Cardboard Animation Camera Stand

For years our animation program has been limited by the number of computers and camera stands we have in class. With a typical class of 43 students the four or five computers we set up make shooting our animation a chore. This year I would like to make better use of the other animation image capture devices we have in class – the ones sitting in the pockets, purses, and backpacks of my students.

Every year, more and more of my students are carrying smartphones and other camera equipped devices. Many of these devices can run apps that are tailor made for shooting animation. Students with iOS devices (iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads) or Android phones/tablets have a wide selection of free and paid apps to choose from. See my previous post on animation apps to see what is available.

However, getting an app on your device is just the first step. We quickly find that shooting animation is difficult without a proper setup.

At the end of last year I built a camera stand out of chipboard and gummed tape (see gallery above). This stand is available for use in class and I plan on building more. For those of you interested in shooting your animation on your own time at home, you could do worse than my one minute camera stand (see gallery above). The one minute camera stand can be built in less than one minute and assembles in three easy steps:

  1. Find a cardboard box
  2. Turn it on its side
  3. Cut a hole in the side
  • Now you have an animation stand!


Obviously, I encourage you to experiment and craft a stand that works good for you. You might need to test different locations for the camera hole, you might want to try setting up a desk lamp to provide better lighting, and you might want to use tape and other scraps of cardboard to reinforce your stand and make it less wiggly. But even in its most basic form, the one minute camera stand gets the job done.