Minecraft LEGO Animation: Adding Basic Effects

Posted by Rebekah Cook on

To round out our exploration of Minecraft stop motion stories, take a look at these two animations where pieces of putty are the basis of fun and easy to apply effects.

Snow Hideout Fight 

The wintry hideout Lego set is used to good advantage in this snowball skirmish created by TheKarlStudios. White putty stars as the ammunition shot between the sly Creeper and his enemy, Steve.

The cabin serves a double purpose, both as a backdrop and a handy surface for the putty snowballs to stick to as they "fly" through the air. No digital editing was needed to create this effect! First round and turning, then flattening on impact, using the wall as an anchor for the frosty bullets is simple and effective.


ModiBot Mo throws a snowball of his own! Shadows can be difficult to remove when using this technique as you can see - you may have to use multiple light sources to remove them successfully. If the object is small or flat, very little shadow will be visible. For example, you could use a circle of paper instead of a round ball of putty, and it would look almost the same. 

The Treasure

TheSupermoviestudios mixes the physical textures of the Lego set with select digital layers. Black putty also makes a guest appearance to show the demise of an angry spider.

You might notice that when Steve walks in this video, it looks unnatural. Did you figure out why? In real life we swing our arms forward with our opposite leg as we walk, but here the animator chose to move the arm and leg forward on the same side. Kudos for the fun camera work and editing though!

The fire, dust, and other digital effects have been added in post digitally using a fancy video editor, such as Sony Vegas, or Adobe After Effects, but you can achieve the panning and zooming camera effect that begins around 0:20 for free!

Digitally panning and zooming can be a great effect to use if you have a still frame which needs to be spruced up with a bit of camera movement.

In Windows Movie Maker, look for "Ease In" and "Ease Out" in the Effects collection.

Then drag the effect down on top of a clip in the timeline. You'll see a star appear when the effect is applied.

Also see "Pan, Down and Zoom Out", and several other panning and zooming movements in the collection. For more information about editing video in WMM, Stopmotion Explosion readers can click HERE.

In iMovie, this effect is called the "Ken Burns Effect". To apply it, click a clip on the video track.

Then click the button that looks kind of like a square in the viewer window (it's the symbol for cropping, and it's selected below). In this window you can choose the start and end of the panning and zooming by clicking and dragging / resizing the solid and dotted rectangles.

For more information about iMovie effects, Stopmotion Explosion readers can watch our video tutorial HERE.