What is the difference between a GIF vs. Stop Motion Animation?

GIF vs. Stop Motion

The main difference between a GIF vs. Stop Motion animation is quite simple. For a GIF, 2 to 5 photos are taken to show a single idea. An example of this would be to turn a light on and off. For a stop motion animation, 10 to 1000 photos are taken to create a narrative and a dialog. Just like making a recipe, you will show all the ingredients mixing together to have the final result. Both the GIF and the stop motion animation have great results and different outcomes.

Often, clients approach Studio Cody Caissie asking for something unique and different. They tell us they saw this GIF on Instagram and ask how it is possible to make them. We then realize after investigating the told GIF that it is instead a stop motion animation, or vice versa.

This is what prompted us to make this blog post and shed light on the difference between GIF vs. Stop Motion.

The future of digital media is video, hands down. In comparison to photography, videos are quite different but there is an overlap when you start getting into GIFs and stop motion animation.

What is the Difference?


GIFs have gained popularity over the past few years. You have used it in your messaging app when sending a funny clip of an actor to express a feeling or on Instagram stories where you added a sticker to a post.

GIF stands for Graphic Interchange Format. When reading the abbreviation GIF, it refers to the format of the file, but people use it loosely to describe videos that are being looped. It can be as simple as approximately looping 2 to 5 photos. The images are linked together in a format that plays over a period of time. We see it most often in our studio when someone sells the same product in different colours and the colours flip through continuously. Like this.

Apps like GIPHY or GIF maker make these easily. If you would like to try making GIFs by yourself, we highly recommend using a tripod to get the consistency in placement. We can also do it for you by simply creating as many photos as you need. See our creative photography prices here

Stop Motion

A stop motion animation is a narrative of many components moving to create a dialog. There are many forms of stop motion such as Claymation or Animation where each photo represents a micro movement and when seen all together quickly, the animation comes to life.

Stop motion animation videos can take up to hundreds of photos to create fluid movement. For the stop motion animation below, there are 266 frames in 10 seconds. What we find most intriguing about this is that it brings products to life without needing the presence of an actual human in the frame. The main element to take away from stop motion animation videos is that there is a level of playfulness that is achieved. The uneven format is also very intriguing.

GIF vs. Stop Motion Studio Cody Caissie logo example of a stop motion animation

To make a stop motion animation yourself, we recommend using apps such as Life Lapse: Stop Motion Camera. You will need a tripod to keep the camera steady throughout the series of images. We can also do it for you with our video services here

The difference between a GIF vs. Stop Motion animation when shown side by side is very clear. If one picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is a video of pictures worth? You can raise your brand exposure and impact you have on your audience by providing different, unique and compelling content.  

What are you waiting for? Let’s make some great content, request a quote now!

Post by Erica Boota

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