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In this digital age stop-motion animation can be aided greatly by making use of a computer. This page lists a variety of software supported by Windows that may be useful in the various stages of production. Note that usually the division below is artificial: for example, set construction is typically interleaved with animation.
- 1 Pre-production
- 2 CAD/CGI
- 3 Audio
- 3.1 Recording and Editing software
- 3.2 Synchronization software
- 3.3 Music Composition software
- 4 Animation
- 5 Video Editing
- 6 Special Effects
- 7 Publication
- 7.1 File Compression, Encoding, and Conversion
- 7.2 Internet Publication
With pre-production software you write your script, draw storyboards and do everything before you’re ready to animate. A basic word processor can get you a long way, but sometimes you just need to “go pro”. See also Category:Pre-production software for a more complete list of all Pre-production software.
- Celtx (Freeware)
- Final Draft
- LyX (Freeware)
- OpenOffice combined with the Screenplay Template. (Freeware)
- StoryBoard Pro (Freeware)
CAD/CGI can be used in preproduction for models, to add effects/enhance your production, or create an entire CGI Brickfilm. See also Category:CAD/CGI_software for a more complete list of all CAD/ CGI software.
- 3dWin – A 3D and/or 2D file converter.
- Anim8or (Free)
- Carrara Studio
- LDraw (Free)
- POVray (Free)
- Synfig (Free)
The following CAD/CGI programs do not have a page in the Brickfilms Encyclopedia yet.
- Moho – Another 2D modeling and animation software (not free, but very powerful).
If your film requires voice acting, it is a good idea to gather the voices in advance so that you can synchronize the animation to it. A lot of editing software is also able to record audio, but this software is dedicated to the audio side of films. For a full and unorganized list of audio software for all platforms, check Category:Audio software
Recording and Editing software
- Audacity (Free)
- Traverso (Free)
- Wavosaur (Free)
- Zerius Vocoder (Free)
- Frames Per Second Calculator (Free)
- Papagayo (Free)
- WAVTracker (Free)
- BrickSync! (Free)
Music Composition software
- Finale Notepad (Free)
- Hydrogen Audio (Free)
The following audio programs do not have a page in the Brickfilms Encyclopedia yet.
- Cheetah Audio converter
Animation consists of repeatedly taking a picture of your scene, after which you change the scene ever so slightly. When played rapidly one after another, the illusion of motion is created. Several programs capture animation from various types of cameras. Most will immediately output it as a video file or a series of still frames. Features such as onion skinning are often included to assist with animating. See also Stopmotion Software Comparison Chart and Category:Animation software.
- Animation Shop (Comes with Corel Paint Shop Pro 9, more suited for assembling frames as opposed to capturing frames)
- Anasazi Stop Motion Animator (Free)
- CSMC (Designed for Canon Powershots specifically) (Free)
- Digicel Flipbook
- MonkeyJam (Free)
- MotionMage (Java-based, therefore runs in Windows, Linux, MacOS)
- PSremote (for use with the Canon Powershot series of DSC)
- Stop MotionMaker
- Stop Motion Pro
- Stop Motion Recorder (Java-based and feature-packed) (Free)
- Trickfilm Cam (Free)
By this time, you’ll have several separate scenes sitting on your hard disk, waiting to be put together and to be provided with a soundtrack. The software in this section can help with this.
- Adobe AfterEffects
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe Photoshop Elements
- Adobe Premiere
- Avid Express DV
- AVIedit (note: like VideoMach, this program can serve you in several stages throughout the process)
- Axogon Composer
- DDClip Free
- DDClip Pro
- Vegas Movie Studio
- VideoMach (Linux, Windows) (note: this program can serve you in several stages throughout the process)
- VirtualDub (note: like VideoMach, this program can serve you in several stages throughout the process)
- Windows Movie Maker (Windows ME, XP)
- Zwei-Stein (Windows, Linux, OS X)
Since the programs in this section become more general-purpose, the choice is much wider and the prices vary greatly. See if you can get your hands on the trial versions of one or more of the non-free ones and determine which will best suit your needs. Quite a few brickfilmers manage to work exclusively with free software.
Some films need minor effects, such as colour correction or painting out support structures. Others may require lightsabers, fireballs, lightning flashes, explosions, computer-generated landscapes or one of a hundred other things. Surprisingly, many effects can be done in-frame with some inventiveness, but sometimes you have to resort to using the computer. There are some highly specialized programs that can help you here. We mention a few.
- Wondertouch Particle Illusion (MacOS, Windows)
- Adobe AfterEffects
- Adobe Photoshop (MacOS, Windows)
- EffectsLab (MacOS, Windows)
- Axogon Composer (Freeware)
- Blender (Freeware) (MacOS, Windows, Linux, and others)
- Bryce (MacOS, Windows)
- BSOL (Freeware)
- The GIMP (Freeware) (MacOS, Linux, Windows and others)
- MasterKey (Freeware)
- Sqirlz Water Reflections (Freeware) (Windows)
- Terragen (Freeware)
- Wax2.0 (Freeware)
- WinMorph (Freeware)
- Carrara Studio
File Compression, Encoding, and Conversion
When you’ve completed your masterpiece, it’s time to show it to the world. But the files you’ve been working on can easily grow to be several gigabytes in size. Compression is needed. Alternatively, you may wish to burn your own or someone else’s movie to a DVD, and need to convert a file into an appropriate format for the DVD software; Ulead for example cannot handle RealMedia. Try these programs to compress and transcode files. See media formats for help on choosing a format.
- DivX or XviD codec
- MP3 ACM codec
- Cheetah Audio Converter
- Cheetah DVD Video
- Cheetah DVD Burner
- FreeAnime creates Ogg Theora files using ffmpeg2theora
- GraphEdit edits and runs graphs of DirectShow filters which can encode any formats supported by DirectShow filters
- Helix Producer creates RealMedia files and other formats via plugins
- MediaConvert.com Converts a huge range of formats, all online.
- QuickTime Pro (MacOS, Windows)
- RealProducer transcodes many media formats into RealMedia as well as other types supported by the Helix Platform
- Super transcodes a wide range of formats including AVI, QuickTime, and RealMedia files, and many codecs including the H.264 video codec.
- VirtualDub edits and creates AVI files
- Windows Media Encoder
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