Sunday 26 June 2011

A Clay Animation Tutorial

Hi, I'm Michael Parks and I've been asked to share what I know about stop motion and clay animation here at the 11-Second Club Blog.

Most of my career has gone towards CG animation, but my first five years out of collage were spent at a stop motion studio, Matthews Productions , where I worked on an assortment of shows for TV and video. I’ve noticed over the last few years that stop motion has been showing up with greater frequency in commercials and films, so I have picked up the practice once again once again to expand my skill base.

My goal has been to bring together the stop motion techniques I learned in those early days with the principles of animation that I have picked up from working at Pixar and other studios. The tutorial above, using a character from last short, is my first effort to share what I have learned in this process. It by no means covers everything, nor does it start with the beginning basics. It just jumps right in and explores a squash-and-stretch effect that can be done with clay.

So for those who would like to try out stop motion animation for the first time, I will soon cover step-by-step instructions on how to start shooting at minimal expense. Just as CG animation has become easier through accessible software and freeware rigs, stop motion has become easier with the use of digital cameras and inexpensive software. It can be a great way to make your animation skills stand out from the crowd.