t want any of these things to be changing in every fraction of a second. To decrease the depth of field, simply zoom in to the maximum. It’ll look pretty good. Next compile these files in your video making software and you’re free to experiment from here onwards. Below is a sample that we made. It is just an experiment and there is no story line here.
For a really good stop motion artist, check out Patrick Boivin on YouTube. Below is a sample of his work.
ii. Time lapse
I love time lapse. It’s always fascinating to see the slow things sped up. What you will need is something that moves a bit too slow for your naked eyes to actually see. Like a sunset or clouds moving. This takes a bit more effort if your camera does not have an intervalometer (a time-adjustable shutter control). If you’re like me and you don’t have one, you’ll have to take a shot every 30 seconds or 20 seconds depending on your preference.
What I’ve done below is take a shot every 30 seconds. Do the same thing – manual ISO, focus and white balance. Options on my camera are limited so I can’t control shutter speed and aperture. Looking back, I have to admit the focus is bad. But hey, that’s the whole point of trying.
So what are you waiting for? Don’t make a paper weight out of your tiny compact. Get out there (or stay indoors and build a mini studio) and get creative!