How To Make A Magical Vine Using Stop Motion

When we first saw Matt Willis of yelldesign’s flawless stop motion Vine videos, we thought, “How in the world does he even…?”

So we asked him … AND HE TOLD US!

It turns out he doesn’t use any fancy apps or software or even voodoo. He just uses Vine, his phone and know-how.

He was kind enough to share his know-how with us and you too!

Matt gave us step by step instructions on how to make an apple disappear into a tabletop (and how to pull it back out again). No magic required.

Learn Matt’s Pro-tips for Wow-Worthy Stop Motion Vines



  • Your Phone
  • Vine AppAvailable for iPhone, Android and Windows phones
  • A Tripod or Phone Stand
  • Lights – Good lighting can take an average video and make it something really amazing

Before You Start

You’ll need a concept. One of stop motion’s greatest strengths is taking inanimate objects and making them move them in a way that is unexpected, quirky, funny, playful, beautiful or just plain absurd!

If you take a boring object, treat it in a totally new way and leave the viewer with a smile, you’ll have a great Vine to share.

Pro tip: food is a great subject as its easy to manipulate and has universal appeal.


beforeSet your phone up on a tripod (or tape it to a rock) so that it doesn’t move a millimeter while you’re filming.

This is the time to think about composition.

Think of your video like a moving photo. All of the same principals that apply to good photography, apply to making videos. Use the rule of thirds or an unusual perspective to give your video visual appeal.

The Plan

beforeIn this example, we are going to make an apple sink into the tabletop and rise again. In order to do this we will carefully cut sections of the apple away and gradually film it sinking.

By taking two frames at each ‘sinking’ stage, we will be able to reorder them later to make the apple magically reappear.

Filming Your Vid

beforeStep 1: First, set up your smartphone and tripod, arrange the scene and make sure your composition and lighting are adjusted correctly.

Step 2: With a new Vine session open (tap the ‘video camera’ top right hand corner of app) you are ready to start filming. Apply a grid if you want to fine-tune your composition.

Step 3: Make two short taps on the screen to capture two frames. For our apple example, you would have a full apple on tabletop and open fingers on the trackpad.

Step 4: Now take a slice of apple off the bottom and squeeze your fingers slightly on the trackpad – then take another two frames.
Pro-tip: Use Ghost Mode and you’ll see a faint overlay of your previous frame so you can make sure your hand is always in the same place.

Step 5: Continue slicing pieces of apple and taking double-tap frames until the apple has vanished and your fingers are tightly held together. This should take about 8 stages for a smooth animation.

Step 6: Once all of the animation is done hold a slightly longer tap at the end so there is a pause in the middle of your video. This will add a visual rest and is important to the flow of the end movie.

Edit and Post

beforeHit the -> then checkmark to begin editing (or rearranging) frames in Vine’s edit mode.

Hold and drag every second frame to end of the timeline, placing them in reverse order so that the apple reappears. So AA-BB-CC becomes ABC-CBA…

And that’s it – You’re done! Give your post a cool name, add some hashtags and share with your mates and millions of followers!

Take it Further


  • Use your new found skills to make your toys move all on their own.
  • Use stop motion to make your friends teleport around your video.
  • Rearrange all your frames from last to first to make an entire video play backward.