Topic: Linux stop motion with a Webcam

Hello! I recently have been working hard to find a way that works to use a webcam (in my case the Logitech C920) on a device with Linux. Here is what I have found, the majority copied from my thread on, but I wished to post it here to, to hopefully help more people mini/smile

Before a couple of days ago, for all my recent brickfilms I have used a Panasonic camera (Lumix DMC-TZ70). This is a good compact camera which is easy to use and understand. You are able to put all settings on manual and adjust to your desire. This is a wonderful camera for this purpose.
I use the Panasonic Image app to take photos with, in order to not touch the actual camera. This works over wifi and has a strong connection.

The downsides of this camera is that it doesn't work with any stop motion apps I know of (dragonframe for instance). Therefore while animating you can not use onion skinning or instant playback. You can also not flick through the past frames easily.

Logitech C920 webcam

Therefore I decided to buy the Logitech C920 webcam for longer scenes that required the webcam's abilities. This is a great, small camera which many animators use. It has 1080p quality and connects with many stop motion softwares, such as dragonframe and boats animator. Some people may know that edBound uses this webcam.

The downside is that the official Logitech webcam control software does not run on Linux, meaning I am unable to use it. The webcam also does not have a focus ring on the outside either.

On an old Windows XP laptop I then installed Ubuntu. You can do this by creating a bootable USB stick on Ubuntu ( … 1-overview) or on Windows ( … 1-overview). They are not the only ways, but two easy ways.

The newest version of Ubuntu works well on the laptop. When you try and download software you may come across messages telling you it is incompatible, not available or other issues. To resolve this make sure your Ubuntu is up to date, then these problems should be resolved. This does not appear to have made the laptop slower.

After that I installed boats animator ( this is a great open source program which enables live viewing, live playback, onion skinning and other features. It works only with webcams at the time being.

The downside to this is the fact that you have no way of controlling the webcam through boats animator, so the webcam can not be zoomed in, settings made manual or changed, and is constantly refocusing (often not on what you are trying to animate :nope: ).

To control the webcam I installed guvcview ( another great, free piece of software. I found this through a thread on Bricks in Motion ( … agonframe/). This works really well and gives a huge amount of control over the webcam, including the ability to change focus, zoom, all the other more complicated settings, and a few silly effects mini/tongue

Then I encountered another problem........ you are unable to use the webcam in guvcview and boats animator at the same time (this go's for all the other webcam apps I tried too). This I did some research into and found that there are certain webcam apps, that allow 'splitting', where you are able to use one webcam in multiple apps simultaneously. Unfortunately there seem to be many of these apps for windows and mac, but I have only found one which works with Ubuntu, called WebcamStudio ( … for-ubuntu). However this does not work in Ubuntu anymore (it seems it must have) and is not in the software finder either mini/no


I have tried the free trial for dragonframe, and it works well with the C920, allowing all the manual settings and being not too hard to use. This I would see as a last option due to it's huge price tag (stretching to the moon and back), however the combination of the features of boats animator and guvcview is very good. However if I find a way, boats animator would beat dragonframe in simplicity while maintaing it's features to a high level. Guvciew also in my opinion would beat dragonframe in easy to adjust settings, and possibly even more control that dragonframe.

Where to look:

I recommend checking out the Bricks in Motion forums ( as they contain extensive questions and answers for the Logitech C920 and different software.

I also recommend askubuntu (, as almost every question I have wanted answered has been asked and answered there (although some answers don't work/ aren't useful, it is super informative and an amazing place).

Boats Animator (
Guvcview (

The official Logitech Software

I have tried using the Logitech Camera Settings software on Windows 10. It does not give as many, or as good controls over the webcam when compared to guvcview. The Logitech Camera Settings does not work however on Ubuntu.

The (Free) Solution

In guvcview, there are two parts to the window, the live video from the webcam, and the controls for it. When the live video part is removed, boats animator would then be able to use the live feed itself, and so both would work in harmony.

When you open the terminal in ubuntu (Ctrl Alt T), with guvcview installed, type the command:

guvcview --control_panel

This then opens only the control part of guvcview. This then means that when you open boats animator it picks up the live view.


Then, by changing the settings in the guvcview control panel, you can watch them change the live view screen in boats animator. This solves the problem! mini/yes

Credit of the command and help go's to [email protected] mini/smile

If I am online here it means I am most likely avoiding brickfilming.
I HAVE DONE IT, I have a good idea for THAC 2024 :wink:

Re: Linux stop motion with a Webcam

This is good information. Thanks for posting your solution.

Re: Linux stop motion with a Webcam

AquaMorph wrote:

This is good information. Thanks for posting your solution.

You're very welcome! It's my pleasure mini/smile

If I am online here it means I am most likely avoiding brickfilming.
I HAVE DONE IT, I have a good idea for THAC 2024 :wink:

Re: Linux stop motion with a Webcam

Good to know, thanks for this!

"Whatever that thing AquaMorph said about french kissing that's always in people's signature"
Married? Solder you balls now.

Re: Linux stop motion with a Webcam

Puskov wrote:

Good to know, thanks for this!

You're welcome! Having used it now for a few days, I can say that it works well! mini/sunnies

If I am online here it means I am most likely avoiding brickfilming.
I HAVE DONE IT, I have a good idea for THAC 2024 :wink: