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Tips For Making Dynamic Vines From A Stop-Motion Vin-ovator

Twitter video producer Ian Padgham recently shared some of his techniques for making six-second stop-motion Vines that you’ll watch over and over (and not just because of the looping function).

  • 01 /09

    Get a Tripod:
    One way to avoid the problem of accidentally interjecting an awkward angle is by using a tripod. "If you can’t get a tripod, be creative," Padgham advises. "I’ve used books, drift wood, chair legs, and bar ledges to get a steady shot."

  • 02 /09

    Use the Ghost Feature for Stop Motion:
    Vine now lets users apply a ghost layer when filming. What this means for stop-motion makers is that you can view a transparent overlay of the last shot you took, and line it up in the viewfinder to ensure a seamless cut. "Just tap the little ghost icon in the bottom right corner to see your last scene, which will be lightly overlaid on your current view," Padgham writes. He adds, "Bonus tip: Take a screenshot when you start filming so you know where to end your video."

  • 03 /09

    Train Your Tap:
    It turns out the way you tap the screen affects the shot you get. The trick, apparently, is to do it neither too hard nor too soft, but that’s not all there is to it. "It might sound silly, but moisture on your hand will actually cause the phone’s screen to register a longer tap than you intend," Padgham writes. "By cleaning your screen with a dry cloth and making sure you have dry, clean hands, you can easily get 140 taps into one Vine (almost reach 24 frames per second)."

  • 04 /09

    Use Earphones With a Built-In Mic for Better Audio:
    "Plug earphones with a mic into your phone when making a Vine," urges Padgham, "and the audio will be a part of the final video."

  • 05 /09

    Take Your Time. Come Back As Needed:
    Some Vines might require a lot of planning and patience. Luckily, the functionality allows users to set their phones down and work on them later with fresh eyes and renewed intensity. Padgham cautions, though: "I’d avoid leaving a Vine unfinished for too long––your phone could randomly clear its cache or shut down, and then you’d lose your masterpiece."

  • 06 /09

    Review Before Posting:
    This step seems simple, but sometimes it’s easy to forget the simple things. Vine gives users the option to review what they’ve just shot before posting. Really giving something a good long evaluation before unleashing it onto the masses can be a reputation-saver. "Reviewing before posting is always a smart idea," writes Padgham. "It can help you avoid posting a clip you might want to redo."

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When Twitter first unveiled its six-second looping video product Vine earlier this year, nobody was quite sure what to do with it—but that didn’t stop people from doing all sorts of things. Vine has been applied as a new mechanism for film distribution. It’s been a pithy alternative to 30-second commercials for brands. And it’s served as an outlet for cinema-based memes. But for sheer entertainment value, one of the most effective applications of Vine has been for stop-motion animation.

Twitter video producer Ian Padgham has been pushing the medium forward recently with a series of boisterous stop-motion Vines, most of which feature a small wooden artist’s model. These videos are a clean, smooth rebuke to the often herky-jerky attempts from amateurs. Padgham has clearly mastered the difficult, no-mistakes-allowed shooting that the in-screen editing of Vine demands. Recently, he shared his tips for how to make the best six-second videos possible on a Vine blog post. Read his bits of Vine wisdom and see his work in the slide show above.