Introduction: How to Make a Claymation

E'llo. i'll be showing you how to use stop animation to get claymen to move. Be patient, as hours of work turn into minutes of film with hundreds, sometimes thousand of pictures. But, if your time is worthless, its worth your time and more. usually.

Here's a link to one such video 

Step 1: Get the Stuffs

To make a claymation, you need a few things: Animation software (i used a free version of Stop Motion Pro), clay, (Claytoons works the best), patience, a camera (webcam works) and a lot of time and patience.

addition: the video at the end was using 'monkey jams', it works so much better.

Step 2: Make the Clay Peoples

Take some of your clay andmash it into a ball. Than pinch it into the arms and head. Place the figure in you palm and flatten it with your other (not too much). Then decide if you want a flat head or a round head. the blue\grey guy is a round head and the purple is a flat head.

Step 3: Take the Pictures

open up your animation program and select new project. fill out anything you want. Note, the F.P.S stands for frames per second. the lower the frames, the longer it takes for the frame to move, but also means more time elapsing with less pictures. My movie used 4 fps and took 365 frames and lasted for 1:31:37, or 1 minute, 31 seconds, 37 milliseconds. Anyway, a lot of frames. All you really have to do it take a picture, move a guy a little, take another picture. if you want to make the scene with that one picture take longer, take more than one picture. make sure while you're making it that you have time to put it audio so they can talk. also, there is a button that takes the picture so you don't have to press the shutter on the camera and risk throwing it off.

addition: i was using 24 fps and got 1Minute 8 seconds after taking over 1600 photos. i suggest a lower fps for beginners, like 4-7.

Step 4: Adding the Audio

most programs for the animation have their own recorder. But i perfer to convert it to media player and add the sound using sound recorder, or my video camera in which i crop out the video and use the audio. if you have more than one guy talking and you do all of the voices, watch the video as you record and only do one character at a time, all the way through. mix them later.
a good program to use to get sound effects from is webcam central. If you use that program, just remove the viusual and keep the audio. you can also use sound recorder.
a good free audio editing software is 'audacity'. With this you can play things backwards, mix together dialogue, change tone, and other things. You can export the file then as wave or mp3, so you can use it on media player.

Step 5: Done

now give it any touch ups and send it off to be viewed. i invite you to post your videos in your comments.


Step 6: (New) Making Clay Pictures

I was thinking, why should I be making only motion films with the clay guys? Couldn't get an answer from me so I decided to photoshop it. Except, i didn't use photoshop. I used Paint.Net. It's like photoshop except it's free.

Step 7: Get the Pictures

The first step is to retrieve the pictures. First, get a picture of you clay guy that you will use. Then, either search through your saved pictures or go online. To get pictures from online, type in the search bar and press the grey 'images' button. If you don't like the selection there, try switching to another search engine. Once you find the image you like, right click and press 'save as'. It'll pop up in your documents folder. You might want multiple raw pictures.

Step 8: Crop Out the Picture

Of course, you probably obly want part of a picture. That's why you use the magic wand tool. This selcts a similar area. Use the magic wand to click a space around the part you want. Then, switch to erase. Use erase to delete along the border of where the desired picture is. When you can't erase anymore, that means that you are going out of the selected area. Click the next part around the picture and repeat. Once you have erased and thus isolated the desired picture, wand it with enough tolerance so it picks the entire body. But don't set the tolerance to high or it will reach over into unconnected part or pick the whole thing. You may need to press ctrl to select multiple parts if you can't find a good balance.

Step 9: Put Them Together

Now that you have your picture parts, select one unedited image to be the background. Then, insert the picture of your clay figure by selecting it, pressing ctrl c, than while on the background frame, press new layer and then ctrl v. This will past the image on its own layer. Add any other things over it. remember to resize the pictures so that they're smaller than the background image. When transferring you'll be alerted if the transferred picture is bigger. Once you select something else it can become a permenant part of the picture. Moving it will give delete marks which look like a chess board. Giving it its own layer will allow you a safety net if it moves becuase it will still have the original image behind it. Or you could use ctrl z if you make a mistake which is what i do. but if you use the layer way, you must go into 'layers' and press flatten before you save it.

Step 10: Your Pics

Post your pictures. I'm interested to see what you come up with.

Comments

author
JohnJY (author)2010-06-14

boooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!stop animation is lammmmmmme!!! See, it's annoying when people make unproductive comments that only offend, and don't do any good.

author
knoxarama (author)JohnJY2010-08-24

little hypocritical, isn't it? Well, time to waste your time. Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries. now, go away before i taunt you a second time

author
JohnJY (author)knoxarama2010-08-25

It's sarcastic,not hypocritical.

author
knoxarama (author)JohnJY2010-08-26

ah, well, if you were serious it would have been hypocritical.

author
AndyGadget (author)2009-09-19

(You haven't posted the video!!)
I've just been playing with exactly the same thing - I'll post my earliest results later. AnimatorDV Simple+ is similar to StopMotionPro but is freeware without any nag screens etc.
(I was going to do a claymation for the video contest but couldn't get it together in time.)

author
knoxarama (author)AndyGadget2009-09-20

i posted the video now. i also got rid of DV and replaced it with monkey jams. it works alot better, gives you better options, and really is alot like any professional version, except it's 100% free and is not a trial version. Plus it still only takes seconds to download and is independant of the internet to work.

author
AndyGadget (author)knoxarama2009-09-20

I like the video. Very smooth and very . . . interesting in a quirky sort of way ;¬)

author
AndyGadget (author)AndyGadget2009-09-19
OK, here's my first two attempts - very rough and no audio. I now have a better webcam and can control focus and white balance so next will be better.

author
knoxarama (author)AndyGadget2009-09-20

pretty good shorts. I take it you used about 5 fps with about 30 - 40 frames. Just a note though, i saw your fingers in one of the movies.

author
AndyGadget (author)knoxarama2009-09-20

Yep, fingers. I did say it was a very early attempt. It was more a test than anything else. I think I used 8FPS. I thought monkeyJam only worked with an internet connection, but if it works away I'll try it.

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