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Halifax Regional C@P Association—Claymation Workshop

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Halifax Regional C@P Association—Claymation Workshop

Halifax Regional CAP Association

6162 Duncan Street, Halifax, NS B3L 1K2
Phone: (902) 422-2110 Fax: (902) 425-2747

• Learn how to make a claymation or stop motion film

• Learn how to use Microsoft Movie Maker software
• Learn to use Anasazi Stop Motion Animator software
• Learn to make characters out of clay; and set making for
claymation film
• Work as a team to produce a group project

• Clay, various colours (suggestions: red, yellow, brown, white,

blue, green, skin colour)
• Construction paper, various colours
• Scrap Paper
• Cardboard (can recycle old Kleenex boxes or other)
• Wire or pipe cleaners (to make skeleton for characters)
• Web-Camera (with tri-pod if possible)
• Markers
• Masking Tape
• 3 pieces of White Foam Board (for the “studio”)
• A lamp or reading light that can be attached (clipped on) to the
foam board
• CD’s or DVD’s to burn copies for participants at the end of the
• Popcorn, or snacks for the last day’s Animation Film Festival
• Copy of Chicken Run or other claymation film

• Go to and orient yourself around the web-

site. This site will become your reference point for this workshop.
• Have a look at some of the short films that are listed under “Your
Stuff” (found on the menu list on the left side of the website). Also
check out the films produced in our workshops and at This will give you
an idea of what the finished product may look like. Once you
have become familiar with the site, and you feel comfortable with
the material, you are ready to get started on preparing the work-

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Halifax Regional C@P Association—Claymation Workshop

• Go to the “Free Stuff” section of the website (found in the menu

list on the left side of the website) and click on “Animation Pro-
gram”. This is the program that you will be using to create the
Stop Motion films.
• Ensure all the materials (listed in the Materials Needed section
above) have been bought and are ready to be used at the C@P
• Make sure you have enough computers with Microsoft Movie
Maker (so the participants can edit their films once they are
filmed). To download Movie Maker go to http://
• Print out Storyboard Templates (see Annex 1 for example) and
go to
and look under “Basic Process” and click on storyboard. You
can then print off as many copies as you need of the storyboard
Install SMA • Create the “studio” by propping up the three pieces of foam
board and taping the sides together, to create a “room”, taping
1. Left click "Download Now" them at 40° angle making two corners that make up the set.
below. • Attach the light to one corner of the foam board (for additional
2. When the program is finished lighting on the studio).
downloading, open the folder • Set up the Web-Cam on the tri pod and make sure that the auto-
to which you saved it, and run matic focusing is turned off.
it (the file is named • Make sure that Anasazi Stop Motion animator software is on the
SMAFull.exe). same computer as the web-cam.
3. Click "Unzip". This will unzip
• Test and Test again each component to ensure everything is
working, do not assume!
the program to C:\Program
4. When the screen pops up that
says "unzipped successfully",
click Ok, then click close.
5. Use windows explorer to go to
the directory C:\Program
Files\SMA and double click
SMA.exe. This will start up
Stop Motion Animator. Enjoy!
6. To put a shortcut to SMA on
your desktop, right-click on
SMA.exe and select "Create
Shortcut". Then left click and
drag the newly created
shortcut onto your desktop.

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Halifax Regional C@P Association—Claymation Workshop

• Today the participants should complete storyboards for their film

and have a list of characters, props, and sets that they will need
to make their movie.
• First you should introduce them to claymation. Ask them what
they know about it, what films they have seen before and if they
have any experience in making claymation films. Ask them to
share these experiences with you and the rest of the group.
• Get the students to go to a computer and open up They should spend some time looking
around the website (just as you did) and become familiar with the
website. Get them to look at some of the example movies. They
should each look at five or six movies.
• Once they have spent some time looking at the website, intro-
duce them to the “studio”. Show them the foam board studio, ex-
plain that they will be making sets that they will pin up or tape
onto the white foam board and they will not be drawing directly
on the foam board (that way the sets can be changes easily).
• Show them the web cam and explain that it is very important that
the camera not be moved after filming has started or the shot will
• Do a little demonstration of how to do stop motion animation. Eg.
Make a ball out of clay and film it rolling across the set.
• Put the ball in the shot of the camera
• Open Anazasi
• Go to “Options” and click on “Capture Palette”. When the palette
setting box opens up, put 5 or 10 in the “Frames” box.
• Click “Start” (the film should “grab” 5 or 10 frames, depending on
what you set the palette too).
• Then move the ball to its next position (should be very tiny move-
Some story boards from the ments)
Gumby animated series by Art • Click “Grab”
Cloakey, an early pioneer of
• Continue this until you have made the ball roll off the shot
• Click “Done”
• Watch the movie (Click “Play”) (should only be 10-15 seconds
• Save your movie
• Open your file in Microsoft Movie Maker
• Edit the film, add titles and credits
• Save again
• Play
• Show the participants the completed movie
• Showing them the completed movie will help them to understand
the concepts and help them in making their own film
• Have the participants break into small groups of 2-3 (if large
group) or if small group (under five participants) have them work
• They should brainstorm ideas for the story of their film. Make

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Halifax Regional C@P Association—Claymation Workshop

sure that they understand that in order for their story to be under-
standable, they should have an introduction (to the characters,
the storyline), the body of the story (the climax) and a conclusion
(a resolution to the story).
• They should then create their story boards. This should portray
their story line for their film and their characters. (Have them use
the storyboard template that you printed off for them). They need
to draw in the story and write in an explanation for the scene at
the bottom of each box.
• After they have completed their storyboards, you should look
over them and approve them.
• On the back of their story boards they should make a list of the
characters and the props and sets that they will need to make for
their film.
• Let them know that if they have prop from home that they would
like to bring in to make their film, they should bring them in the
next day
• This should take up the whole first day. If there is still time left,
start with the Day Two Activities.

• After their storyboard is approved, they can begin to make their

characters. Show them how to use the pipe cleaners (or wire) for
the skeleton of their characters.
• Let them know that human legs should be kept short so their
characters don’t tip over.
• They should begin to work on their characters and props and
sets. (Give them as much time as they need today to get every-
thing that they need ready. Some may take the entire rest of the
class today, and others may be ready in a matter of minutes)
• When they have finished all their characters, props and sets they
can begin filming. (Begin filming on a “first come, first serve” ba-
sis, whoever finishes first can start. But, do not make it a compe-
tition to finish first; they should take as much time as they need to
get ready. But, waiting for everyone to be finished will create
long waits for others to film. Staggering the filming will make
sure that there is not a lot of time where participants sit around
• Spend the rest of this class filming and creating.
• Set up the camera (making sure that auto-focus is off. Set the
camera on medium/low resolution.
• Turn on the studio light and mark its position with tape, you do
not want the lighting to change position because it will cause big
changes in the film.
• Mark the position of the camera and tripod with tape too, so that
if the camera is bumped out of place, you will know where to re-
place it (a change in the camera position will change the scene

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• Have them take a test shot. Move the characters a little, take a
shot, etc. Have them “grab” the shots and make 5-10 seconds of
footage. Then have them press play so that they can preview
their shot. It is a good idea for them to have a “Test-run” so that they
understand how small their characters movements need to be in order to get a
smooth shot.
• Once they are comfortable with using the camera
•Have them put their sets, props and characters into place.
•Begin filming.
•When finished save their work to the network so they can ac-
cess it from another computer.
•Have the participants open it in Microsoft Movie Maker so
they can edit the scenes, add credits and titles.
Students can visit free sound effects websites for great sound ef-
fects or make your own!

• Have students continue to work on their films. Some may still be

working on set design while others may be finished filming. Al-
low them to work at their own speed, but keep them busy. If
some participants are completely finished their first film, have
them start on another (beginning again from step one with doing
their storyboards).
• Have them make as many films as there is time for. They could
also make a film all together with all of their characters involved,
with one big story or plot that puts them together.
• Once everyone has had a turn filming, and they have all com-
pleted their editing, and everything is saved and complete. You
can begin to burn their films onto a CD or DVD. Create a label
for the CD’s and make a copy for every participant in the work-
• (It would be a good idea to have all of their films finished today
so that you can burn them on to the DVD and get them ready for
the next day’s “Festival” , however, If there is still filming or edit-
ing to be done finish it the next day in the first half of the class,
and you can make the DVD’s tomorrow morning.

Complete all filming and editing first

thing today. Make the DVD or CD of
all the films produced this week.
When you are ready have your own “Animation Festival”
You can make this really fun where it is like the “Oscars”, you can
make up awards for each of the films (like “Best Film to Use a Red
Faced Character”, or “Best Appearance by a Dog”).
Make the awards really fun and silly. Make sure that you give an

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award to EVERYONE!!!! (No one can be left out!!!)

Have everyone sit together like in a movie theater (set up the chairs
in rows) so they can watch their movies together.
You can have snacks for them (popcorn, nothing sticky or messy),
but first get permission from C@P site coordinator.
Give out the awards
If there is still time left in the class, you can watch “Chicken Run” or
another claymation film.
You can talk about the film afterwards (point out how the film makers
make the characters change their facial expressions, or move their
eyes, or what kinds of sets they use)
This can be a very educational experience for them, after making
their own films, they will have a new appreciation for the “large
scale” pictures that are made, and they will then be able to make
their own films at home with all of this new knowledge.

Clay Animation Sites

Sound Effects

Windows Movie Maker

Examples of Claymation Workshops

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Halifax Regional C@P Association—Claymation Workshop

Name: Project Title:

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