Create a Storyboard

Write a Script

Create Clay Figures

Build a Set and Props

Film the Animation

Edit the Frames into Video

Publish the Finished Video and ENJOY!


How to get started:

Storyboard/Brainstorm:  Have students brainstorm ideas and create a storyboard and script for their movie.  Example story starters:

Software for Storyboarding/Brainstorming:


Clay Figures

  • Create a lightweight armature out of pipe cleaners, styrofoam, and aluminum foil
  • Wrap the armature with a “skin” of clay (Van Aken Claytoon clay works well. You can purchase it at Michael’s)
  • Sculpt magnets into the feet for stability



  • Use a shoebox or cut a display board into halves
  • Use a filing cabinet or cookie sheet as the floor of the set so that the magnets in the clay feet stick
  • Use continuous, direct lighting.  For example, a hanging clip lamp works well.
  • Color or paint the background or use a printed picture
  • Create accessories or use small toys


Digital Video/Animation Equipment/Software


  • Take 8 - 15  frames per second of finished video (approx. 450 pictures = 30 seconds of video!)
  • Move the figures small amounts at a time; use onion skinning feature if possible
  • Keep hands clean
  • Don’t move things that aren’t supposed to move – don’t bump the table
  • Change the camera view or zoom occasionally


Video Editing

  • Take out any pictures where you can see hands!
  • Add background music and sounds and voices – Beware:  It is very hard to link voices to lip movements in stop motion animation; voice-overs are much easier


Other Resources



Last Update: 05/30/2006
(c) 2003