5 easy ways to set up your iPad or phone for stop motion

Ipads and phones are brilliant in how they make stop motion animation so accessible at home and at school. The challenges come when you are trying to position your device, and keep it still when you are animating. These are my tips on how to set up your Ipad or phone, with several DIY solutions if you are on a budget.

2D Stop motion: How to set up for downshooting

With 2D stop motion you need the camera overhead, otherwise known as downshooting. It can be tricky to keep your device steady and stable. There are a variety of ways you can do downshooting with an iPad or phone. 

1. Tripod / Clamp / Stand

  1. You can use tripod with a special mount, a table clamp stand with a flexible gooseneck, or even a sturdy music stand. Gorillapod stands are also a great option.

2. DIY solution #1

If you are looking for a DIY solution that doesn’t involve spending any extra money, you can improvise with a chair or stool that has slats or holes that you can position the camera over.

IKEA do a cheap stool (MARIUS) with holes in. It is very lightweight, so you could put on top of your table as a stand.

3. DIY solution #2

You could use a pile of books – with a heavy book on top to keep your device secure. However, you will need to be very gentle when press the button to take a photo with this method!

4. DIY solution #3

Another thing you could use is a cupboard shelf. This is one I got at a bargain shop – it works well for an iPad. Just be aware of where you position your lights, if using, as it can cast a shadow on what you’re animating.

3D Stop motion: How to set up your iPad or phone

Setting up for 3D stop motion animation is easier as you just need to have your device pointing straight ahead at the table. In fact, you may already have a stand that holds your device in this position. Alternatively, you could use a bought stand or tripod. 

5. LEGO stand

For a low budget DIY solution you can build your own stand with LEGO bricks and a baseboard.

Add a strip of foam or thick fabric to protect your iPad and to help stabilise it. To ensure it does not move, use masking tape (or a blob of blutack under each corner) to attach the baseboard to the table.

Ready to animate? Why not check out my online workshops!