Making a Stopmotion 3D Animation in Unity

Hey everyone!

I have a task to make a stopmotion short for a school project. Since I started to use Unity recently, for the purpose of honing my skills and test the limits of Unity and myself, wanted to make this project in Unity.

I'm using 2018.4 becuase of the bugs I've encountered in later versions.

I want to use Cinemachine because of the visual beauty of dolly trancks and tracking system of virtual cameras (I would like to know what you think about that). Ideally I want to shoot picture by picture with some sort of camera algorithm. But if I can't make that work I will use post production software and use posterizing to fake the stop motion effect.

During this project I've learned there is no easy way around with these kind of things but I don't have much time left. I have my storyboard ready and I have whole the shots in my head, I'm currently so close to finish modeling the scenes then I'm gonna model the characters, do the animations, texture and light the scenes then I'm ready to shoot. So I need your help to make this come alive.

Any guidance is appreciated
And thanks in advance!

Hi Suerte13,

This is a big ask if you don't have a lot of time. I'm sure you know that there's no "make it look like stop motion" button in Unity! :)

One thing I can offer perhaps is a bit of inspiration. Take a look at Harold Halibut, a gorgeous stop-motion style game done in Unity. This look was achieved my building real-world maquettes, scanning them, then reapplying the scans to 3D models. Cinemachine and Post Processing are used extensively in this game, though I'm not sure that either particularly has much to do with the stop motion look.

Others may have better ideas as to how you can achieve what you're after. Some of it will probably be getting the shading and shadows right. I would imagine also that forcing a shot-on-twos (or even threes) look would be integral to nailing the effect.

Maybe create the frames like a real stop motion - take a snap every time you move the camera. I believe Cinemachine has a button you can click. It is time consuming, but might look proper.

I use Unity Recorder to capture frames - you could fiddle with the number of frames/sec and try that. You might be able to approximate the stop motion look and save time.

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I was just gonna update exactly what you've written. I'm using Unity Recorder and save as image squence. I can alter the frame rate as well. That ended my search in that matter.

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I'm a real world(physical puppets etc) stop motion animator who also works in Unity :)

When I want a stop motion look for animation in Unity I use scripts like this

You apply it to the animator and it will freeze the animator for X number of frames to get you a "on twos, on threes" etc look to the animations.


No problem- we just finished an animated feature film made in Unity and we used this technique on a few characters in the film- you can see it on the little doll with the "M" on his head- he's animated using a similar stop motion script in this trailer.