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Make a 3d Stop Motion Animation using Playdoh and a Wire Armature
It's pretty easy to make a 3d stop motion animation with a little bit of wire and some clay. In this tutorial I take you through all the steps necessary. I also have a video that gives you a quick overview of what I did to make the armature for the animated lizard and I show you the materials I used for the animation. If you have never done any kind of animating I also have a tutorial on this site that shows you step by step how to use the free program called MovieMaker that comes with most Windows operating systems. Just look for the tutorial in the menu on the left. It's under the Tutorial Heading.
The Materials You need to do this tutorial
Movie Maker or some other type of animation software
I use plain old house wire, the kind an electrician would use to wire a light into your home. It has three conductors inside it that are perfect for making the armature underneath a 3d model.
Using a utility knife cut open the sheath of the wire to expose the three conductors inside. Strip these wires out of the sheath and cut them into long pieces. Anywhere from 12 to 18 inches.
Now bend and twist the wires into the rough shape of your intended 3d animated figure. Make sure they are nice and tightly wound together. I am going to make a human shape and a lizard shape.
I have here in the picture two armatures. One is a human and one is a lizard. When making the armature try to think about what the skeleton underneath your final figure would look like.
Now apply the dough or clay to the armature. Keep adding to it and make it into the desired shape. It is best to start out just with the main body shape and then once that is in place to start working on the details of the animated figure.
I am starting to flesh out the main body shape of the lizard.
Here I am applying the head of the lizard. One of the nice things about using an armature is the ability to segment your animated character into separate parts. The head isn't really attached to the body. But it will look great and be easy to swivel around. With a little practice you will get a feel for this.
Experiment with tools when you start to work toward the details of your 3d animated character. In this picture I am creating small holes so I can insert the eyes.
Now that the eyes are in place on the animation I color in the pupils with marker. The whole idea is to have some fun, experiment and be creative! So try different things. You really can't mess anything up. If it doesn't look right pull all the clay off the armature and start over.
Here is my completed lizard - He is ready to be animated. Notice how I have added some details. That is how you should work. Start out with the rough aspects of the body shape then eventually work your way toward the details.
Now, I don't recommend, if you are using this type of dough to make too many details, particularly where you are going to bend and move the figure. Because you will be pressing on the model and moving it around and this will probably distort the details. Keep it pretty simple for your first couple of tries. It will take some practice to move the figure gently without distorting it.
Okay! Let's take a look at the animation I made. I added some clay flowers for the lizard to enjoy and I used some red thread as his tongue. Here is the tutorial and the animation video:
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Secrets of Clay Animation Revealed 3 is a book teaching all methods the experts use to make stop motion films from start to finish. After reading Secrets you will know how to create several types of armatures, learn how puppets are sculpted, make a motion control rig, light your sets, make your own surface gages, use video reference, chroma key, capture programs and more.