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.

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 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: Do Do Do, DoDo Do-Do, DoDoDo-Doo DoDoDo DoDoo...

Does that (hopefully somewhat correct) tune ring any bells? Here's a reminder: Once upon a time there were two Italian plumbers named Mario and Luigi. Mario and his sidekick resided in the Mushroom Kingdom, a monarchy ruled by the beautiful Princess Peach. Mario's mission: stop the villain Bowser from his numerous attempts to kidnap the lovely princess.

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 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: 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: 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 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: Make a stop motion film

This is a sequence of videos which will provide a stop motion tutorial. It's an amateur one and not expected to be a definitive one. I do encourage others who make stop motion films to also make a few for aspiring film makers and those with some experience such as myself.

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...

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 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: 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...

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...

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