Clay is a classic medium for stop-motion animation. It was first used for a dream sequence in 1908’s films, The Sculptor’s Nightmare and the Sculptor’s Welsh Rarebit Dream. Clay’s malleable nature allows it to become literally anything that can be imagined.
Returning students who previously attended Mixed Media Animation already had some experience morphing clay, but this term we took it to a new level. We focused not just on the act of morphing from a ball to an object, but actually making a ball of clay appear to be alive. Many of the students incorporated morphing into their later, character based, animations.
We also explored how Aardman Studios creates characters with personality, then made our own quirky characters and props. It is important to include small, subtle movements unrelated to the main action taking place on screen. An eye roll or blink can really convince the viewer that a clay character is alive.
For our final projects, we tried something new. Each student chose a short, Creative Commons licensed, song to animate a music video for. Students used storyboards to plan out their animations, then they spent the last three weeks making their ideas into reality.
Watch the whole show below:
Next term we are returning to programming on Wednesday nights with Web Builders. Youth ages 11 – 14 will learn how to code and design their own webpages using HTML, CSS, and Mozilla Thimble. Registration is now open: ratastudios.co.nz