Equipment & Supplies for the Stop-Motion Level 1 class

Updated: Jan 31, 2020

In anticipation of the course starting up in a few weeks, we wanted to suggest some supplies and equipment that will make your life more enjoyable while animating these assignments.

This is an expanded version of what we went over in the Beta Enrollment video. We also focus on your personal animation setup in the first lesson, but we felt it was a good idea to go into more detail now so you can prepare before the classes are available on January 6 2020. Some things you will find in art and photography stores, other things might just be laying around your place.

We’re constantly expanding our gear, so we’ve included what we currently use. We don’t have affiliate links and don’t officially endorse any links to products, they’re just here as a guide.

I’ve posted this as a blog post for now, but I will soon make this available in the members only section soon.

The reality of stop-motion is you will always be on the lookout for new gear and strange gadgets that might make your life easier when animating.

Regarding Smartphones

You can still complete the course using a smartphone, there are a few decent apps that I've seen a lot of people use and they get great results. BUT if you want to really improve your animation then you will eventually need the capabilities of a shooting software like Dragonframe and the basic equipment like a DSLR and tripod. So just to repeat, you can still complete the assignments with a smartphone, but you will get better results in your animation if you use a camera & computer setup.

Required Stuff

A shoot space

A desk, kitchen table, etc. Somewhere that won’t be disturbed while you’re shooting. Most of the assignments should take around an hour to complete, so it doesn’t have to be a permanent space. We’re setup in our basement, hard concrete or ceramic floors are best. Wood floors can be problematic because walking around can move the set or camera.


Mac or PC. Laptops can be great cuz they’re very moveable, but have a small screen. We’ve used Imacs very often on productions cuz the monitor and computer are all in one, but the monitor isn’t posable. Right now we use a mac mini and an external monitor on an extendable arm.

Stop motion software

Dragonframe is our preference, it just has so many options and the interface is great. Stop-motion Pro is a nice alternative that I know some people like, or there are a few Smartphone Apps.

A digital camera

You can use a smartphone, although the lens and focusing can be very limiting, but it’s nice to have in all in one piece of hardware. If you do go for a real camera, there are many compatible cameras with the software: for Dragonframe and Stop-motion Pro. We use a Canon 7d and 5d mk2 which are a bit older now, and you can actually find them used on Craigslist for cheap.