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Claymation help needed!

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I signed up to be a helper in the Claymation class (only because I didn't want to be in Dissection class). Today I was "told" not "asked" that I would be teaching three of the classes! I have to come up with the activity, teach the kids how to build whatever we chose to build and then produce it. I have 3 one hour classes!


I just spent 20 minutes watching 30 second claymation videos that the creators said took them 10 hours to make.


Why are we doing claymation??? Clay building ok, but we need to animate it also? WHAT???? There's no time for that!


So, what I think I might do, is have the kids build a bunch of Noah's ark animals and have the animals walk into the ark. OR Using alphabet cookie cutters we could spell out a scripture verse.


I'm not artistic, I can barely roll a ball with clay. This is not a good fit class wise for me, except I'm confident around computes. So, do any of your children use a specific FREE program that they would suggest we use?


Does anyone know if it possible to create a private youtube video type of thing, so that only parents and grandparents of the kids can see the video. I guess, if we don't take pictures of the kids at all and don't use their actual names in the credits that doesn't matter so much.


Otherwise, I had a great day at co-op! I got 5 boys all fired up about reading "The little house on the Prairie" book and coming to lapbooking class. So, the day was successful!

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Three one-hour classes is not much time to plan a storyline, make the figures, then do the stop motion filming process, add titles and credits, and any sounds, voice overs or background music.


You could save some time by having the kids pick a fairy tale or Bible story, then make the clay figures needed for it. That saves time writing a story.


If you have enough kids, and they work quickly, you may be able to get the figures made in one hour, but it will be tight for time. They will need to coordinate to be sure the figures are all about the same size. You can help with this by making the wire forms first, then letting the kids build the figures around the wire forms. This way you will be assured that the figures will be fairly uniform sizes and look good together in the final video.


Then you need to make the sets. You can be simple, and perhaps you could have some basic scenes available for the kids to choose from, but sets, even simple ones, will take at least an hour to make. You could use poster board and markers, then whatever else you have around.


That only leaves one hour for the video, which really is not long enough. Stop motion needs small movements, then a frame of photo or video, another small change in movement, another photo or frame, and so on. It is time consuming. It is not difficult, but it takes time. If there is too much movement all at once, it won't look right. This is the time consuming part.


I would suggest that the full semester class time be spent with the kids in groups, each working on their own projects. That way there is plenty of time for the full process without rushing it and ending up with a final project that is not quality. But that may not be your choice to make.


Another idea: Use Playmobile or Lego figurines instead of making them from claymation clay. This will save time. My dc made stop motion movies with their Playmobile and Legos and had a lot of fun filming videos. My dc's stop motion videos are valuable memories for me!


You could use a large white board and marker to draw something. Let the kids each make small marks - instead of a long line, just make a one inch or smaller line, take the frame, draw another inch, take the frame of video, and so on. When done, it will look like the picture is drawing itself (kind of, you know what I mean). This is stop motion, but doesn't require clay figures.


Really, three one-hour classes is not long enough for an entire stop motion project. I know how long my dc and their friends spent. But maybe if you have them come prepared with their story (fairy tale, Aesop's fable or Bible story) already planned out, already knowing what figures they need, and have them make the backgrounds and sets at home, then you may be able to get a short video completed in three hours.


Instead of posting it on YouTube, you could just burn dvds. You will already be using the computer for the project, so burning each family a dvd wouldn't be too difficult. Just my thoughts.

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