Paper Shark Stop Motion Tutorial

Paper Shark Stop Motion Tutorial


This stop motion was originally made as a fun social media video for my Instagram page celebrating shark week!  Now, I think that making a card shark animation would be a great tutorial for your children to try out.


Navy Blue card stock

White oil pastel

Grey oil pastel

Black oil pastel

Dark blue oil pastel

Paper Shark template

White card stock

Googly eye





Large sheet of light blue cardboard

A Desk lamp


Stop motion app (we used Stop motion studio)

Blu tack


Two lego blocks


  • Download and print out the shark template or hand draw your own shark on navy blue card stock and cut out the shark and two dorsal fins.


  • Hand draw some teeth on the white card stock, cut them out then glue them on the shark’s mouth.

  • Glue on the googly eye, with the white oil pastel colour in the mouth and the bottom of the shark. Outline the white edges with the grey oil pastel.

  • Draw in the gills with black oil pastel and draw around the very edge of the shark with the dark blue pastel.

Time to animate:

  • This type of animation is set as a stand-up set.

  • Blu-tak your set down so it doesn’t move.

  • Position your lamp or light source directly above your set.

  • Stick one of the dorsal fins to the block of lego with blu-tak.


  • Position your tripod to face the set but at a slightly high angle.

  • Place your iPhone or iPad on the tripod.

  • Connect your head phones to the iPhone to use it as a remote to capture your images.

  • Open up the app Stop motion studio.


  • Tap the camera icon to start a new animation.


  •  Set your exposure, white balance controls, and other necessary effects.

  •  Take 5 shots of the blank set using the headphones as your remote capture.


  • Set the slider down for onion skinning/overlay transparency. This will show your last shot and will help you line up the character.


  • Add the shark from left of the screen and take a shot.

  • Then move the shark fin about the width of the fin and take another shot.

  • Continue to do this until the shark is off screen.

  • Take another two set shots of the blank set.


  • With the opposite dorsal fin, move the shark across from the right of the screen, taking a shot each time you move the fin.

  • Again, once the fin is off screen take another 2 shots of the black set.


  • Repeat the process again with the first fin and move it across the screen from left to right of the screen taking a shot each time you move the fin.

  • When the fin has moved off screen for the last time, take 10 shots of the blank set.



  • Now we are going to bring the shark slowly into frame.  Hold the shark very still and then take the shot.

  • Move shark into the frame and take another shot.  Continue to move him into the frame and then out again. Take a shot of every move you make. I held the shark with my hand so be very careful not to get your hand in the shot.

  • Take another 10 shots of the blank set.

  • Add titles, music and sound effects to complete the animation.

  • Or, better still, storyboard your own ideas and make your own animation with the shark.

You can download a storyboard from here!

Export the animation and show it off! I would love to see what you have made so please send me a link to your stop motion animation.


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