12 Mar

Today Brayden spent a large part of his day creating plasticine animated movies.  He grasped the notion very quickly and took to the task like a duck to water.

Ordinarily he’s not very interested in technology but claymation includes things he is very interested in – creating things and acting out stories.

It’s not a quick task and certainly not for the faint hearted.  However it is simple if you are motivated to endure to the end of the task.

You see, with claymation you need to move your characters in step by step slow motion.  Little tiny movements are the key to success.

IMG_3242 (Small)

You also need a patient photographer who has time on their hands, otherwise know as Mum, better still, Dad   🙂 .  Actually they could do the photography themselves.  Either way you really do need a tripod or some way you can hold the camera steady and in the very same position for every shot.

(Through the hundreds of shots I had to take, I was listening to Andrew Pudewa’s audios on Grammar.  No point in being mentally bored.)

IMG_3228 (Small)

This is Brayden’s first movie…all 140ish frames of it….”Life of the Candle Dinosaur”.

She walks towards the volcano but retreats as it starts to erupt.  Notice that the Candle Dinosaur starts to melt.  She heads over to the water and pulls out some mud and begins to make a nest that she then lays her egg in.  It’s exhausting work but the little playful dinosaur emerges.  They go for a walk together and finally both mother and baby take a nap.

Life of the Candle Dinosaur from Liam on Vimeo.

Brayden’s second movie was co-produced with Ethan, although Brayden did all of the animating.  It is called, “Family Dinosaurs” (all 260ish frames!)

An egg hatches and some baby dinosaurs emerge.  Mother Dino comes over and removes the egg shell and finds another little dinosaur.  She returns to her home and rolls another egg out.  Yet another dinosaur hatches and poor mother dinosaur falls into the water with a splash as the little fellow dashes off.  The family go to collect him and head off on a walk past the erupting mini volcano.  As the mother goes off to find some food, a man on a horse, a little girl and a snake appear.  The girl gets a fright when she sees the snake and falls over as the mother dinosaur returns.  The man dashes off for help but it’s too late as the mother dinosaur eats both the food and the little girl!

Family Dinosaurs from Liam on Vimeo.

Cute huh?  Macabre but cute.  Hehehe.  Not too bad for his first attempts.  He needed no ideas at all.  Everything was his own idea.  It just came so naturally to him.

Of course he still needed help with the software to put it all together.  The software was simple though.  It came in the kit that started this new interest.  The kit is called “Clay Animation Studio”.  We found it at the local bookstore for only $15.  However you don’t need the kit at all.  There’s a very good free online tool that you can use instead.  Hubby uses it with his classes at school.  It’s called AnimatorHD.

My mind is racing with ideas of how we can use clay animation.  We could act out scenes in history, demonstrate science concepts or make a fun math animation.  The possibilities are endless….if one had the patience.  🙂


Posted by on March 12, 2011 in Technology


4 responses to “Claymation

  1. Bernadette

    March 12, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    LOL I’ve just been thinking of this for my 11 yo, after hubby dug our video camera out of it’s box after the big move! obvious in hindsight, but i didn’t even think to use the regular camera, i was just going to get him to pause a lot 🙂

    Awesome movies! did the background come in the kit? anything else (besides the clay?)

    Bernadette 🙂

  2. Tracey

    March 12, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    The kit came with the software, some plasticine, the background and a little spiral book that gives you one idea for a story and some instructions and tips. It’s a pretty good kit if you aren’t sure where to start. Sadly I couldn’t find a link where you could buy it online that wasn’t sold out. Here’s one that at least shows you what the kit looks like. I bought mine at QBD bookstore here in QLD.

  3. Sarah

    March 14, 2011 at 11:10 am

    They look great I’ve been thinking about giving this ago and was a little daunted but I might try now. My daughter wants to enter in a children’s film making festival, we went to see this years finalist recently so I might be brave and give it a try.

  4. Tracey

    March 14, 2011 at 11:24 am

    It’s very easy. They just have to think in slow motion. I got the boys to walk around in slow motion so they could understand. You could get them to fast forward a dvd in step by step mode to give them an idea. And then I just emphasised that all the movements of the plasticine creatures had to be very very slow. You’ll notice that as they get towards the end of the movie that things speed up as their patience wears down. Aside from the modelling clay, there’s not much else to it as the software does the rest for you really.


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