After 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
Plasticine doesn’t dry out, so it’s perfect for shaping/moulding and animating. This sort of stop-motion animating is called “Claymation” in the UK, although I think it’s a copyrighted term in the US. If you leave plasticine too long it can go a bit hard, so leave it next to a light source to warm it up, or just use your hands if it is ok to re-shape it.
I set up the camera on a tripod to help prevent the shots/photos from being taken from different places. I also used a desk light to try and keep it as consistent as possible, rather than using/relying on daylight. This also helped prevent the need for a camera flash which is annoying as it was far too bright and caused the pictures to miss out on some details like the eyes.
I made my green blob out of plasticine. I cut 2 straight pieces of a paperclip and used them to attach the eyes to the body to help keep them in place. This isn’t required bit it helps I think.
I took over 70 pictures in total for my animation. Within each one I moved the green blob a bit, amended the mouth and the location of the eyes. Once I had “filmed” my “scene” I used a USB cable to attach the camera to the PC in order to transfer all my photos.
Within Windows Movie Maker I went to “Tools > Options”, then the “Advanced” tab to change the picture duration to 0.125 seconds (the fastest it will go). This then inserted the properties to all the images I imported into the software and added to the timeline to create my animation. All I had to do then was export my movie.
I think that covers everything. Obviously time will be taken experimenting with your camera, lighting, and various other technical elements and techniques. Creating stop-motion (or claymation) videos is a lot of fun but does require loads of patience.
As I’m a beginner I am also still experimenting and learning. Tonight I hope to create a new animation using a free version of AnimatorHD.If there is something you feel I have missed out, or if you have any other question regarding stop-motion animation please feel free to ask me in the comments below or on the forum.