Stop-motion animations with Cinelerra: the “PESCI” example.

Let me introduce you to raffa, an italian music and art teacher and active member of the Cinelerra and Lumiera communities. She uses Cinelerra at school for months now making nice projects with her pupils. “PESCI” is one of these projects. They even got a prize for it.



Find a brilliant idea.

Make sketches as your storyboard.

Stop-motion is a simple way to make good quality movies with low budget. You’ll see.

twoGo in the wild with your camera to take some photos.

Decompose all movements you want to show with several photos. Each photo is called a frame. Stop-motion is an animation technique.

Awesome! Isn’t it?

threeWhen your pictures are all in the box just put them in a folder somewhere in your computer.

If it’s not the case already, the frames should be renamed in a chronological basis. Something like frame0001.jpg, frame0002.jpg … frame0003.jpg etc etc.

fourLoad the pictures into Cinelerra.

We could load all files like we did in the previous tutorials (Files -> Load files -> insertion strategy) but for this exercise we will use another solution:

  • Download and install this piece of software ==> seven-gnomes (link)
  • Just drop the folder containing your frames in the first tab of the software.
  • A .toc file appear in your folder. It contains a list of all the frames and the framerate they should be displayed. This .toc file can be edited with a simple text editor.
  • Now you can load the .toc thing into Cinelerra like a normal video file.

Note that you can use other tools to make the image list ==> image lists tools

For example raffa chose Img2list ==> raffa’s howto page.

Look: Frames loaded as a list appear like a normal video file on the timeline.

fivePlay the whole thing to see your animation. It works? I’m proud of you.

Add some effects, a sound track.

You can also edit the frames in your favorite bitmap manipulating program to add virtual object to your movie but that is another story.

starOther stop-motion animations made with cinelerra:

– check raffa’s vimeo page.

Linda and Tim’s wedding made by Shannon Smith.

4 thoughts on “Stop-motion animations with Cinelerra: the “PESCI” example.

  1. Good one raffa.

    That looks fun and a great result.

    I want to do a stopmotion project with kids sometime but first I have to complete a few of my own.

    Have you ever played with the Stopmotion (Linux) program? I’m finding it a little unstable but it has potential for these sorts of projects…

    Thanks for sharing this fantastic material.

  2. Hi Graham,

    I never took time to try the Stopmotion program. I downloaded and installed it to see what it can do. Like you said, I found it a little buggy too, crashing every time I wanted to load an image.
    I think the feature it brings is that you can take pictures of the scene just by clicking on a button in the software.
    Another cool feature is the possibility to launch the photo you took into the gimp to edit it. That would be more interesting if the gimp had a flip-book plugin.

    With the image-list-loaded-into-Cinelerra method you can add effects, add a sound-track, cut/paste your animation as though it was a simple video file.

    Thanks for your comment.

  3. this is a huge help. i’ve spent the last few weeks trying out various F/OSS tools for stop motion animation, and cinellera + img2list is by far the best. thanks for the heads up!

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