The Equation to the Creation of Animation

by Megan -

When it comes to the teaching and creation of animation, freelance animation workshop facilitator and artistic director at Tin Shed Theater Co. Justin Cliffe relies on iStopMotion to help him extract an idea from the creative mind to the screen. Based out of South Wales, England, Justin travels to schools, community buildings and youth centers, teaching people of all ages how to animate short films using iStopMotion. He believes it’s the best program of its kind on the market for his line of work.

I've used a lot of different software to teach animation, but iStopMotion is by far the best I have come across,” Justin says. “Its application is quite broad, which is excellent when working with very young children, as their imaginations are far wilder than you could ever anticipate… but it's also an extremely simple piece of software to use, which is a perfect marriage really. The onion skin, or ghost layer, is superb and is worth the money for the software alone.

When he’s teaching people how to animate, Justin recognizes that the beauty of animations such as stop motion comes from people toying with their imaginations to create something incredible. “It’s the creation and follow-through of making stop motion/Claymation films that is the rewarding and enriching part of the experience,” he says.

Justin uses iStopMotion with both children as young as five and adults up to age 70 with little to no tech experience to help them bring their ideas to life. He notes that “it often feels like the process and technical information you're trying to share with them is an irrelevant detail” in comparison to the creative end result. The benefit of iStopMotion to this is the program’s ease of use, which almost takes the technical aspect out of the equation altogether.

Justin enjoys putting together his own animated films when he has a few hours to spare, and judging from his latest short film “The Fridge Tucker,” he enjoys putting a fridge and some plasticine together, as well! The minute-and-a-half Claymation short took him five hours in total to finish, minus the model-making. To complete the film, Justin used iStopMotion, Final Cut Pro, Photoshop, GarageBand, and any spur-of-the-moment animation ideas he came up with as he went along, as he didn’t story board or plan anything beforehand beside the overarching theme. He says that the short film is a test piece for a larger concept he’s working on, which explores the themes and ideas of “monsters” in a modern context, placed in our homes.

Watch Justin Cliffe’s “The Fridge Tucker” above for a fun and creative example of what iStopMotion can help a creative mind achieve!

NOTE: Justin Cliffe would like to thank THE HIVE, a youth media center that has been running in Shrewsbury, England, for their extensive help during his early career. It has actively engaged with young people for over seven years, offering them workshops and experiences in anything and everything from music to theatre and movie making to animation.