Claymation is the art of making clay figures move, talk, sing, dance or whatever your imagination wants it to do!
Sometimes called plasticine, figures and props are molded from clay and are then used to tell a story. Stop motion photography is a series of still pictures taken with digital cameras. The frames are then run together to produce an animation.


Let's look at some common terms that are used:


*stop motion

*animation loop








*jump cut



Getting Started

“Storyboarding” usually means arranging a sequence of images for a film, commercial or animation.

It is important to storyboard an animation for several reasons.

  1. You can save countless hours of unnecessary editing by doing a storyboard. It is especially important in animation. Unlike live-action filming where the filmmaker shoots tons of footage and then edits it later, an animator wants to throw away as little of his/her work as possible because it is more work to animate a scene than it is to film it in live action. If you plan it all out in advance you don't have to worry about wasting time animating scenes that you'll never use.
  2. Another reason why a storyboard is important is because it is a way to uncover problems and to fix them while they are still easy to fix.

The hardest part is probably coming up with an idea.

Use a storyboard to set up the scenes before beginning. You won’t need to draw every picture but the storyboard will give you something to start with and helps you keep track of where you want to go.
The process is easy: Position Characters....Take Picture.....Repeat.

(The Camera isn't moving from Shot to Shot! The Clay or object is...)

Example of Creating Animation films

History of Claymation

  • One of the first claymation films was made in 1908.
  • This film was called A Sculptor's Welsh Rarebit Nightmare.
  • During that time period, claymation wasn't a very popular technique and for almost 70 years, it remained that way.


  • It wasn't until the mid to late 1980's that claymation became popular.
  • One most memorable clay animations was Art Clokey's "Gumby".ArtClokey_Gumby_and_Pokey.jpg

  • Another man named Will Vinton is a big part of clay animation's history. In 1987, Will Vinton made a documentary explaining the process of clay animation. It was titled Claymation.
  • Will Vinton also established many of the techniques used by clay animators today.
  • You may know him by what might be his most popular creations, the California Raisins.raisinsing1dp.gif

Will Vinton Said…

  • According to the Will, "any one can do claymation and have wonderful results." Well . . . almost. You see, to obtain that raisin-quality status, the animators at the studio may reshape a character up to 1,440 times in only one minute. That's right, math fans. Each second of film consists of 24 different frames of film. Three seconds of animation for most is considered a 'good day.'


Other Famous Claymation Films

Professional Claymation Movies

  • Producing a claymation movie is extremely laborious. Normal claymation films run at 12 frames or pictures per second.
    • For a 30-minute movie, there would be approximately 21,600 stops to change the figures for the frames.
    • For a full-length (90-minute) movie, there would be approximately 64,800 stops.
  • Great care must be taken to ensure that the object is not altered by accident, by even slight smudges, dirt, hair, or dust.


How to sculpt a quick clay figure:

Clay Figure