Technique One: Clay


by Art Clokey (creator of Gumby!)

Gumbasia came out in 1955, Gumby came out a bit later.
(NOTE: you can click this link to watch more Gumby later… for fun!)
See many, many Gumby cartoons!

Like the Christmas stop-motion cartoons from the 60s, clay animated films are often shot on 3’s (8 unique images per second). Although, sometimes filmmakers go the extra mile and shoot on 2’s (that’s a lot of work!).

Claymation was developed by Will Vinton! It has a very distinctive look that you might recognize. One of the animators who worked for his studios co-directed a parody film for “Weird Al” Yankovic. But before we go into the parody…

LISTEN: A little music appreciation…

The Original Dumbledore singing MacArthur Park

…so that this makes sense!

Directed by the late Scott Nordlund and our friend, Mark Osborne (no relation to this guy…

with a 'u' - Osbourne)

with a ‘u’ – Osbourne)

Speaking of Mark, watch More!

Recognize the music? It was used in Stranger Things, long after More!

Or YouTube:
Watch Sledgehammer!

So many talented independent animators showcased by this guy! And we will see many films by several of these artists!

This week, we are going to animate with… clay! There will be clay provided in class. We will talk in class about other types of clay that you could get for yourself should you decide to do your final project in clay. For now, we’ll stick with the basics.

You can make your own Play-doh!
If you wish to make some ‘clay’ animation at home, but you don’t have any clay hanging around… you can make your own Play-doh by watching this video. (NOTE: this is NOT a requirement… it’s just some fun information.)

And for inspiration:

PSA starring Penny! Most, if not all, of this was animated flat under a camera. You can do that!