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: Make clay look like fabric for stop motion armatures

This video animation tutorial demonstrates a technique for creating a fabric-like effect out of clay for stop motion figures, or armatures. Instead of smooth clay, try to give a more authentic finish to clay that will be used to create clothing. This technique will also create patterned fabrics. You'll need to chop the clay up first in a food processor, and then put it through a pasta machine. Watch this instructional video and learn how to make clay look like fabric for claymation armature c...

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.

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: Install the iKITMovie stop motion animation software

iKITMovie is stop motion animation software for PC's running Windows XP or Vista. All you need is a computer and a USB webcam or USB streaming camcorder and you are ready to make your own brickfilms or clay animation (claymation) movies. If you wish, you can simply import your JPG images (640x480) that you have already taken with your camcorder or digital still camera for simple editing.

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: 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.

News: Papermation to the Psychadelic Meditations of Dan Deacon

Construction paper animator Jen Stark teams up with electronic music composer/rabble-rousing party-demigod Dan Deacon in the video below, titled "Believer". The animation is fantastic—likely constructed in a process not entirely unlike animator Ryan Kothe's paper Waves and Weaves. The basic principle: stop motion animation; so if you're inspired, start schooling yourself here.

The Joy of Destruction: Smashing, Guillotining, Igniting & More

Why is it so satisfying to squash, snap, squeeze and splatter? You know, squashing a juicy grape, snapping a twig, squeezing ketchup out of a packet—perhaps with your fist—or splattering mud across a sidewalk. But all of these actions are child's play next to animators Laura Junger and Xaver Xylophon's Joy of Destruction. The real joy of destruction is illustrated below—we're talking sawing ladies in half, exploding corn into popcorn with dynamite, burning cities, and rolling over statues wit...

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:

Start Your Day Off Right: Beautiful Oscar Nominated Short "The Lost Thing"

The Lost Thing is a lovely short written by Shaun Tan and co-directed by Tan and Andrew Ruhemann (executive producer of the fantastic doc My Kid Could Paint That). Based on the award-winning children’s book of the same title (also by Tan), the piece was created over a span of eight years(!) using a mix of CGI and 2D handpainted elements. Tan, whose background is in painting, spent much of the duration "carefully building, texturing and lighting of digitial elements to create a unique aestheti...

News: Welcome To My Nightmare

Cyriak's latest animation features '50s stock footage remixed into a horror show. Our dark and twisted animator keeps churning them out, each creepier than the last. Be warned: "a journey into horribleness, not recommended for the faint-hearted or fragile-minded..." More by Cyriak:

News: The History of Life (On Acid)

After enjoying the sweet, yummy holiday cheer of the world's beginnings explained with cookie dough, enter Cyriak Harris' delightfully nightmarish acid trip alternative: "The abridged story of life on earth, as told through the medium of walking fingers." Previously, How Did He Do That?

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: Make video clips into animated gifs

In this video, we learn how to make video clips into animated gifts. First, open Windows Movie maker and import a video file. Now, shorten the video to four seconds or less and save it. Now, go to the website gif ninja. Once on this site, you will see a section that says "tools", then click the button to convert your image to GIF. Once on this, you can browse and upload the file that you just created. Next, click "make my gif!" and a status bar will load on the bottom. When this is done loadi...

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, ...

News: Toy Story 3's Opening Short "Day & Night" Outshines Feature

Toy Story 3 has received rave reviews across the board. Curious, a couple of us here at WonderHowTo went to see it last night. We found it to be decent. Not fabulous. The opening was exhilarating. Full of action and humor and a thoroughly dynamic use of 3D, but the rest of the movie didn't exude the same energy. The story was sweet and touching, and the characters were as lovable as ever. However, I was looking for a little more action.

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