What I Learned About Claymation Yesterday

I spent most of Sunday working on a 1-minute claymation video that included about 1,000 individual pictures, and hours of camera moves, clay squishing, editing and voiceover. Here’s the result, titled “Butter Attack.”

This was inspired when yesterday morning, David (WhistlersBrother) sent me his song titled “Binny’s Bop,” which reminds me of the Bobby McFarlin songs used in Pixar’s early shorts. Check him out.

I used iStopMotion (which I bought, lost the CD, then repurchased online), a Mac Powerbook, and my Canon HV20 videocamera. The voiceovers were easy (20 minutes of recording, plus an hour of editing).

Lessons learned in my first full clay animation:

  1. Avoid any objects that move unpredictably (paper, pans).
  2. Clay colors tend to blend because one color sticks on hand, and rubs on the other (use similar colors or light clay pastels not bright red).
  3. Watch lighting changes (natural light not advised).
  4. Go with amorphous objects since arm/leg creatures tend to distort with a lot of movement, and are harder to move due to walking motions.
  5. Avoid lots of camera movements, or storyboard to avoid moving camera constantly (with wires and laptop).
  6. Most of all, don’t shoot in the most high trafficked room of the house.

James Tubbritt (Sharp) who is a professional sound engineer. You can visit his website at www.irishacts.com

6 Replies to “What I Learned About Claymation Yesterday”

  1. I think you mean Bobby McFerrin. Also, your second to last sentence seems to be incomplete.

    Cute video though, although the sound quality is a little sketchy.

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