Well firstly the materials that you will need to create an animation for the first time, or anytime really, are a web-cam, i would personally recommend the Logitech QuickCam DeLuxe for Notebooks purely because it is relatively cheap and has a glass lens making picture quality very good. Secondly a frame grabbing program will be needed to capture your photos from the web-cam, currently I use trial programs because I am still saving for the full versions. Good programs include, istopmotion, claymation studio 2.0, Helium-frog (free) and Animator DV simple+ (free). All you need now is something to animate, most animators use modelling clay or some use LEGO.
A good thing to do as your first ever animation would be to fist make a ball of clay, set it down in front of the web-cam and begin to capture images. Over time you want to move/morph your ball and take two pictures, this is called shooting on twos, if you do this for about 100 frames at 25FPS (frames per second) then you have yourself a short animation, some people will do more than 100 frames because when you get into it, you lose track of time.
see our website for more information: http://www.rblclaymations.weebly.com other good sites to visit are http://www.animateclay.com , http://www.stopmotionmagic.com and various other animation forums.