Claymation for Kids "STEAMATION" | Claudia Mcclelland | Skillshare
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11 Lessons (35m)
    • 1. 1 Introduction

    • 2. 2 Ready For Class

    • 3. 3 What is Animation

    • 4. 4 Stages of Production and Development

    • 5. 5 Making Part One

    • 6. 6 Making Part Two

    • 7. 7 Modeling Billy

    • 8. 8 Set Dressing

    • 9. 9 Blocking

    • 10. 10 Lighting and Shooting Tips

    • 11. 11 Time to Shoot!

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About This Class

“STEAM”mation is the combination of STEM educational curriculum and stop motion animation. The class will take you step-by-step through the process to make a simple stop motion movie.  This class is geared to 2nd thru 6th grade students and teachers but can be adapted to creative people of all ages. No prior knowledge or experience is required.


Student will learn the basic parts to making a stop motion movie along with the skills needed to accomplish the movie.  STEM curriculum taught in this class focuses on engineering, math, and technology.


Movie-making excites kids by giving them full control in modeling their characters, designing movie sets and animating their own story. This interest and enthusiasm awakens a constructive energy. Movie-making requires the skills of an engineer, a mathematician, and an artist.  It is a journey that sparks creative thinking and curiosity.  


Meet Your Teacher

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Claudia Mcclelland

Fantastic...1 Frame at a Time!


With a degree in Industrial Design, fifteen years in fine arts and a passion for teaching children, Claudia has spent the last 5 years instructing kids in the art of Claymation movie making. Her years as a 3D modeler/animator along with her background teaching children combined her two passions to create a program that engages the minds of the young in an entertaining way while teaching the fundamentals of STEAM curriculum. (S)cience, (T)echnology, (E)ngineering, (A)rts, and (M)ath

“I had a powerful project in my hands. The kids were on a mission to complete the movie and everything about making the movie was interesting to them. When they saw their movie clips for the first time, they had an A-HA moment. It was magical for them.”

While developi... See full profile

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1. 1 Introduction: I am building a year. I am Richard Inman. Claudia Welcome char with steam ation class. You may be asking yourself what is estimation. We have combined the art of claymation moving making with this stem curriculum, I started teaching Claymation to second through fifth grade students about three years ago . Refer The Green Does for design in a passion for animation movies. I thought I was teaching kids to make a movie. However, after a few classes, I began to realize I was teaching more than just moviemaking. I had a powerful project on my hands, not only with the kids from the mission to make a movie, but they were also learning stamp skills throughout. They had many ah ha moments during the shooting stage of the class, the hard work turned into magic and their eyes lit up after seeing all their movie clips what they didn't realize, where the many skills they learned without even knowing it. I hope this class will give you the same Aha moments does it it for my other students. So with reaches help, let's get started 2. 2 Ready For Class: could be ready for the class there. A number of inexpensive art supplies you're gonna need Class description has a pdf document attached that you can take to an art supply store. I do have one important safety tip for all of those kids under 13 years of age. This class requires the use of a knife to cut to Popsicle sticks in half. So having adult do this for you now, I'd like to talk to you about five big picture things to get you ready for the class. One is the workspace, I suggest in area in the room that is well protected from anyone bumping into the table. The table should be solid so it doesn't wobble or move during the animation process. It is also good to have a table away from windows. The light of a window can affect the light on your movie set. The second is the camera. We will be using a smartphone with a stop motion app. You can use other cameras that you may already have. You may have on iPad or a webcam hooked to a computer. There are many ways you can capture your animation action professional movie makers use really expensive, still digital cameras called DSLR. You don't need one, but if you have one great thirds, the camera stand tripod or the stand of the camera mounts to is very important. Stop motion animation requires the camera be as still as possible, so pick a camera stand that is solid and doesn't move. Fourth is the application or software. Whether you have an iPhone or an android, there are Stop motion APS for just a few dollars. If you're using a computer with a webcam or DSLR, there are many programs online, which you can download cost ranges from just a few dollars to really expensive. You won't need anything fancy for this class, so go with the cheapest you can. All of these programs and APS have tutorials on how to use them, so have fun and play around with them. You'll learn how to use them before you know it, and the final thing is lights, table and desk lamps work. Great. Flexible led lights also work because you can direct the light best 3. 3 What is Animation: So what is animation on the nation's? The process of manipulating so objects while photographing there one picture time to create the illusion off movement. When the pictures are put together, the objects look like they're moving. There are many types of animation. Items are to deform off animation. Lego's can be any made it to computers. Air Now making three D animations. We're going to be teaching about stop motion animation. And since reusing play, it's called Claymation. So how they when he made something that's not moving on its own? That's easy. Try this simple animation. Go to the kitchen and get a cup. Put your camera in your camera. Stepped in, turn on your stop motion app or software. Seth Pickup down home camera. Take four pictures. Don't pick up slightly. Take a mother picture, turn the pick up a little more, take a model. Repeat and your pickup turns around complicated. Now it's like Wake up a little to the right, a little more to keep slide into the right, taking pictures and your pickup is completely off. Take for more pictures. Stop your animation in play that when you play your pictures back altogether, cup turns around in magical moves off 4. 4 Stages of Production and Development: moving, making Kansi's off six stages from a story creation. Suppose production Each is important. They are is script development, preproduction said. Creation, pre shoot planning, production, shooting, boss production, video and audio editing. Thinking Off a good story to tell is a side of every movie. Every story consists of five basic elements. The pot characters, Satti, the Conflict and the resolution from these elements. The script can be written for this class. We have a red region, a short story to make our movie. It's a hot summer day, and Billy the Cat is ready. He needs to go off. So he decides he's going swimming. He goes out on the dock next to the lake and dives. Ah, yes, it is a simple little story, but for your first claymation movie, it is better to keep it simple as risk. Using proof you can make your move is more complex 5. 5 Making Part One: in part one off, making you be creating all of the ideas which make up the set or scenery off your movie. To make the mountains faked in life green construction paper and draw arcs on the paper. Notice that both come from the edge of the paper to the bottom edge. The weight shapes it's up to. You got along the line you do of your favorite. You should have your mountains. When done, set them aside. Stick the dark green posterboard on the edge of the long side of the board. Use a pencil and draw on uneven line about the edge. Good. Along with the uneven line. The shoreline is done, said it a site. Take the yellow uncle strokes from paper and draw some. Make it any way you wish. Caller it with pre answer Marcus. When you finish, cut out the sun, set it aside. Take the cotton ball and put it apart to form a cloth, making the cloud in the shape you wish said in a site 6. 6 Making Part Two: part two of making tackles, the most challenging but most fun part, the Popsicle stick Doc. The materials you will need are the groove Popsicle sticks, a knife or blade, a ruler, some glue and a little bit of clay. Although this doc looks complicated once you get going, it goes together quite easy. First, are the piers appears, or what holds a dock up falling in the water? They need to be strong. To build each pier, you will need to group sticks cut in half of the night and four groups sticks. Start by pushing two of the small sticks onto to hold groups, then do the same for the other end. On the rounded end of sticks, insert the last two groups sticks. This gives appear more strength. Put glue on every joint of the pier so it doesn't fall apart. Here's a glowing chip more blue you use, the longer it takes to dry. So just use a little bit of blue and it will dry much faster. Set this pier side and let it dry while you put the other peers together. Follow the same instructions to put the second here together. Next, you will construct to bridge Spain. For each span, you will need eight groups, sticks and some blue. Start by taking two sticks langdon parallel to each other. Thes sticks air called being. Take four other sticks and connect them to the beat These sticks air called crossbeam. Way to spare sticks on top of the cross way. Take your pencil and put a little dot on these last two sticks. This tells you this is the top of the bridge. This will come in handy in a few minutes. Blue all the joints together set aside so it could drop. Follow the instructions again to build a second span. The ramp of the dock has made exactly the same span, so follow the span instructions to build the rain. Pick two sticks and glue them together with the little dots that you put on the bridge span . Find the dots and set your bridge spans on a table with dots facing down. Place the glue sticks on the twos. Fans do the same for the other two booth joints on. Let dry with everything dry. Set your peers on the table. Add some glued to the top of the piers and set your docks. Fans on piers Let this drop. Wait Now attached rant beams to the beams of one of the docks. Fan wait . Booth spans. Wallet is drying. Use a small bit of play to hold it in place. Wouldn't part of the doctor is now complete? Let it dry thoroughly. Well, the wooden part of the doc is drawing. You need to make the deck. Billy will be walking on that that could be made out of any thick material we like to use poster boy. It is strong enough to hold Billy's weight. Cut the board using the dimensions 15.5 inches by 3.5. One is from the end of the poster board. Draw a line full decrease along that line, the way on the other end of the poster board straw line. 5.5 inches from the end, Full decrease. Along that line, doctors dry but a little glue on the cross and place the deck. Doc, let it drop. Congratulations. You now have a doctor ability to walk on 7. 7 Modeling Billy: The next thing we will be is Billy, since we're creating Billy out of plate, this kind of building is called modeling. When teaching the kids how to sculpt the characters I like choose dramatic shapes to improve the character making dictionary. Why? Because the ability to identify shapes is a foundation of mathematical skill. Geometry is everywhere. Award is made up off three D shapes, and we need to recognize them. I like the idea off developing in students a spatial awareness draper of math skills. Before making Billy, we need to prepare the clay here cup of tips that you make the modelling process easier. Plays normally cold. When it's cold, it's hard to work with. If your role is in your hands or put it in a warm place, it will warm up and we'll be softer. Also, when modelling your character, it's good to have a clean rag or paper towel handy. These will keep your hands. I m being clean. Billy's body will be made from one block of clay. Make sure you use the whole book. Use this coating toe to cut the pieces. There should be one extra large piece. One large piece five medium pieces and one smoke. Roll each piece of play into a sphere. Start with the large sphere and make it into a really thick cylinder. There should be Billy's body. Set it aside. Take the four medium sized fears and roll them out to be thin cylinders. Theater Bulus legs. Take one leg and press it tightly into Billy's body. A couple tips wires Sculpting It is important to go around the edge of the leg, and it's more out to the body. This gives the legs train a looks good to. You can use your finger or your sculpting tool. Also, use a little bit of major oil as your model and its small for your character. It keeps your character from having fingerprints and bumps all over it. Do this for each of the other three legs. At this point, really should be able to send up on his own on one end of Billy's Body Beach out the neck. This will be a good foundation, shall hold the head. Take the medio size fear and attach it to the neck and its move so you don't see any seems . Remember the baby oil. Take two of the three small spheres and make pyramids on of them. I think one and place it on the top of the head. This move around the scene between the year and head to the same for the other year. Eyes can be made out of clay, but for this class we were used googly eyes for Billy. Take the tiny spheres and place them on the front of Billy's head below the ice. You just be his nose and mouth. Here's the final media sphere to make villas tail making The play was shorter and fatter is easier than a long And if we were staying place when you want to animate it, place to tell you at the opposite end from the head and smooth. Seem now to make his pass. Pinch the bottom off each leg and bend forward. If you wish, you can give Billy a different color offer on his chest, body and pass. All you need to do is make a small bit of playing for circle in place where you want another way to bring village of life is to put sleeps on his pulse. You have now mother, you, Billy, part of the movie has Billy diving into the water. To make this a special effect possible, you need to make it quick duplicate. Billy. We're going to call this Billy's body double followed the same directions for modern Billy . The body double doesn't need to be perfect, since we'll be cutting it up into pieces. 8. 8 Set Dressing: with all the scenery, props and character created, it is now time to put the set together. This is called set dressing. Let's sky blue poster board against the wall and tape it down on the corners. Here's a tip that we like to use blue or green painters tape. It's sticking enoughto hold things together, but it's not sticky enough to stick to the walls. Feel the pain gone now Place the dark blue poster board on the table, right up against the blue background. Place a large green posterboard on top of the blue poster board and take both of them down so they will not move. Now stick to green mountains at the base of the blue poster board, right at the table. Now do the same for the cloud and also the son. Place them low enough on the horizon so you can see them in the camera shop natural feature camera and compose your shot. Slide your doctor round so that both of the peers of the dock are actually in the water, where you can see the end of the dock where Billy will walk and the end of the dock where Billy will die with everything in place, it's now time to build the water from the lake, pitch off little blue pieces of clay and smug them into the dark blue poster board. Spread out the clay and a very thin layer to just cover where you will be shooting your movie. Make the play a little bit deeper into the dock where Billy will be diving. This is so that I wave can be created when he dives into the lake. Here's a tip. You can add other stuff to make your seen more realistic. Go outside and find some small rocks toe add to the edge of the lake. A small rock looks like a large boulder in a claymation set. You can also add some foliage to your set for more realism. 9. 9 Blocking: Now that everything is built and placed on the set is time to plan the movement of your character in the movie. A good movie needs a good plan before shooting begins. This is called blocking. Planning. The action in your movie will cut down on mistakes while shooting. Start your blocking about deciding where you want Billy to start and where you want him to end up for this movie. We will put Billy in front of the dock on the green ground. We will call this position one Billy will then walk up the dock to the end. We will call this position to Billy, then looks down and dives into the water. This is positioned three. Billy pops up out of the water and begin swimming around. This is the fourth and final position. Are blocking is now complete. 10. 10 Lighting and Shooting Tips: so we're ready to shoot. Yet almost first, we need to like our movie set. Lighting is a big part off making a movie. Many of the people you see in the credits of movies and only response before lighting. When lighting your said it is up to you on how you want to do it way. Suggest getting a desk lamp and placing it next to the camera. If your light has a lamp shade on it, take it off. If your light has a flexible neck point, delighted to set so it lights up the whole scene. If you have two lights, even better place one on the left side of the camera and the other on the right side of the camp. Guess what? It's time to shoot. By now, you should have purchased the animation app or program for your phone or laptop. You should have played around with it to get familiar with it and how it works. Remember the cup you animated earlier? Now is the time to put those skills. You learn to the test. Here are five shooting tips to make your movie the best it can be. Tip one composition, composing your shot in the camera, you find your is very important. You don't want to position your camera so you can't see the doctor of the lake. We'll look into your camera position. It's something the entire set could be seen. This should be approximately in the middle of the set, just in front of the lake in the dark to anchoring the camera again. It is very important the camera doesn't move during filming, so make sure you lock off all the stands adjustments. We use the camera stand that can be anchored by little bits of clay. Tip. Three. Focus and exposure. It is a good idea to set the focus and exposure to manual so they don't change when you move your hands in and out of the scene. What is focused on exposure focus is what makes the image look fuzzier. Shark exposure is how dark or life the image looks. Since you will be shooting for long periods of time, you don't want your character to get out of focus, and you don't want your seem to be so dark you can't see anything. Your APA programme will have a way to set or lock the focus and exposure. It is usually in the tool section. Tip for onion skinning. This is a great time to talk about onion skinny As you played around with your animation program, you found a button called onion skin. This is very helpful because it allows you to see a ghost of the picture you last took. The reason this is helpful is because you can see how far you are moving your character compared to where you were in the last picture. You don't want to move your character too far too fast, so turn on onion skinning Tip. Five Time and movement Time of Movement is the most important part of shooting a stop motion movie. The video you watch on television is at 30 frames or pictures per second. Cartoons are a form of animation and their shot between 15 and 24 frames per second. So if there are 15 frames in one second of video, how many frames will you need to shoot? To move Billy from Position one to position two in three seconds, 15 times three seconds equals 45 correct 45 frames. You will need to take 45 pictures to move Billy from his first position to a second position at the end of the dock, your job will be to divide the length from position one to position to into 45 pieces. 11. 11 Time to Shoot!: So they came raising place. The focus and exposure. I locked and the onion skin is turned it on. Great, It's time to start shooting. Ready? Click. Yes, Step one. Position billet position one. He should be facing the camera. Step chew with Billy looking at the camera. Take four pictures. Step three Turn. Billy's head is slightly to the right. Step four during Billy's head is light with to the left. Step five turn. Billy's head is slightly to the right. Step six During Billy's head, slightly to the left. Continue this back and forth for three more clicks, each Billy shaking his head because it is so hot. Step seven. Begin to turn Billy tour with the dark. Remember, not too much. Use your own is scheming to help you step. Eight. Continue turning Billy until he's facing the doc. Click a shark for every little move. Step nine. Now it's time to move. Billy to position Chiu at the end of the dock. Remember the math 45 frames. I needed Jim off Billy from his first position to position to move Billy. The require lands in Click do the essential. He reaches the end of the dock. Step 10. At this point, B should be at the end of the dock, his head down toward the water. Quick, a little more click and then a little more click. Step 11. Lean billy backwards so his front paws are no longer touch in the dark. Step 12. Begin to raise village front legs. Raise them a little more click and a little more click. Step 13. Begin to lean Billy forward. There's the beginning Proposition. Children Position. Three. Lean him over a bit more and extend his back legs. Extended a little bit more. Step 14. Move Billy to the edge of the dark and hang him slightly downward. Hang Billy even more off the dock. It's that 15. At this point, B should almost be touching the water. Put Bill. It's front paws in the water to create the illusion. Billy's diving into the water. You don't want to destroy the original Billy you made for only a few frames off the movie. Now is the time to show up our Rio Billy for his body. Double Step 16. Put the body double back in the shop on you. It skinny is very helpful for positioning so furniture convey Billy. Anti the water you need to make a big splash. This is splash effect is know as water displacement. Step 17 gently. It's much the water with your fingers into a wave near where Billy enters the water, chopped the body double head in half and place it back in the shop. Step 80 is much the water bigger to make a big wave. Shop the rest of the body double head off and replacing shot. Step 19. Repeat the preview step by making their way of even bigger. If you need to add a bit more, play to the wave, then do so. Chopped billy body doubles body in half and put back in shock. Stepped, waiting. Repeat the previous step and make the waves really big. Chopped the tail and hind legs off off the beauty body. Double in place in the shop. Stepped when you want removed the legs and tail and create a spike in the center, then flat him out. This back. Flatten out the wave some more fled out the weight even more. Step 22. To add to the movie, take the body double head and place it in a nearby area for the water around the head. Step 23 put the body double head together and place back in the shop. Report the water Little more Step 24. Now take the head from your really, really in place in the shot. Report the water Step 25. Slowly turn the Billy hand around. Review Billy's happy face. This will take you a few quicks to turn him around to the camera. Stop 26 with Billy's Face showing, Take another 10 pictures staff. 27. This is the end of the movie, so it stopped Capture and save your movie. We hope you enjoyed and learned a lot in our steam ation class. Look for us as we put more places on skewers sharing the future and to then take what you learn here today and make your own great movies. See you so by