Animation-Claymation Camp Overview

8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. -- four days ( View Clay Camp site)

Provided by Kevin Hodgson, Western Massachusetts Writing Project

Day One

(8:45 - 9:00)

What is Stop-Motion Animation?
If time, create flip book on paper
Give examples: Wallace and Gromit, Gumby, Chicken Run
Give overview of safe use of computers, how to unplug/plug them in, login information

(9:00 -- 10:30ish)

Mini-Lesson -- Using Pivot Stick Figure Animation Software (freeware)
Create frame by frame
Add background from MS Paint
Save as .piv file (for editing) and as .gif file (for final)
If time, move the .gif file into MovieMaker and add titles and credits
Work on creating little movies -- emphasis on telling a story as a silent film
(during the Pivot work, or individually, and at the end, show everyone)
Mini-Lesson -- Using MS MovieMaker for editing

  • Find and open program
  • Import (pictures, video, audio)
  • Add titles and credits
  • Create a short movie

Snack break
hand out the invitations to Thursday's Family Movie Event to showcase final movies


Introduce idea of claymation projects
Theme: science fiction -- what is scifi? elements.
Get into groups and provide handouts (character sheet, plot development sheet, and storyboard sheets) -- emphasis on plot -- intro-conflict-resolution
Work on developing a story idea

Done for the day

(post pivot movies to website -- use Teachertube to host and share videos -- safe alternative to Youtube, etc.)

Day Two

8:45 -- 9:15-ish
Show everyone the Pivot movies from Day One
Show the Animator versus Animation flash video (and part two, if you want)
Show "Behind the scenes" of Wallace and Gromit Were-Rabbit movie or Chicken Run (including the tutoral from WG on "how to build a bunny" clay figure)

Give overview and demonstration of Claymation Stop-Motion Animator Software program (freeware)
Use some props to show students what we are talking about
(and make a short video of class shifting in and out of a chair, making funny faces)
Emphasis on patience, incremental motion, limitations of technology

9:15 - 10:30
Break into small groups
Give each group some props -- action figures, toys and a book
They must create a short movie about discovering a book.

10:30 -- 11:00
Work on finishing up storyboards for Clay Movies
Create clay characters (take pics of process)
materials: clay, pipe cleaners, wooden sticks, fishing line (for flying), tri-boards (for background), white/colored paper (for scenery to be taped to tri-boards), and any props the kids want to bring in to help with their movies


11:50 -- 12:20
Finish up making characters
Begin filming the first scene of the movie

Done for the day
(post book movies and slideshow of kids working on clay/filming to the website)

Day Three

8:45 -- 9:00

Mini-lesson on MovieMaker, adding narration to movies (emphasis on one long narration, not little chunks, if possible) -- Here is a tutorial for using MovieMaker to create stories.

9:00 -- 10:30

Allow more time to have fun with Pivot, individually (one possibilility is to have them create their own version of Animator versus Animation story -- you can use screencapture to take a picture of the desktop and use that as a background)
Make them use MovieMaker to create a movie
You make need to download and install a Codec encoder so that MovieMaker recognizes the raw animation file. This is one that I use called Xvid.

10:30 -- 11:00

Work on group Claymation movie, filming



11:15 -- 12:30

Work on Claymation movie, filming, editing and finishing

End of the day

(post any Pivot movies on the website)

Day Four

8:45 -- 9:15

Show "Behind the scenes" of Wallace and Gromit Were-Rabbit movie or Chicken Run (if not done earlier in the week)

9:15 -- 11:00

Finish up movies
Others can work on smaller clay movies on their own

  • or bring in art supplies (foamies with stickers) and create short movies
  • or do stop-motion movie drawing on a piece of paper (one scribble at a time)
  • or mini-lesson on MS Powerpoint as story platform (with paint pictures)


snack or pizza party


Parents, family and friends come to view the premieres of the movies

Done for the day

(post clay movies to the website)

After camp ends:

Burn a DVD for everyone of highlight movies and mail off copies