This page is going to show you the basics of clay animation. Just scroll down for an overview, or click on one of the topics to go directly to a specific area. Also check out the "TryThis" page for his advice about clay animating and our "In Detail" page, which is full of tips and tricks for when you get the hang of it.
Props and Background Settings | Color | Sound | How To Shoot Your Character
Clay animation, clay animation, where to start? Well, to begin with, you need to find your imagination. Next you must organize. Then begin the fun! Are you ready for the ride of your life? I sure hope so because here we go!
Click here to see a brief clip of an animation movie. This one illustrates what is required for a good clay animation movie.
First, you should come up with an idea for a character, props, and a background. With this information, come up with a storyboard for the idea to your movie. Your storyboard should include the basic layout of what you want to happen in your movie. Most importantly, USE YOUR IMAGINATION!! (You know, that thing that comes up with interesting and fun ideas that make everything better than it would have been if you hadn't used it.) After creating your character in your mind, start picking out your weapons (tools) and your colors and organize them as best you can, by putting them in order of use.
Start developing your character with the clay you have, by forming the clay into shapes that look like the character you created in your mind. Start with basic shapes and eventually work your way to the more difficult details, such as: eye colors, teeth and mouth shapes, hair shapes, and finger and toe shapes. Soon your character will start to form and become alive before your eyes. Keep adding and adding and sculpting and sculpting and soon you can begin the process of shooting your movie.
The props and background part of clay animation is probably the second most improtant thing. It should be colorful and detailed. The props you use should look good with the character and the background should be the setting of your character (where you want your character to be). How you want your character to appear depends completely on its surroundings. For example, if you want your character to stand out a lot, don't make the background full of bright colors and too many scenes. If you don't want to make your character stand out then you need to use overpowering colors and many scenes and images.
Sound is also an important part in clay animation. Although this choice is optional, it is a wonderful advantage to a movie. If you do choose to use sound then it should have something to do with the mood of the movie. For example, let's say you were making a scary clay animation movie, you wouldn't want cheery music as the background sound. Or what if you were making a movie about two friends that haven't seen each other in 5 years and they are now reuniting, you wouldn't want a creepy noise in the background, you would want something that makes the moment touching and sad or happy. In other words don't make the sound, sound awful with your movie.