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  • Writer's pictureAmy Burvall

Old School Style Stop Motion with Paper 53 for iPhone

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I must say for the past two months since Paper by 53 released its iPhone version, I’ve been having a load of fun. The convenience has made it so that during down time at traffic lights (bad Amy) and standing in line at the bank or whatever I can quickly sketch out a few of my minimalist pieces or remix an old selfie.

I’ll be writing an extensive blog post later about all the “series” I’ve been inspired to do, but you can find a lot of them on my Pinterest here:

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In this post I wanted to share how I’ve been making stopmotions with just:

sketches from Paper 53 for iPhone

Apple Keynote



There are many cool stop motion apps out there that will give you professional quality videos. One of my favs is Stop Motion Studio and my students have used it extensively with wonderful results. But I wanted to see what I could do with as little as possible-

this is the sort of bricolage I love to challenge myself with.

The process is basically this:

have an idea about what you want to do (you can storyboard it but I usually do in my head)

or not- for the “SKA-lloween” one I started with my collection of characters I’d drawn for Halloween and thought “how can I put these all together so it makes sense?”

draw each  thing individually on iPhone and share to laptop (you can get away with flipping and twisting things but if you want them to look different (like my leaves or poppies), you need to make several versions.

open Apple Keynote and use BLANK SLIDES (think about your background first – I tend to use black).

use INSTANT ALPHA to get rid of the background in your individual images

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6. DUPLICATE your slides as much as possible, shifting the objects you want to move with each slide ever so slightly

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7. use MAGIC MOVE as a transition (you can adjust the duration but toggle to “automatically” rather than “on click”

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8. export to Quicktime (self playing)

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9. import into iMovie and be sure to hit “FILL” rather than “Ken Burns” or ‘Crop”; adjust the timing if needed with the turtle icon (I usually speed up to 4X or 8X)

10. For In Flanders Fields, I opted for sound effects in iMovie (they didn’t have guns or warfare by the way so I used “volcano”). If you want to have music, I suggest uploading to YouTube first and using their music selection post-production (it’s all legit and copyright-free).

So here they are:

Hot Autumn Leaves (a sort of whimsical meditation for Fall with Chet Baker)

Autumn Leaves Quote (used same animation but slowed it down with Iggy Pop and inserted a quote I fancied)

Snow Meditation (a showcase for the tree – only the balls are animated)

Ghost Town Animation (I used over 100 slides for this under 50 second film)

*note that in this one I experimented with perspective…the ghost gets larger, for example as it moves closer to the viewer

In Flanders Fields (first stanza)

*I used 37 Keynote slides, but that is because this was much slower and choppier than my others (I wanted it to be)

I will definitely be trying this out more…perhaps getting better each time. I like that I can use my art from Paper in new ways, and I’m kind of digging the vintage Peanuts vibe.

#stopmotion #animation #keynote #video #imovie #apple #showyourwork #howto #paperby53 #amyburvall

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