If you have not already dusted off you LEGO minifigures now is the time to start digging around in the boxes in your closet, loft or under your bed. Who knows you might find some valuable collectible minifigs hiding in there. Some more rare minifigs from the 70's are worth hundreds of dollars. You can look up ebay to check out the more valuable ones.
Get a good Webcam
Once you have your legos collected together you will want to get your hands on a good quality web camera. A lot of webcams that you come across are very cheap and nasty. You will need to purchase a branded webcam from Microsoft or Logitech in order to ensure you get a good quality image. Expect to pay $35 plus. If you are not restrained by cost then I would suggest a Logitech c920 ( approximately $95 ) but boy is it worth the extra bucks. The image quality is superb. And the better the image quality the better the animation will appear to your viewers.
Get 3 Lamps
The last thing you want to do when animating is use ?daylight?. Animating under sunlight is a disaster. Why? Well sunlight changes second by second because of shading from clouds or simply over the course of the day in terms of position. Thus every time you take a snapshot for your stop motion lego animation the lighting will have changed. The light levels will not be apparent to you but when you play the animation back you will see what appears like ?light flicker?. This is very distracting to the viewer. So in order to avoid it you need to block out daylight to a large extent and use artificial light. Three standard desk lamps will do the job nicely. Place them strategically around your set and perhaps use some paper to dampen down or reflect the harsher lamps to soften the look and avoid light glare.
Choose the Best Stop Motion Software Carefully
If you are using a PC then I would recommend iKITMovie. If you are using a MAC then I would recommend iStopMotion. If you have no restriction on budget and want to use a DSLR ( digital single lens reflex ) camera then I would recommend DragonFrame. The reason I mention choosing the best stop motion software is that often new animators can make a mistake in choosing. All the software I mentioned has a trial version for you to try out before you purchase. So take the time to download a free trial and see if it matches your needs.
Add sound FX , Music and Voiceover
In case you have not noticed the days of silent animated movies is gone. You should engage all the senses of the viewer. Adding sound effects is vital to entertain. Adding music to set the mood is also important. Adding a voice to your characters can bring your characters to life. You will need a microphone for your voice and dialog. You can record the voiceover directly in to some stop motion animation software whereas others encourage you to use a separate application and then import the wave or mp3 files once they are complete. iKIT allows you to record directly or import them and it also has over two thousand sound effects included in the application. Alternatively you can download free sound effects from various websites. Just type "free sound effects" in to google and you will find them easily.
I have been tinkering with LEGO Animation for years now. So much so that I am involved in creating and designing Stop Motion Software for iKITSystems in Ireland.