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Clay Animation.

Have you ever seen an animated movie or TV show that looks like everything has been made out of clay? This technique using clay figurines and objects is called Claymation, or stop-motion animation. Movies like Chicken Run and The Nightmare Before Christmas used this technique.

Making a film like this is almost like drawing a flip book. If you were to draw a flip book of a person waving her hand, there would be only slight changes in the position of the hand on each page. When the pages are flipped through in one simultaneous motion, it looks like the character is raising her hand to wave hello.

The techniques behind stop-motion film are very similar, except filmmakers will often use figures made entirely of clay. They use a camera instead of pencil and paper to capture their footage.

First they come up with an idea for a film. Then they mold their characters and the entire world of the film using clay. As they shoot their film, they create the illusion of movement. Each figure is moved just a bit and then recorded on film. After shooting one or two frames of film, the camera is paused. The objects are moved again. The movement is almost invisible to the eye. Objects are moved just slightly to create fluid, realistic movements. They are moved more to create swifter, jerkier movements. It's a slow process. Sometimes making a Claymation film can take years!

The Children's Creativity Museum in San Francisco, California, has an Animation Studio. There, visitors of all ages can make their own clay animation film. What kind of clay characters would you create and bring to life on film?

by Erica Elmer

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Author:Elmer, Erica
Publication:Fun For Kidz
Date:Jan 1, 2020
Words:283
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