Film and animation

Stop-motion animation with Will Bishop-Stephens

Ref: S2D08839


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About this course

Make your own animated short film using the frame-by-frame techniques employed by stop-motion animators, such as Tim Burton and Aardman Animations. Make a simple set and character and learn how to bring them to life. Bring a stills digital camera with you.

Course Description

This is a fun practical activity, learning how animation works and making your own stop-motion model film, using a stills camera, web cam, smart phone or tablet.

As you make a simple set and bring life to one or more characters, you learn the skills that will allow you to make professional looking stop-motion animations at home.

We will focus on a mixed media, artistic approach to animation, allowing everyone the maximum freedom to explore the possibilities of moving image.

Starting with a group exercise, you go on to make your own animated film using the frame-by-frame techniques employed by stop-motion animators.

You will be learning the skills that allow you to make animation at home.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • General materials shared amongst the group.

What students need to bring

  • You can arrive without any special equipment, except for a digital stills camera or device to take images and still make great work.
  • If bringing a smart phone or tablet and a mini tripod, you can download software in advance and try it out before you come. Some good examples are Stop-Motion Studio (Apple iOS/Android) iMotion (Apple iOs) Stop-Motion (Android, iPad).
  • Alternatively, if you are planning to get serious with your animation, you will get the best image quality with a Digital SLR camera and a laptop. You can download software on your laptop in advance and try it out before you come. Some good examples are iStopMotion Studio (Mac) Stop-Motion Pro (PC) or DragonFrame [recommended] (PC or Mac). Each of these have lists of compatible cameras online which you should check before spending any money. A spare battery, or ideally a mains adapter is also a worthwhile purchase.
  • Also bring a USB stick or other external device (to store your films on).
  • Any camera accessories (eg camera tripod) if you have them
  • Bring your chargers, plenty of space on your device/memory cards for your camera or device.
  • You can also bring objects you would like to animate or build scenery with. E.g. Any recycled materials that you would like to use to build sets or characters. These might include scrap cloth, wine corks, white beads (for eyes), newspapers and magazines. You could also bring existing artwork you want to animate.

Available to buy

  • Multi coloured packs of New Plast plasticine
  • Black & White packs of New Plast plasticine
  • Coloured card pack
  • Modelling tools
  • PVA glue
  • USB stick


Will Bishop-Stephens

Will Bishop-Stephens is an award winning Animation Director, specialising in Stop-Motion model animation. Will's most recent film 'Two Films About Loneliness' is currently being screened around the world including at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, acclaimed Sundance Festival and Melbourne International Film Festival. It went on to win the Future Shorts Spring Season 2015 prize. Will has been Programme Leader for Animation and Illustration at the University of East London since 2014. Prior to this he was a lecturer at the Royal College of Art, Westminster University and Plymouth University and led animation modules at UEL.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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