Stop Motion set building, is fairly easy if you’ve got just enough pieces for each scene, and generally, you reuse the pieces for each set you’ll build.
However, you might find this time consuming as some scenes may only make up a few seconds in your final production. In which case, you’ll spend more time making scenes that actually filming your LEGO Stop Motion.
However, if you’ve got enough pieces you can build Stop Motion movie sets and leave them built, for reuse in later shots. Just remember you’ll only see a very limited amount in the frame, so you don’t need to build epic sets. Or do you?
How to make a LEGO Stop Motion Set – EPIC Edition
I started off building small sets, for my LEGO Stop Motion videos, but was forever having to reuse pieces for different scenes. It does get annoying after a while, so I’ve decided to build an EPIC set which can be used for an entire Stop Motion movie and comes complete with ready-made background.
Yes, I’ve built an entire LEGO Minecraft World for my latest LEGO Minecraft Movie
Yes, it might be a little over the top to build a stop motion set like this, but if you’ve got a few sets in a particular LEGO theme you might be well on your way to making an EPIC LEGO Stop Motion movie set too.
Then all you’ll need to do is add a little sky in the background or you could easily do this post production with a green screen if you wanted to create a dynamic background.
However, most good cameras offer a depth of field setting, which can be used to blur out the background, so as to only focus on the foreground and subject matter. This makes the background less important and your viewers won’t be able to clearly see all the detail anyway.
In this photo, you’ll see the foreground is in focus, and the background is blurred. So it’s not as important to build detail into your set if you’ve got a decent camera.
BTW: This shot was taken with a Canon 100D and 50mm lens.
If you don’t have an expensive camera that can be used to change the depth of field, then you’ll need to spend more time to detail out the background. You’ll see this in my LEGO Stop Motion videos, as I’m using a GoPro, but most scenes are only 1-2 baseplates deep.
So start with the foreground and take a few test shots, to see what else your camera is picking up and then fill in the detail as required.
This is my set for the LEGO Skeleton Raid Movie.
And this is the final image that you see as a 1920 x 1080 HD frame.
Notice the difference in what you see and what the viewer sees?
A novice mistake is to spend too much time building a stop motion movie set and then realizing the camera was taking much larger pictures than you required for a 1920 x 1080 HD video.
However, you can use the extra width of your frame to enable you to do software panning which can look rather cool, without the extra cost of a camera dolly.
Tip: Always make sure you do test shots before spending too much time on your set.
I hope you’ve learned a little more on how to make a LEGO stop motion set, and remember it’s all about practice, so just keep going.
Good luck building your LEGO Stop Motion sets and check back to see how my EPIC LEGO Stop Motion Movie Set, turns out when used for movies. It’s going to be EPIC 🙂