I bought a book!

Filed under: Animation / Claymation | 0 Comments

Stop Motion: Craft Skills for Model AnimationI had originally planned to start animating this week. However, I have spent most of my time sketching out ideas, reading tutorials, and watching videos for some inspiration. As all of my previous animation has been purely experimental, I really wanted to make my next stop-motion video a little more meaningful or entertaining.

As part of my research, I’ve decided to buy a book. I used to think that all the information you could ever want was freely available on the Internet, but it seems that claymation and stop-motion animation might be a bit of a small niche, even for the word wide web. Sites like animateclay.com are good, but they just don’t seem to go into enough depth, or suggest alternative ways of doing things beyond the scope of products they sell in their e-shops.

The book I purchased (and will be eagerly awaiting for in the post) is called Stop Motion: Craft Skills for Model Animation. There are a few others that I’d like to get my hands on, but I’ll try reading this one first and pass on any good tips I find.

Barry

Filed under: Animation / Claymation | 1 Comment

I finally did it. I tried out a lip-synced claymation (stop-motion) video!

It’s not quite perfect, but not bad for a first attempt. I’m quite pleased with it!

It took ages! The whole process of preparation, creating the model, setting up, shooting, creating the video and then editing it took just over 2 hours! At first I was a little bit disappointed of how the mouth didn’t quite match the words very well, but then I thought it would be better to create something than to throw it all away. My old art teacher used to go mental if I threw anything in the bin, so if you ever stumble onto this site I hope your happy! lol.

+ If you haven’t already, please subscribe to my YouTube channel

The Blue Blob

Filed under: Animation / Claymation | 2 Comments

Another claymation video, another original name and.. er.. script!?

“The Blue Blob” is my second attempt at stop-motion. Whilst in my previous blog post I said I would try out new software, I was riddled with technical problems. So, I stuck with Windows Movie Maker. Not because there is anything wrong with AnimatorHD (that I have found yet), more due to the fact that the camera I was using let me down and didn’t quite give me the options and settings I require.

Whilst filming, I was hit suddenly with a message telling me that the battery was low. About 3 seconds later the camera completely died on me. Unfortunately, the cable connecting it to my laptop does not recharge the camera. The batteries that required replacing are situated underneath the camera, which meant I couldn’t remove them whilst still connected to the tripod. It was a bit of a disaster. Moving the camera or tripod slightly would mean that I’d have to start all over again.

After much frustration, stomping around the house looking for batteries, and making weird growling noises I finally managed to resolve the problem by replacing 3 of the 4 batteries (which was very difficult). Once I finished filming I transferred my files over the my laptop to find that several frames (photos) were missing. This is why the walking animation at the start suddenly jerks forward, and why the ball rolling in and up to become the Blue Blob’s nose isn’t very fluid. This may have had something to do with the camera saying it’s memory was full on the last photo I took, or because the batteries died? I’m not sure what happened really, but I will definately have another pop at this once I get my new camera (which I recieved today, with a cracked screen.. dammit! – now awaiting a replacement).

Loads of stuff went wrong, but I was determined to get a video out of the evening’s work. I learnt a lot as I tried to make the animation a bit more complex and I’m still happy with the results, but hope I am not quite as unlucky next time.

The Making of “The Green Blob”

Filed under: Animation / Claymation | 3 Comments

green_blob_claymationAfter recently posting my Green Blob Claymation video on this site, the forum, and my facebook page, I have received some great feedback. One of the common questions I received was how did I make the video. Rather than post a lengthy reply to numerous people, I thought I’d post up an article here on how I made “The Green Blob” animation.

In order to make my stop-motion animation I used the following items:

  • A digital camera (although you can use a webcam)
  • A tripod
  • Windows Movie Maker (free with Vista)
  • White Card
  • A paperclip
  • Plasticine (I bought a big box from Toys R Us for £9.99, although they also do packets for about £1 each)
  • A desk light/lamp

The Green Blob

Filed under: Animation / Claymation | 4 Comments

An unimaginative title I know. The video below is an “experiment” I carried out over the weekend. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at stop-motion animation (or claymation.. I don’t really know the correct term), but until recently I’ve never really had the right “tools”.

It’s a fairly short clip bulked out a little by credits and stuff to help bring site traffic and turn off potential media thieves. The animation sequence is about 6-8 seconds which required over 70 separate photographs and took about 30 minutes to make. The software used to create the final result was Windows Movie Maker (bundled with Windows Vista).

For my next claymation video I will be looking at adding more fluid animation, adding sound, and experimenting with Stop Motion Pro to see if it offers much in the way to justify it’s hefty price tag. I have several story and character ideas for when I get a little bit better at this, so be sure to check back at the site often for more videos.