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Claymation Character Design Tips

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Claymation Character Design Tips

  1. 1. Character Design Tips Created for: The Origins of Animation Unit by Amy Johnson
  2. 2. Step 1 <ul><li>Watch the video embedded above about how to use oil-based clay and pipe-cleaners to sculpt your character. </li></ul><ul><li>Answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. What makes oil-based clay different from most clays? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. Why do we use wire as a base skeleton for claymation characters? </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Step 2 <ul><li>Retrieve your storyboard </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Circle each different character one time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make a note of how many characters you will need </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You really shouldn’t have more than 3 main characters (main characters are ones that you will move arms/legs etc. etc.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you have too many characters, re-think your storyboard to have fewer characters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Brainstorm about how the specifics of your character </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Draw a fully colored drawing of each character and turn in to your teacher (if not online). </li></ul>
  4. 4. Step 3 <ul><li>Assemble your materials. </li></ul><ul><li>You will need: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1-3 pipe cleaners per character </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1 brick of oil-based clay per character </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scissors (to trim off any extra pipe cleaner ends) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A blank sheet of paper (to protect your working surface) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clay tools (plastic knives, ball point pens, actual clay tools all work) </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Step 4 <ul><li>Form your pipe cleaner skeletons for your characters. </li></ul><ul><li>Tips </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Think of the skeleton as a stick-figure of your character </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t make your skeleton smaller than 6 inches or it will be too hard to sculpt </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Twist pipe cleaners tight to secure bonds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The colors of your pipe cleaners don’t matter </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Step 5 <ul><li>Review your character sketches and think about how you need your character to LOOK. </li></ul><ul><li>Review the following slides about good and poor character design for inspiration. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Examples of Poorly Designed Characters These characters have a lot of detail. However, in a very quick stop-motion animation a lot of these details will be confusing to the viewer. Try to keep your characters simple. Also, remember for this project we are creating NEW characters; not reproductions of current characters. Image source:
  8. 8. Examples of Poorly Designed Characters This character is not covered with clay. He is also very small. He is not very detailed. This character does not show a lot of fore-thought. Image source:
  9. 9. Examples of Poorly Designed Characters This character is very sloppily put together. It cannot stand on its own and must be affixed to a platform. This character looks as if the artist did not care about the project. Image source:
  10. 10. Examples of Poorly Designed Characters This character is one that already exists. So, while it has an overall neat design etc. it would not be acceptable for this project. Also, this character cannot stand on its own, and has to be propped up against a cup. You need for your characters to be able to stand on their own. Image source:
  11. 11. Examples of Well Designed Characters This character stands on its own and is easy to view. This means that the viewer can instantly recognize what the character is meant to represent. The design demonstrates a lot of prior thinking about the ultimate creation. Image source:
  12. 12. Examples of Well Designed Characters This character is a little bit sloppy, but has overall good design. The character can stand on its own and is easy to read. Image source:
  13. 13. Step 6 <ul><li>Review the video above about how to sculpt your character if you feel you need reminders. </li></ul><ul><li>Begin to sculpt your creation. As you work, the teacher (if not taking this class online) will be available to help you </li></ul><ul><li>If you are working online and have questions, use the question box above to ask Ms. J questions. </li></ul>