Stop motion animation involves taking a picture, changing something on it, and taking another picture. There are many types of stop action, including claymation and whiteboard animation. Here is an example of whiteboard animation:

Here is an example of claymation and how it is done professionally:

How to Do Stop Action Animation

Professional animators use about 24 pictures/second so that your eye will detect smooth motion. You can get away with 8 pictures/second, although 12 works better as far as the final project. If you plan what your animation will look like, get some rough timing (e.g., this character will do xxx for 3 seconds). That way you know for 3 seconds you need 36 shots and for each second you'll need to divide the action into 12 parts. If you want the action to appear fast, make a larger difference for each shot (e.g., a ball would travel further per shot). If you want the action to appear slow, reduce the amount of difference from shot to shot.

The Ken Robinson animation has some sequences that are probably shot at 12 frames/second but much of the video has large scale changes between some of the frames. Wallace and Grommit is probably shot closer to 24 frames/second and has very tiny differences.

You can take a whole lot of pics and then remove a few to speed up the animation, if you like.

There are apps you can get for your smart phone that allow you to either draw animations or take pictures and turn them into an animation. Alternatively, you can use your phone as a digital camera, upload the pics, and then create a movie using iMovie, Windows Movie Maker, or Open Shot (Linux).

Why Stop Action

See the video above, Ken Robinson's talk, as a good justification for having students do stop action animation. Additionally, below are examples that have been done in the past, particularly in response to a lesson on how the seasons work in the solar system. The students were able to represent their knowledge using claymation.

Claymation from a Few Years Ago

Claymation is stop-animation using clay. Using Play-do and a digital camera, you can create a simple claymation video as the example below shows.

Learning Activity

Make a claymation or stop animation video that teaches a concept you would want kids to learn. Choose a very short/tiny concept!

How to Do Stop Action Animation

Create something out of clay. Take a picture and then alter the clay a little. Take another picture. The video below, which is quite short, has 38 pictures in it.

Open Movie Maker and import all your pictures. Put your pictures sequentially in the time line of Movie Maker. In the video below, I made each picture last .4 seconds. If you have more pictures per second, your animation will be smoother. The standard is 12 frames per second (which means that with 38 pictures, my movie would have lasted a little over three seconds).

Save your Movie Maker project. Then choose "Save to Computer" to turn it into a wmv file. You can upload this file to if you want, which is what I did so I could embed it here.

Here's my great claymation movie:

Tundra Lesson Pictures

Pictures of us creating claymation in response to the lesson on the tundra (see Tundra and the Seasons)


Tundra Claymation

Other Claymation

We had so much fun, we wanted to do more. Here they are!

Green Eggs and Ham

Humpty Dumpty

Here is our amazing claymation video titled, The Ants go Marching up Humpty Dumpty's Wall. Do enjoy :)


Here is a little animation that i worked on to Support the Mission Trip that I went on in Feb of 2008 and will be returning to in Feb of 2009! HONDURAS!!!

by:Steven Sodini

Jack and Jill

Below is an incredibly accurate, incredibly graphic depiction of what truly happened to Jack and Jill.

Plant Man

Claymation 2011 "Plant Man"

Sally Go Round the Sun

Claymation 2011 "Sally Go 'Round the Sun"

Peanut Butter Soup

Rocky Mountain