Build Armatures (Toys) for Stop Motion Animation

Marlena Martin, Animator, Artist, Educator

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9 Lessons (22m)
    • 1. Introduction

      0:58
    • 2. What are Armatures?

      1:18
    • 3. Supplies

      1:54
    • 4. Spine

      2:19
    • 5. Torso and Legs

      3:28
    • 6. Arms and Hands

      3:42
    • 7. Feet (Revised)

      2:07
    • 8. Head

      2:30
    • 9. Finished Armature

      3:20

Project Description

Create your own armature puppet

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Introduction goes over the goals and objectives in this course. If you are not familiar with armatures, feel free to read resource material online that can get you up to speed. Click this link to learn additional information about stop motion armatures.

What are Armatures provides a simple definition of what an armature is and what it's used for. Click this linkto learn additional resources regarding armatures.


Supplies will discuss the necessary products you will need to start and complete your project. This course is budget friendly and you can use some of the items you currently have at home or purchase through a local craft store of dollar store. **Please substitute with household items if you do not have some of the items above**


Spine goes over the first part of the body we will be creating in this project. Watch and then follow along as Marlena creates the support system for the armature. Feel free to use the reference chart supplied or create your own. There's no right or wrong in this course, the possibilities are endless. 


Torso and Legs another lesson where we are building on our character, feel free simply use this as a reference guide but supply your own skillset and dimensions when working on your project. Measure your sizes wisely and remember to add extra wire if you need to, it's better to have more than enough than risk unforeseen issues and it ends up being short on size.


Arms and Hands we will show an approach that is budget friendly in this tutorial but you can also use square brass tubing to create replaceable hands in your project. To keep this course budget friendly, we will be using an efficient way to create hands. Now, there's no wright or wrong way, if you find a way that works better to your specifications, then by all means, go for it.


Feet the feet are the standing position for your armature and they must be steady and durable to withhold the nuts and bolt that will keep your puppet standing. Take your time and chose parts that will keep your puppet standing in solid positions.


Head the head is primarily made up of aluminum foil and Super Sculpey clay. Take your time and in manipulating the form and shape of the head. It's the most visible part of your project and seen the most.

Conclusion we will finish the creation of your armature. Making sure that everything is in working order is important in this final project. After viewing these videos, you will be able to make your own puppets and create wonderful stop motion projects. In our next course, we will follow up and animate our armature.

Student Projects

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Ellie Vega
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