How to Get Backgrounds for Stick Figure Animation

Written by paul rance
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How to Get Backgrounds for Stick Figure Animation
A stick figure or figures can be enlivened with backgrounds. (stick figures dancing image by Steve Johnson from

Creating stick figures has always been a popular and easy way to create content for animation, but a stick figure against a blank background can be enlivened just by making that background more colourful. You can also get interesting and free backgrounds for your stick figure online. You can use various sophisticated software programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Corel PHOTO-PAINT to create backgrounds for your stick figure, but you can also design effective backgrounds with a free program available with Windows, namely Microsoft Paint.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Click the "Start" menu in Windows and choose "All Programs," "Accessories" and then click "Paint." Here, you can easily draw a stick figure with your mouse and the brush tool, or, if you prefer, import a figure into Paint. Save this image as a .JPEG or a .GIF file, but not as a .BMP file, as you will have problems trying to add a coloured background. You can simply name the file "Sticky."

  2. 2

    Choose a colour as a background and select the Fill tool and the area around your figure will be filled in. A fill in a .JPEG file can look ragged, but it will be up to you to decide whether it adds to the overall image or detracts from it. Save the image with the fill as a different file. An easy way to do so would be to save it with a suffix number such as "Sticky2."

  3. 3

    Add different colour backgrounds if you wish by repeating the process, but giving each altered image a new file name (such as "Sticky3," "Sticky 4").

  4. 4

    Enliven your background if you wish by going back to the Brush tool and putting dots or lines on top of the background.

  5. 5

    Import the images you have after you're satisfied with them into a program that can make and play videos, such as Windows Movie Maker, and judge if anything needs changing.

Tips and warnings

  • For best results, make your stick figure black or white, as this will allow you to use more colours in your background. Be aware that some darker background colours will not work well with a black stick figure, and, conversely, some brighter background colours will not work very well with a white stick figure.
  • It is important to test out your finished animation in various media players, as there will be differences in the size of the image with some. You will be able to see if the image looks blurred or not when enlarged.

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