I'm entering this instructable into the Play with Clay Contest because for my senior project I'll be making another one that's longer, more elaborate and will need lots more clay! Please vote for me and I'll post my final video up in the spring when it's finished!
Check out my creation below
As promised, I finished my second claymation below. Watch in HD!
Step 1: Write a Script!
A note on the music:
Music can have a huge impact on the mood of your animation. If you want to create a sad or eerie mood, try using music with a lingering piano or a lone violin. Upbeat and cheery music would be appropriate if you wanted to create a blissful mood. Be aware of the mood your claymation is displaying so you can match music with it. You can't be showing a sad scene with benny hill playing, it just doesn't work.
Step 2: Gather Materials
You will need:
- Clay (any brand will be fine, I personally like Sculpey clay)
- Shaping tools (optional)
- Camera with tripod
- A table that will not be disturbed for many hours
It is important also to block any sunlight from entering the room. Sunlight can affect the claymation film in a negative way, it is much better to use artificial lighting to keep the picture lighting constant.
Step 3: Create Your Figures
Step 4: Create a Background (optional)
Step 5: Begin Shooting
If your camera has the options, set it to manual control so the iso and apeture are locked. If they vary from shot to shot (i.e. camera chooses the "best" settings) the final movie will look like the lights are flickering on and off. It's not the end of the world, but can be annoying.
Another important thing to understand is what frame per second (fps) you want to use. A frame is the same thing as a single picture, so if you want to go ten fps, that means ten pictures for every second. Movies are typically shot at 24 fps, but I used a rate of 12 fps in mine. and I think it's a good compromise bettween workload and smoothness.
If you want timing to be perfect (say with a song), just make sure you are keeping up with how many frames per second you are using.
Step 6: Smooth Over Any Mistakes
Be patent! I know when I was working on my Claymation, a lot of things weren't working for me the way I wanted to. You'll find yourself messing up a lot, but that is OKAY! Be patient and don't get frustrated, everything works better and smoother when you're calm.
Step 7: Post Production
After adjusting your pictures, its time to string them together. I used a program called frame by frame, a simple, free program that is extremely easy to use. There are also other programs out there like Dragonframe or Stop Motion Pro that cost a little more money, but the quality is higher.
If using frame by frame, I suggest making the clips about 200-500 pictures long. You can then take those clips and order them in a movie maker such as imovie. There, you can add music and sound affects to make your claymation even more awesome.
Finally, once your Claymation is an official production, show your family and brag to your friends! You just created an awesome Claymation!
Thanks for looking and if you liked this don't forget to vote for me in the Play with Clay Contest so I can make another!