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Reflection to Project 2

I thought that our presentation of Claymation went well. We pre-made our little worm creature so it would be quicker to animate and demonstrate in class. One think that I might have actually included more of was the background information such as history. It would have been interesting if we had had more time to talk about when the first claymations were made, who coined the phrase "claymation" being that it is simply an extension of stop-motion animation.  Sara and I just started playing with the clay and that is where we came up with the little worm guy and eating the egg. We had originally wanted to do something a little more complex but with the time limit, it had to be sized down.

After doing claymation and having an actual feeling for how much time it takes just to get 30 seconds of animation, I have a higher respect for the animators and artist that do this. I cannot really phantom making a feature length film of claymation. I think I would probably go crazy, maybe if I had nothing else to do I might think it kind of therapeutic. But Just trying to think of how much time and care they take to make it perfect and the actions so smooth.

Some problems that happened that are important to take note of for future experiments with claymation:
~The clay left a trail of color as it moved across the "stage", which wasn't necessary a bad thing for this project. But I could see that it might be a problem in a more expanded piece
~When watching the movie, you can tell that the camera moved ever so little but it made a big difference in the final piece. Our movie looks homemade because of this little camera giggle. Coming up with a way (maybe using a better tripod) to keep the camera in one place even if it has been bumped or even pushing the button to take a picture.
~Note really knowing the clay that much and having the colors mix when we didn't really want to didn't really work out to well. We worked with the blue and than we worked with the red, when looking closely at the creature you can see little blue marks. This is a problem because it gives it a dirty feel.
~Need to make sure the movement changes in between each frame need to be small. A movement with a large change in placement also makes to image jump in scattered.

Thoughts about doing this as an activity with Children:
If given a long amount of time to work on a claymation with children, it would be fun to allow them to design and build there own creatures. It will also be possible to allow them to storyboard out what they would like for their creature to do. Doing the animation as a whole group or whole class. Individual animations wouldn't really work very well for one person instructing the process. If there wasn't a lot of time to work with the children, it would be good to create a creature, storyboard and backgrounds for the children. These actions will allow for you to teach them how to actually animate the creature.

Research on Claymation

p. 34-41 Beginner's Guide to Animation by Mary Murphy



            Capture Station Setup


                        Camera and Tripod

                        Props and Stage Elements



Modeling Clay or Plasticine in different colors

*NOTE: plasticine's color is oil based and leaves residue on hands and may stain other tables, clothes, etc

*For first attempts at claymation, go for a clay that is inexpensive and nontoxic (from toy store). Once familiar to the method move to artist quality clay (from art store)


Baby Wipes (to smooth finger prints on clay AND also takes off most of the clay residue off hands)


Plastic or Wooden Modeling Tools

*If money is a problem, you can use different things around the house to model and sculpt the clay


            Tooth Pick

            Popsicle Stick

            Items with different textures


            Small, White Glass or Plastic Beads for Eyes

*You could also use buttons, dried beans, or googlie eye


            Paint (for putting pupil on the beads for eyes)


            Plastic Wrap (keep clay from losing need moisture)


            Container to keep creatures when not in use or done with animation



Beginning tips:

Make sure to clean up all clay when done working with it to prevent it from stick all over everything


Working with the clay:

When handling it for the first time, it can be stiff and unmanageable. Before making creature, knead the clay to warm it up until it is soft and flexible. It will make it much easier to work with.


Form the desired shapes from the clay using hands and tools. Keep in mind that for the first attempt at claymation keep it simple to animate, not too may moving parts or components.


Use baby wipes to remove fingerprints from clay and also use on hands in between use of different colors to prevent mixing when unwanted.


Different Methods of Animation of Clay:

            Pose to Pose-

                        Using the same piece of clay each frame of animation.

                        Can cause fast clay degeneration, and loss of quality.

            Replacement Shapes-

Using a different piece of clay for each frame, each of these showing a different movement.


            Pose to Pose                                     vs.            Replacement.

                        Livelier                                                More  Controlled

                        Organic Looking                                    Smooth

                        Rough and Jerky                                    Less Spirited




Golden Rules of Claymation

1.    Keep Characters Simple

a.    Simple

b.    Built for stability rather than elegance

c.    Tall and thin don't work

d.    No top heavy shapes don't work either

e.    Simple shapes can also make for more imaginative characters


2.    Keep Movements Basic

a.    Don't expect characters to move like the real thing

b.    Build them with only one or two movements in mind


3.    Use Replacement Shapes

a.    Can build one ore more replaceable elements

b.    Animation more controlled

c.    Less time cleaning up between frames

d.    Effortless, fluid movement, no rough jumps on camera


Advanced Replacement Shapes

After you have perfected your character's movement in modeling clay, you can make your replacement puppets durable by using polymer clay that can be baked and hardened in a domestic oven.

Help Sites with more background information about Claymation:

            Claymation History


             Google Timeline of Claymation

Powerpoint on Claymation!

Here is the powerpoint that we used in our presentation.

Amateur Claymation

Here are some examples of a couple beginners of claymation:

More Links:
Clay Stop-Animation Test
Edward Scissorhands in Claymation

Here is a claymation demonstration a really interesting game of chess.

This guy is amazing! All of his videos are really cool and funny! Here are just a few that I thought were the best.

Breakdancing Claymation
Green with Envy


Wallace and Gromit Storyboard

Here is the storyboard video I made to go in our demo of claymation to show the thought process before animators actually start working on their animation.


Cute Class Claymation!!!

Here is the class claymation put together for you!!! It turned out really well. Maybe not me moving the camera...but GREAT JOB!!!!


Professional Claymation: Gumby!!!

I still remember Gumby even though he was a little before my time. But he is a good example of claymation being that he is a boy that is made out of clay! Enjoy these few videos I found!

Here is a website I found that gives some insight into animating clay. It reviews some software that you can buy to help with the animating process, there is a shop, and they also give advise on how to do animation. 

Professional Claymation: Nick Park and Aardman Animations

Nick Park is the creator of the beloved characters Wallace and Gromit. He has worked with Aardman Animations to create a whole bunch of wonderful Wallace and Gromit Adventures and much more. Here are some links to clips from movies, commercials, and little shorts! 

Wallace and Gromit Website-This has some great features on it. When you click on "schools" it brings you to a website that gives FREE activity/lesson ideas for teachers on how to get kids to invent things!

Here is a link to the Aardman Animations' youtube page. There are a lot more great videos on there that I didn't put on here! Go and check it out.

Other (non-Wallace and Gromit Projects)

"Creature Comfort" is series of animations that are answers from real people to these questions. Some of them are very funny!!! I would look for more online!!! But here are a couple of my favorites and some about Art!

There are also 10 fun little bits called "Cracking Contraptions" that are all wonderfully funny and star Wallace and Gromit. They are little short about different inventions Wallace tries to come up with that just don't really work...


Professional Claymation: Will Vinton

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