November 14th, 2017 by Sean

Create Stop Motion Animation with Explain Everything

Create stop motion animation

Do you find yourself staring at an unmoving slide during a presentation and struggling to pay attention?  Adding some simple animation to enhance your project can grab your audience’s attention and involve them in a way they might otherwise not be. For the month of November, Tuesday Tips will feature four videos from Explain Everything extraordinaire Sam Gleason. Sam has been using Explain Everything since 2014 and currently works full time creating tutorials for Southwestern Advantage. He’s been kind enough to demonstrate some of his great techniques to help make your projects more engaging!

This week’s Tuesday Tips will demonstrate how to create stop motion animation and engage your audience in a new way!

What you’ll need:

  • Explain Everything (of course)
  • A project with an asset you would like to animate
  • The patience to learn a technique with a big payoff!


Try out this fun technique to add interesting animation to your projects.

Happy Explaining!

Do you use Explain Everything in an interesting way or would like to see something explored in depth? Contact us at with your suggestions!



In this tutorial you’ll learn to create animations using the mix feature and the timeline. I like to teach through storytelling whenever I can. In one of my videos I created a little character who discovered a goldmine. He came out with 132 pieces of gold. Unfortunately, the mine belonged to someone else, but the mine owner if you pay me 9 pieces of gold you can just keep the rest.  The little character was confused. He only had two little pieces to give away, so how is he going to give 9 pieces to the mine owner? That’s when he realized that he could break apart one of the 10s to give himself more pieces. And in this way I was able to teach kids about regrouping or borrowing in a fun way. Part of what made it fun was getting to smash the 10. In the video you saw I created a simple animation to show the smash.

In this video tutorial I want to show you a more sophisticated way to animate. First, let’s get a more sophisticated hammer. I’m going to use the image from web feature to find a better hammer picture. I drew the one by hand you saw in the little video. This one looks much better. I’m going to flip it to make it face the right way. Then I’ll record myself swinging the hammer and hitting the stick. Now, I’ll rewind to the moment when the hammer strikes. Bam. Right there.

Now, I’m going to make my 10 little pieces. I’ll use the duplicate feature. Once I have my pieces I’m going to stack them on top of the stick. They don’t have to be perfect. In fact, I’m going to make these little pieces stick out a little bit because that’s where the hammer strikes. And I might move them around a little bit to make them look like they’re starting to fly out. There, that looks pretty good. That’s frame one of my animation, let’s see how it looks. Bam! There’s frame one. Looks pretty good.

Now, when the hammer moves, I know I’m in the next frame. There! Right there. This is going to be frame two. In frame 2 I’m going to move the pieces a little bit and when I’ve got them all in the right position, I’m going to turn the mixer on and record my next frame. I’m also going to mute, so I don’t record over any of my talking. And now I’ve got my second frame, so I’ll rewind it- here’s frame one, bonk, frame two, bonk. I’ll push it forward a little bit there this is going to be frame three.  Frame two, frame three.

I’ll move the pieces a little bit more and I’ll move the ones on top and these two guys are starting to drop down and again I’ll hit record. It doesn’t matter how long I let it record for, just a moment. One, two, three, this will be frame four. That was three this is four. I’ll move them all a little bit more. Have these guys start to drop a little faster as they gain velocity. Hit record and back it up. Frame one, two, three, four, and five.

I know I’m in the next frame because the hammer moved a little bit. That tells me I’m ready to record the next one. Record it, do a little review- frame one, two, three, four, five, and this will be six right there. Hit record again. I’ve locked in that next frame- one, two, three, four, five, six, and this will be seven. And I think this will be my final frame.

Ok, let’s see how that plays. Nice! That looked pretty realistic. Well except for the fact that the stick is still there. So, I need to make the stick disappear. Here’s an easy way to do it. I’m going to create and object and I’m going to group it to the stick. The reason for doing this will become clear in a minute. Right on this frame, right there. Bam! That’s where I want the stick to disappear, but I can’t delete it because it’s underneath these other objects. It’s too hard to access. So, by grouping it to an object I’m able to move it out of the way and delete it. Now, I just rewind and delete the object altogether. Then it doesn’t show up in the video at all and I have a nice animation!

There we go! Try experimenting with Explain Everything as a stop motion animation tool.