Sand and Paint Animation

Below is a group presentation made to share with my classmates information about sand and paint animation.

Sand and Paint Animation PPT.pdf

Sand animation is a very intriguing art form that requires the artist to use their hands and gestural movements to manipulate sand on a light table. The animation is documented using either photography for stop-motion or can be videoed as a "live performance" piece. During our experiences with sand animation, we found that it was important to understand that the imagery must be built up from back to front. In order to preserve your central or most forward image, the background must first be established. It is also important to focus on the differences between light and dark and would be a great example when talking about positive and negative space to students. Hint: Only use glass on your light-table, never plexiglass, as the static electricity will cause clean-up problems!

Here are a couple shorter examples of sand animation done by professionals:


"Green Dreams"

Paint animation is a unique form of art that is created by manipulating a slow drying paint (typically oil paint) on a light table surface. A slow drying paint is best due to the fact that some productions can take many days or weeks and therefore can be manipulated for an extended period of time. What makes this art form so charming is it's organic and fluid imagery that provide dynamic environments as well as the ability to morph and transition from one form to another. Typically the mark making is very visible and can be created using a variety of instruments to create texture. Generally these animations are more successful when made using stop-motion, but "live performance" documentation is sometimes desired as well. When experimenting with paint animation, we found many similarities to sand animation in that a great deal of planning ahead is necessary to first establish the setting and then add the central forms. Hint: Use a sheet of clean acetate transparency paper over your glass surface to make clean-up a bit easier.

Here are a couple examples of paint animation done by professionals. Notice that the first one is very straightforward in the mark making, whereas in the second one, it's almost hard to believe that the medium is paint on glass:

"Old Castle"

"The Old Man and the Sea: Part 1"

One thing that I believe sets these two art forms into a realm of their own is the fact that these are not preservable works of art. They are constantly being created and destroyed and have the ability to morph and transform quickly and easily.


--Supplies Needed--

Sand Animation:

+ light table

+ sand

+ video/still camera


Paint Animation:

+ light table

+ clear acetate transparency paper

+ oil based paint

+ brushes, Q-tips, chop sticks, etc.

+ video/still camera

+ tripod

Below is our group video demonstration. Until I figure out how to rotate the video, we'll just have to enjoy it the way it is!