The Animationizer – a free stop-frame animation tool

Stop-frame animation is a method I’ve been using to communicate complex interactions to stakeholders and developers before work starts on a prototype (some examples are here). It’s not suitable for everything, however – choosing which tool you use to do this depends on the project, on how much time you’ve got and on the expectations of your audience.

So here’s what I’ve been using. It’s called The Animationizer and I made it using Processing. And it’s free.

All you need to do is extract the zip file anywhere you like, read the README file (which gives you a guide on how to setup and use it and what bugs to watch out for) then load Animationizer.pde in Processing. When you’re ready, Run The Animationizer by pressing Command-R.

This software is useful for lots of things, so I’d love to hear what you end up using it for. In particular I think it might be helpful for artists looking for a simple tool to make animations with. And if you find yourself struggling to keep your kids occupied at Christmas, I can almost guarantee that this will save the day. Enjoy!

8 thoughts on “The Animationizer – a free stop-frame animation tool

  1. Piotr

    Really nice tool, and easy to install. The proble is that it is creating really large files. Maybe some compression could be added ?

  2. Adam

    A free x-platform stop frame animation piece of software is ideal for all budding animation and motion graphics students, will be putting it through some tests but I can see this as being very very useful.

  3. Piotr

    To Piotr, I just got the mail from Chris saying he’s fixed the download link so I havent tried the pde yet.. but to your point on compression. I imagine it’s a non-trivial thing to do in Processing… however there’s plenty of 3rd party compression utilities out there. I dont know what format this tool saves in but Handbrake should do the trick: the nice thing here is you can then choose your destination format, from large screen presentation down to iphone

  4. Pingback: Wireframes Magazine ยป The Animationizer

  5. Chris Post author

    The files produced are uncompressed by default, but it’s possible to produce compressed files. You’ll need to find the line that begins “movie = new MovieMaker”. The last two parameters refer to the output type and quality, each prefixed with “MovieMaker.” The range of possible values for type (the second but last parameter) are ANIMATION, BASE, BMP, CINEPAK, COMPONENT, CMYK, GIF, GRAPHICS, JPEG, MS_VIDEO, MOTION_JPEG_A, MOTION_JPEG_B, RAW, SORENSON, VIDEO, H261, H263, H264. The range of possible values for quality (the last parameter) are WORST, LOW, MEDIUM, HIGH, BEST, LOSSLESS.

    Let me know how you get on.

  6. Xin

    Hi, Chris
    Thanks for the wonderful tool.

    It works very well with my macbook(10.5 OX system), and build in webcam. However, I could not figure out how to start recording the animation with an external webcam. I am new to processing. Is there anywhere in your code which I can set the input source for the video image?


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