Featured Animator – Designasaur

This time we take a slightly different look at animation, moving away from plastic minifigures to look at an animator with a self appointed PHD in Plasticine!

Name: Designasaur
Location: UK

1. How long have you been animating?
I made my first stop motion film about 8 years ago and haven’t really stopped animating since then.

2. How did you start making stop frame animation?
I’d made a character (a little snail) out of plasticine for fun and thought that it would be cool to animate it. I set up at my kitchen table, shot a little clip using an old digital camera and edited the stills together in Windows Movie Maker.

3. What medium do you prefer to work in and why?
It has to be plasticine. While it’s not the most durable material, it’s fun to work with and there’s so much that you can do with it. You can be really intricate and artistic with it or a bit more messy and expressive and still achieve something that looks great.

4. What is your setup like? Which camera and software do you use to make your movies?
At the minute, I use a Canon 450D camera with Dragonframe stop motion software. For lighting, I use F&V LED lights and edit my films in Adobe Premiere Pro.

5. On average, how many hours does it take to create your films?
It varies from project to project. Currently, I make a one minute film every week for a Youtube channel using two characters over a plain white background, which takes around two and a half days. I’ve recently signed off on a music video, however that took around six months to complete and involves a full set, backdrop, props and several characters. The music video is only two minutes in length, but a lot more went into the production process.

6. Do you have a favourite character to animate, and what makes them so special?
I’ve animated a clay version of Cookie Monster a few times which is always fun, but in terms of my own work, my go to character is always a bear. I feel like if I had to choose a mascot, it’d be a bear because they’re adorable and full of personality.

7.  What can we look forward to in the near future from you?
Tough question! I’ve made a couple of adverts and a music video which have been really fun, so I’d love to do more work like that. I also love making my own short films and I’ve had an idea in mind for a little while now, but I know it’ll take a very long time to complete, so it’s all about finding the time to set aside for it. In short, more films.

8. Where can people go for more information or to view your animations?
I’m also on Instagram (@dr_Designasaur), Twitter and Facebook (as Designasaur) if you want to say hello!

9. What one piece of advice do you have for people wanting to start in stop-frame animation?
Just start. You don’t need much to get going – just a camera and an object/character/drawing that you want to animate. There are loads of apps or free programmes that you can download now to edit your film together and share it online. You can even do it on your phone. Your first film probably isn’t going to be your masterpiece, but keep going and you’ll improve with every project.

Featured Video:

Happy Halloween

Holidays are always good themes to use for animating, and with Lego making a great range of Horrow/Halloween themed Minifigures, we just couldn’t resist the temptation this year… We used minifigures from the Collectibles Series, Scooby Doo and Dr Who to bring the horror to life, plus some great Skull heads from the wonderful custom minifig manufactureres Crazy Bricks – http://crazybricks.bigcartel.com/products

Both Morgan and I made animations with Morgan using Minecraft Movie Creator on his Kindle, and myself using Stop Motion Studio on the iPad with an iPhone 4s as a remote camera! We hope you enjoy our little slices of horror themed animations and wish you all a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!



Lego Movie Maker Stop Motion App on iPhone 6 Review

legomoviemakerscreenThe Lego Movie Maker App, FREE from App Store on iPhone, iPad & iPod

Today we continue to look at Stop Motion Apps for smart phones and tablets, with this blog concentrating on the Lego Movie Stop Motion App being used on an iPhone 6.

With the release of the Lego Movie film in 2014 it isn’t hard to understand why Lego® wanted in on the Stop Motion App scene. Their official App, available for iPhone, iPod and iPad is FREE in the App store. It has a nice bundle of tools that you can use to create your animations, including 13 different title screens to choose from, allowing you to add the film name and director before you even start animating. The instructions section is simple but informative, showing you the very basics of stop motion as well as how to use the app and its various features…


The animation features of the app are pretty good for a smartphone, with a the ability to be able to adjust the focus, activate the flash, overlay grids or onion skinning as well as a very neat little feature that allows you to snap your fingers to take the photos. This saves you having to touch the iPhone whilst animating, thus eliminating any camera wobble or movement.

Once you have shot your Brick Film, you can then use the editing facilities to delete or add frames, change the duration of individual frames, apply various filters like Black & White, Contrast or Vignette to the whole movie and even add graphic style “stickers” to separate frames. There are also a whole host of pre-loaded sound effects you can add to frames, with car sounds, birds, comedic boings and many more in the library. If you are feeling adventurous, you can also record your own sounds and use them time and time again.  To complete your movie, you can pick one of the 12 pre-loaded “Lego Movie” themed songs to play under your movie, all of which sound great and add some flavour to your film.

The biggest let down of this app for me was the available frame rates… We have been looking at a lot of Stop Motion Apps recently and most have a range of 1fps to 30fps… Most Brickfilmers will use a frame rate of anywhere between 12 to 24fps, but the Lego Movie app has a maximum frame of only 10fps, giving your final movie a slightly stuttery feel.

Overall, the picture quality is good with the iPhone 6 camera shooting at 8MP and the app exporting videos out at 1080p HD. You can save your movies into the Movie Gallery and then export them out into your Camera Roll on to your phone or tablet, where you can upload to YouTube from there. If this app had a better frame rate, I might actually use it myself, but again, this is a great entry level app that will be great for giving kids a start in animating Brick Films.

Check out the test video below to see what we did with it!

Featured Animator Sergio Marques Dias

SergioMarquesDiasName: Sergio Marques Dias
Location: Differdange, Luxembourg

Q1) How long have you been animating?
1 year

Q2) How did you start making stop-frame animations?
First stop motion I did, was the video invite to my wedding. We posed, took a picture, took another picture and so on…

Q3) Why have you chosen Lego® and other brick products as your main medium to work in?
I’ve always loved Lego, and I had a few in the basement, so I decided to give it a try. I love animating with Lego because you can touch on sensitive topics, but with humor.

Q4) What is your setup like? Which camera and software do you use to make your movies?
I use a Nikon D7100, my first DSLR, with the basic lens 18-105mm. I use mostly Adobe Premiere.

Q5) On average, how many hours does it take to create your animations?
Ooohhhhh… Well depends on the animation. The brickfilm “The Engineer” took me 3 weeks, it was my first try at brickfilming. “The Parking Spot” took me 2 weeks. The problem is that everytime I do an animation video, I try to incorporate new movements or techniques that I never used.

Q6) Do you have a favourite mini-figure to animate, and what makes them so special?
Hahaha! My Mini-Me and my wife’s Mini-Her. He is, and will be in every of my future Brickfilms. Why it’s so special? Because they were a gift of my best friend for my wedding, and they sat on top of my wedding cake.

Q7) What can we look forward to in the near future from you?
Trick question. I don’t know, I go day-by-day, and when I have an idea, I write it down and hope to have time to realize it.

Q8) Where can people go for more information or to view your animations?
On my Youtube chanel → https://www.youtube.com/user/SergioMarquesDias and on my twitter account → https://twitter.com/SergioDiasLUX

Q9) What one piece of advice do you have for people wanting to start in stop-frame animating?
Don’t start right away, read a book or two about stop-motion for beginners. And afterwards, go for it. Don’t isten to people telling you it’s hard. Take critics well, most of them can take your animations to another level. You don’t have the material? Of course you have. Take your smartphone, a lamp, a figurine, and start taking pictures. Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t do it.

Featured Video: