How to Make a Stop-Motion Video in Picasa

Ever since Cheryl of 5 Second Rule introduced us to the stop-motion video The Joy of Books, Nelle and I have been a little bit obsessed. It's the first thing my girl wants to do when she gets home from kindy ... and I have to admit when I watch it, I feel more than a bit elated. It makes me want to write and dance and read.

But Nelle keeps asking me - how do the books move?
I started to explain ... how the people take lots and lots of photos and then put them together ... but then it hit me. Why not make a video ourselves? Now, it's nothing incredible ... but we did it together, and it wasn't nearly as difficult to do as I thought it would be. You might want to try it out with your kids, this weekend!

How to Make a Stop-Motion Video
(the low-effort way)

1. If you haven't already, download the free photo program Picasa onto your computer.

2. Take a series of photos, incrementally moving one thing at a time in each photo. Here are some of the photos I took ...

For the best quality, use natural light and a tripod. Our video was just for fun, so I stood really, really still between photos, and Nelle moved the fruit. You don't want to have to spend too much time editing all your photos, so be sure you have consistent, high-quality light and that you don't swerve around too much.

3. Upload your photos to Picasa. When a new photo folder is created in Picasa, a button appears to the right of the folder image that looks like video tape with a "+". If you put your cursor over it, it says "create movie presentation". Bingo! This should open Movie Maker.


4. In Picasa Movie Maker, begin by selecting your transition style. I recommend playing around with different styles - 'time lapse' is really fast; some of the others can be quite slow. You can adjust the length of time each slide is shown, too. Our video is the 'cut' transition with the minimum length of time for each slide (1 sec).

5. Add text slides to the beginning or end, if you want. To do so, click on the button that looks like an envelope with a "+" sign on it.

the play button, add a text slide, and delete a slide are all on the left here.

6. You can play your video at any time - commitment-free - by clicking on the green arrow shown in the above picture. To the right of that, you can see how long your video is. Ours is 33 seconds. Make note of that, because now we want to choose music and one of the best ways is to look for clips of that duration.

7. Select "Load" for music and find the clip you want in iTunes (or whatever). We chose to 'truncate audio' because we didn't want our photos to loop around.

8. When you're happy, click on 'Create Movie' and upload it to YouTube (if you like). You're good to go!

Now. I'm sure you could do this same kind of thing in a much less half-assed way. If you have any ideas, shout them out! Otherwise, have a look at another of my fave stop-motion videos for inspiration.

Have a great weekend,
Amanda xx


  1. What a great idea! Thanks for sharing :-)

  2. You and Nelle did a great job on your first stop motion video! Very cute.

    Loved the Joy of Books and Autumn Story...first time seeing them so thanks for sharing.

    Great tutorial on *how to* as well :)

  3. Thankyou so much for the great idea... my partner and I will be making a "save the date" vid this weekend! excited!

  4. i like this. i used time lapse and i can get rid of the fade in slide but not the fade out slide. which is unfortunate.


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Thanks for commenting! Amandaxx