Shooting Your Claymation

Instructor: Amy Johnson

Grade Level: Middle Ages 6th-8th, High Grades 9th-12th

Media: 8 x 10 white construction paper, pencils, permanent pens, colored markers

Time: 1-2 hour long session(s)

TLW demonstrate an understanding of composition
TLW create stills using a digital camera for a stop-motion animation

Step 1: The teacher will introduce this lesson as the portion of the Origins of Animation unit wherein the learner will shoot his/her stills for their Claymation video. The teacher will overview the class’s lesson by relating to students that they will discuss how to use the digital camera, how to set up their shoot, and how to manipulate their characters for shooting.

Step 2: The teacher will assemble students together and will give a brief demonstration of how to turn on the digital camera, how to shoot the camera, how to review the images, and how to insert/remove the SD card. The teacher will discuss proper safety measures for both students and the camera.

Step 3: The teacher will demonstrate how to set up backdrops and characters for shooting. She will discuss how students need to mark-out with masking tape and initials where the edges of their backdrops go up, and where their “tripods” (probably a stack of books) go, and where their cameras sit in relation to their characters. The teacher will discuss the importance of setting up in the same place in the same manner every day for the shoot for continuity in the final output. S/he will discuss how it is important for the students to keep consistent lighting for their videos so as to have continuity for the viewer.

Step 4: The teacher will hand out backdrops and Claymation characters to the students. S/he will check out cameras and SD cards to students (and/or allow students to use their own etc.). The teacher will assign students portions of the room in which to work (this will prevent too many students from working in the same portion of the room).

Step 5: Students will be granted the remaining portion of class time to shoot their videos. The teacher will circulate to aid students with issues and/or to help with questions.

Step 6: At the end of the class, the teacher will collect backdrops, Claymation characters, and will check back in digital cameras and SD cards (and/or store student’s personal digital cameras). The teacher will remind students to leave their markers for the sets on the walls/floors.

-Claymation characters
-Digital Cameras
-SD Cards
-Masking Tape/pens
-Extra Batteries

-Digital Cameras
-SD Cards

Checklist for PASS/FAIL
  1. Assembled backdrop and Claymation characters as a set.
  2. Labeled backdrop, tripod, and camera locations
  3. Treated camera and SD card appropriately and respectfully
  4. Used time appropriately
  5. Returned backdrops, Claymation characters, and cameras daily