Yesterday was the first day of my second session of children's stop motion animation camp. I am really learning along side the children and it is so inspiring to see their creativity in process. I especially enjoy hearing them encourage each other. This session I have the assistance of my niece and an older student entering Junior High who has been in two of my workshops. It is wonderful to have their help.
I have found that egg cartons work great for storing and staging small clay parts. For simple animation sequences this is a good way to introduce children to stop motion. The children started off creating a sequence in which clay cubes transform into two different objects and back to a cube.
In the first class they created the transforming cube parts and larger people. The people were built up on twisted floral wire stick figures. Their feet are taped down to magnets. We did this to experiment with them standing on cookie sheets. I am hoping that the magnets on their feet will be able to support them on metal cookie sheets, but the magnets I used may not be strong enough once all the clay is added, in which case, we will also have wire supports behind the figure that we will try to hide.
I love the personalities of each of these figures. The children had a blast using a pasta maker to create sheets of clay for clothing. We also had a clay extruder to make strands of hair.
Storyboarding was also introduced in this first day. In fact, they did not touch any clay until they had a storyboard for their transforming cubes. We looked at sample storyboards from past students and we looked at samples online. After the children completed their storyboard and cube parts, they sketched their clay people. They were told that these figures were to interact with their magical transforming cubes. After the people were completed the children created detailed storyboards for that interaction.
Introduction to storyboarding
Create transforming cubes (place parts in egg cartons)
Sketch characters to interact with the cubes
Create clay figures over wire armatures (in our case thread covered floral wire and magnet feet)
Create detailed storyboard for interaction of figure with transforming cube