A few years ago the handcrafted jewelry market began to explode. There were so many people making wire jewelry, I knew I had to add something a little different to my crafty wire repertoire. I began experimenting with stop-motion wire animations and soon found that people loved the idea.
I created wire animations--everything from Happy Anniversary greetings to casual marketing videos with wire logos--and people loved them. Meeting the demand became a tedious undertaking, though, mostly because I was producing a lot of videos but not charging enough for my services.
Manipulating wire into dancing and moving is big fun. I loved creating those videos; but, thanks to my old laptop's untimely demise via the blue screen of death, I lost my creative momentum.
Of course, you can still be a wire-animation dynamo if you choose.
Anyone can do it
Wire animation is not difficult to do, but it takes a lot of determination. The process is actually quite simple. But not everyone has the patience it takes to form wire letters, angles, and curves while taking a picture after each slight movement. A brief 25-second video can require hundreds of photos, so the process can be a bit lengthy and tedious.
Check out the simple stop-motion wire animation video above, and if you're interested in learning more, see the instructions below.
Step by Step Instructions
Assemble your materials and tools
- It takes a few feet of wire to form even the shortest word or name. I buy coils of inexpensive copper wire from local hardware stores.
- You'll need basic jewelry-making tools to form your wire: wire cutters, pliers, and round nosed pliers. If you don't have them, try borrowing them from a jewelry-making friend.
- I use a 35 mm camera, but some cell cameras produce such high-quality photos, you might get great results with your phone.
Set up your workspace
Before you begin capturing wire pictures, mount your camera facing downward over your work surface. That way each photo will be the same distance from your work surface to your camera. Each shot will have the same illumination.
If you have no way to mount your camera facing downward, hold it as still as you can when you take your photos. You can buy a photography light box to help you with this or construct your own box, like this DIY version in the Wikihow article "How to Create an Inexpensive Photography Lightbox." Instead of a side opening, you'll need to photograph your wire shapes from an opening on top of your light box.
Start with an idea
You should begin with a simple project, perhaps a short name. Bend the wire to begin the first letter and snap at least one photo for each wire movement. As you form each curve or angle, make sure you keep your wire in the same spot.
It will take hundreds of photos to capture each angle or curve of your letters.
Then get Creative
Wire people and shapes add creativity to your project, but they also make it a bit more complicated.
If you choose to add creative pieces, create them first and mix them into your animation.
Finish your video
- Once you've taken all of your photos, drag and drop each in order into a video editing program like Movie Maker.
- After you complete the process of adding your photos to the video timeline, save it as a video.
"My Name is Carol"
- Once you save your video, your wire should "come alive", spelling out words all by itself.
- If parts of your video are choppy or don't transition smoothly, consider adding a few more photos to your time line.
Carol, The Nice Lady
Copyright TheNiceLady 2014