Written by Mark Mendoza on September 20, 2021
If you’ve ever shopped for an item online, chances are you’ve come across a rotating 360° view of the product. This is stop motion animation. It’s a technique that involves photographing one still image at a time, with each frame varying slightly from the next, thus giving the appearance of motion. Think: old-school Disney films, Pixar movies, or Claymation videos. While this type of animation began in the film industry in the late 1890s, it has more recently gained popularity in the marketing world. Customers love it because it simulates the act of holding the product up-close and looking at it from all angles. Vendors love it because it helps boost sales.
Why Stop Motion Animation Boosts Sales.
For starters, it is excellent at capturing the attention of any audience. Its visual appeal lies in its uniqueness and creativity. In the world of marketing, this ability to stop an audience in its tracks is a success in and of itself. But the success of this technique goes beyond its ability to command this particular level of attention. And, to top it all off, stop motion animation is simpler and therefore less expensive than you might think – particularly as compared to producing videos.
Stop motion animation can boost sales in the following ways:
Let’s dive in:
In e-commerce settings, it has been proven that when it comes to showing off quality photos and videos, more is more. Meaning, the more quality shots you show of your product, the higher your sales will be.
Naturally, people can be hesitant to buy items online, particularly those with larger price tags or items a buyer has never seen before in real life. By showing off every angle of a product via a 360° product spin, you are helping buyers better visualize it, making them more confident and less hesitant to buy.
Showing off every angle of a product with lots of quality shots does not only help with a buyer’s decision to purchase. It also makes a buyer less likely to return the product once they receive it.
Intuitively, this makes sense. When you receive an item that looks exactly like what you were expecting, you will be more likely to keep it.
One of the more popular stop motion styles of animation for e-commerce products is the aforementioned 360° spin. This style of animation shows off every inch of a product. This is achieved by placing the product on a turntable, taking still shots at various intervals as the turntable is rotated in predetermined increments. The result is a set of anywhere from 16-32 images which, When combined, result in a smooth 360° rotating video that shows off every side of the product.
In the world of e-commerce sales, where people cannot physically touch your product, these types of product shoots can help replicate what a product will look and feel like in real life.
Stop Motion animation is a unique, useful, and budget-friendly way to display how your product works. This is especially helpful when a product has any unusual or interesting functions you would like to demonstrate.
As an example, I shot a series of product and lifestyle images recently for United Solutions of Leominster, MA. United Solutions produces organizational bins. Their goal was to display the usefulness of these containers, along with the functionality of their bins with a slide feature. Two different sized bins are stacked one on top of the other, with the top bin able to slide across the bottom bin for easy access to its contents. We were able to easily demonstrate this feature by shooting a series of stills of the container sliding back and forth across the top of the other bin.
Another challenge on the United shoot was how to demonstrate the usefulness of their bins for organizing, say, a craft room or child’s closet. Again, we used stop motion animation to capture each space, starting with a cluttered scene of items strewn about, to items being placed into bins, and finally to all items organized neatly into bins and stored on shelves.
Product Stop Motion Animation: Simpler Than You Might Expect
While stop motion may look like it was produced with a video camera, it is actually just a series of still photos, which means it is faster and easier to produce than one might initially expect. Not only does this make it a more budget-friendly solution, but gives you the option to keep the animation as simple or complex as you would like.
If you want to keep it simple, your photographer can create the stop motion him or herself using a series of images within a stand-alone file.
If you would like to add more technical features to the animation, such as having the ability to control the image with your mouse, you can send it to your web coder to easily add these types of special effects.
Stop motion animation is a wonderfully creative blend between still images and video. It allows you to display your product in its entirety without having to spend the extra time and money on a full video production.
Want to learn more about stop motion animation? Reach out anytime.
Tags: professional photographer, product photography