Introduction to Stop-Motion Animation


This class introduces students to 3 different techniques of down-shooting animation, and one type of side-shooting animation. Each class begins with a brief overview of the technique and viewing of sample clips, followed by preparation of material and shooting footage,  adding sound, and ends with a finished clip, ready to be uploaded to the internet. After each session, students copy the movie files to their flash drives to take home.

The objective of this class is to get a taste of common techniques. Each session moves fast, skimming only the surface of each technique. The resulting clips are very short.

Week 1: Sand Animation and Magnet Monsters

Sand is a fluid material that is perfect for abstract and lyrical expression. It is poured onto a plexiglass over a light box, and manipulated with cardboard, brushes, etc. It shows up as monochromatic images, so there is no need to be concerned about the colors. It is one of the fastest techniques for stop-motion animation, therefore perfect for a beginner.

We also use a set of magnet monsters on whiteboard for this session. They are easy to use and perfect for quickly grasping the process of stop-motion animation. Dry-erase markers can be used to combine drawing and speech bubbles with the magnets.

Simple sound effects and music are added to the clips.

Week 2: Pixilation

Pixilation refers to a technique that uses objects for animation. Anything can be used for this technique, even your own body. In this session, we use common objects like rubber bands, pipe-cleaners and marbles, and make them come alive, and explore movements like bouncing, slithering, hopping, etc.

Week 3: Paper Shapes or Watercolor

In this session, we choose between the two techniques, paper cut-out and watercolor, based on the student’s interest. Paper cut-out animation is an extension of pixilation, encouraging the development of story-telling skills. In watercolor animation, students are introduced to the magical world of watercolor while capturing the process with the stop-motion animation process.

Week 4: Claymation

The last session is an introduction to the most popular technique of stop-motion animation. This session is minimally instructed. Students are encouraged to work with their own intuition.

Schedule is flexible. Contact us to register.

Tuition: $160 for 4 sessions (2 hours)