News: Zoetrope + Bicycle Wheel = Cyclotrope

Kudos to student Tim Wheatley, who came up with this incredibly nifty DIY animation using a bicycle wheel, cardboard cut-outs, and wire to create a magical reinvention of the classic zoetrope, Earth's earliest form of animation (it first surfaced in China around 180 AD!). Simply give it a spin, and the animation comes to life. Inspired to make your own? First, learn the basic principles of the zoetrope here or here. Next, take a little advice from Tim to add the "cyclo" element:

HowTo: Create a Six-Frame Animation with a Single Sheet of Paper

Pioneered by Rufus Butler Seder in his popular children's picture book Gallop!, and ably demonstrated by WonderHowTo favorite brusspup in the video below, "scanimation" refers to a novel (but distinctly old-timey) technique for cramming multi-frame animations onto a single sheet of paper by a process of superimposition and selective interference. Interested in creating your own scanimations? It's easier than you'd think. In the following clip, Paul Overton of Dude Craft presents a complete ov...

How To: Make your own animated flip book

Why make a flip book? Because all animation – even stick-figure Flash animation and multilayered, highly technical 3-D effects – is built on, and can benefit from, the basics of the craft first developed by artists working at the beginning of the last century. And while fancy computer programs are nice, you can teach yourself these basics using nothing more than a pad of paper and a pen, and replay them over and over without any extra technology needed.

How To: Make Lego figures fly using stop-motion animation

Stop-motion animation is somewhat out of favor in the digital age, but there will always be a demand for its timeless look. This video will teach you one important technique for making stop-motion animation out of Legos: how to make them fly. Or at least appear to by flying in your movie. It features detailed instructions on what to do in your digital photo editing software on each frame to erase the support structures you've used to elevate your Lego minifigures, leaving you with seamless im...

How To: Make realistic claymation characters

As a beginning stop-motion animator, there's a lot of trial and error. What tools and materials do you use? How do you sculpt realistic clay figures? This video tutorial walks you through some of the essential materials, and demonstrates sculpting a torso out of Super Sculpey.

How To: Create a flipbook animation

Flip book animation is a very cool video effect that is relatively easy to make. Check out this tutorial and learn how to make your flip book come alive as an actual cartoon! In this video, graphic designer and author, Alan Lastufka, shows you how to make your very own mini animated film using paper, pencil and some fancy editing technique. If you have a couple of hours to kill, why not make a flip book cartoon and impress your friends?

How To: Make a claymation character for stop motion animation

Here is a video tutorial that offers basic tips on crafting a simple claymation character using everyday, household objects. Soften a single chunk of material and pull your claymation character's limbs and head from it. Insert a toothpick (or armature) to stabilize the body and head. Pull out facial features with small tools. Experiment with different poses and facial expressions to make a fun animation. This playful claymation how to video is great for beginning animators, so sit back and en...

How To: Keep armature puppet standing without a tiedown

Armatures basically stand up on their own, but while animating, the balance might become uneven and precarious. An easy way to keep the puppet standing is to give the armature large feet. Watch this video animation tutorial and learn how to build an armature puppet that will stay down during the stop motion animation without using a tiedown.

How To: Create a stop-motion Lego fire

Add some flames to your brickfilms! A little fire always helps light up a scene, especially in your legomation creation. Check out this video tutorial to learn how to create a stop-motion Lego fire. This Lego animation technique will show you how to start the fire and keep the fire going. It's perfect for your next brick film masterpiece.

How To: Make an armature out of clay and foil for stopmotion

This video demonstration series shows the process of creating an armature for stop motion animation, claymation specifically, out of aluminum foil and polymer clay. Armatures need to be flexible to withstand the positioning and repositioning required to make stop motion animation, but still secure enough so that the material won't break. For this reason, a tin foil skeleton provides a sound structure to the clay armature. Watch this video animation tutorial and learn how to sculpt an armature...

How To: Dress and pose a clay armature for stop motion

This video animation tutorial shows how to take a raw claymation figure and apply a costume onto it, as well as pose it in a scene. In this particular video, the demonstrator creates a wrap-around dress out of a sheet of clay and position it onto the armature. Also shown, is the process of molding the armature into a natural shape or body position as a starting point of a scene. Watch this instructional video and learn how to dress and pose an armature for claymation stop motion animation.

How To: Sculpt the face of a polymer clay stop motion armature

This video animation tutorial demonstrates the process of sculpting a human face out of polymer clay as part of an armature for stop motion animation. The demonstrator begins by molding a piece of polymer clay into the general shape of a human skull and neck, and impresses the more finite features with the aid of a flexible sculpting tool. Watch this instructional video and learn how to sculpt the face of a polymer clay stop motion armature.

How To: Create your own episode of South Park using Flash CS4

In this super cool tutorial, learn how to create your very own episode of South Park using Flash CS4 and a couple of images you can download on the web. This tutorial is for any super fans who wish to spend some extra quality time with their characters, or for anyone interested in animation. These famous, foul mouthed, 2D characters are fun to move around and will do anything you need them to do once you get started! Get your fan fiction minds turning with this video!

How To: Make a Lego man walking animation

If you're planning on being the next Ridley Scott of brickfilms, then maybe you need to start off with a few basics, like in this video tutorial about how to make a Lego man walking animation. Creating a world of moving legos for your "legomation" masterpiece starts with the simplest things... walking.

How To: Create and animate a stop motion LEGO brickfilm

Create and animate a stop motion LEGO brickfilm! Yes, that's right... you can make your very own animated brickfilm, but wait... what exactly is a brickfilm? Brickfilms are animated films using LEGO, Mega Bloks, or other plastic construction building block toys. Most are stop motion, but some brickfilms are even made with CGI, traditional animation and live action.

How To: Create a 3D cartoon character with Xtranormal

This video will show you how to create a 3D cartoon character using a website called Xtranormal. In the program, you should first pick the scene where you want your action to occur as well as the 3D character which you would like to be present in the scene. You can then type a script and choose a voice for the character to speak. The website will be able to read your script and your character will say whatever you have typed. Next, you can add additional sounds and add actions to the cartoons...

How To: Use Bafran computer program to animate flying Legos

As many of you stop-motion animation practitioners out there have probably realized, Legos are a great material for that medium, allowing for great diversity while being relatively easy to work with. Can they fly though? This video features a British boy explaining how to use a free computer program called Bafran to make Lego characters appear to be flying in an animated video.

News: LEGOmation

Brickfilms. Michel Gondry brought LEGOmation into the spotlight with his "Fell in Love With a Girl" music video (White Stripes). However, LEGOmation has been around since the late 80's, the first known brickfilm being Lindsay Fleay's The Magic Portal.

How To: Make eyes for clay animation puppets

In this tutorial, we learn how to make eyes for clay animation puppets. First, drill a hole inside of a block of wood, then insert a bull so it fits snug inside of the hole. After you have done this, use a drill to make a hole that goes half way down through the pupil. Now, use paint to fill in the hole where the pupil would be at. Push the balls into clay to hold them in place while painting. Make sure the dots you have on both eyes are even. When finished, paint a black circle around them, ...

How To: Sculpt hair onto a claymation armature

The final humanizing step in building a claymation armature is the crowning step, the head of hair. As hair moves independent of the body, and is not a solid unit, it can be especially tricky to sculpt out of clay and to attach properly. Watch this video animation tutorial and learn how to sculpt a head of hair onto a clay armature for a realistic stop motion figure.

How To: Shoot a stop-motion animated film

This video will show you how to make a stop motion film using an editing program called Windows Movie Maker. Find a place to film your stop motion movie. Preferably a well lit area where the light source is constant. Set your camera on a tripod and position at the angle you prefer. Place the object you want to use in your film outside of the camera's view, and take a picture. Move your object slightly into the camera's view and take another picture. Repeat this many times, until your object i...

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