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The Magic Egg Stop Motion Animation Project

Sometimes an animation can take weeks to make. I show you this in this little tutorial with a growing plant.


The Magic Egg

This is the Magic Egg Stop Motion Animation Project.

Somebody gave me a little egg as a gift. It is a novelty item and what you do is crack open the top then water it and out of the egg grows a plant with a message. I thought that this would be a fun project to do for this section on stop motion animation. But it did pose a few problems that were fun to solve.


With growing a plant you can't just gow it an inch, take a picture, grow it another inch and take another picture. Well, in effect you can but it takes days or weeks. You can't just do it all in an hour. And this causes several little animation obstacles that need to be overcome. First off, everything has to remain the same over the course of several weeks, the egg can't move, the camera can't move, and the lighting has to stay the same.

And, I was also forced to think about the fact that the plant is going to need sunlight so this is a factor. But if I just put it in a window the sunlight is going to vary every day and every hour and this will make the animation look a bit funny so I also needed a way to isolate the lighting without sacrificing sunlight.

The biggest challenge to this project was the camera. It would have been great to clamp the camera in place and leave it there for a couple of weeks. Then I could just take a new shot every day. But I can't do this. I need the camera for other projects. I needed to build some kind of a frame where I could place the camera and remove it as I needed to.

How I solved this stop motion animation puzzle

I built a little structure that should solve all these problems (reasonably well anyway)

egg jig setup

Here is what I call the Animation booth. The egg is glued right to the structure so it won't move. The boards in the foreground are the mount for the camera. I slide the camera right into the square area so it will always be in the same spot. The big white background is sheetrock and it is removable. While the plant is growing the whole structure sits in a window and the background is removed. Whenever I take a picture I first place the background sheet in.As I was building the structure I had to consider the camera and how it would frame the picture so I took sample pics and moved the location of the camera back and forth before I settled on what I thought would look good. This picture on the left is the framing I settled on. It will show the egg shells around the egg and still have enough room to show plant growth. Here is the resulting animation: Magic Egg Animation

sample animation frame

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