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How To Make A Claymation Cartoon

Updated on September 25, 2011

Writing Your Script/Storyboard

The very first thing you need to do is come up with a script and storyboard for your claymation cartoon. Decide your setting, come up with a cast of characters that you will need. Once your script is complete with dialogue make sure you plot every movement that will be make and what camera shots will be shown in each scene. This is especially important with stop-motion cartoons.


1) If this is your first time making a claymation cartoon or animation I recommend that you try to create a story that needs only one or a couple locations. This will cut down on the work needed to create sets.

2) It is always good to write about what you know but in claymation cartoons you can often get away with it even if you don't. What makes it interesting is the medium itself and if it turns out a little silly just remember it's a cartoon, many are based on humor.

Kitchen Set from the claymation cartoon, "Charlie Butters: Floor Burgers."
Kitchen Set from the claymation cartoon, "Charlie Butters: Floor Burgers." | Source

Creating Your Set

When creating your set there are quite a few details to keep in mind. The first is at what size you want your rooms/backgrounds/outdoor scenes. This will determine the size of props and your characters. You will need material: cardboard, paint, possibly clay if you want it to be part of the setting/background.


1) For inside rooms find a cardboard box and cut one side off now you have the shell of one of your rooms. Many other household items can be used for the background/props as well.

Making Your Characters

Just a reminder as said earlier make sure you create your characters proportional to your set and props. If they look a little larger they should be sometimes this is comical but there is a point where it doesn't look right.

Check our hub: HOW TO MAKE A CLAYMATION CHARACTER For a more in depth guide to creating claymation characters.

Prop Hamburger used in claymation cartoon, "Charlie Butters: Floor Burgers."
Prop Hamburger used in claymation cartoon, "Charlie Butters: Floor Burgers." | Source

Making Your Props

You will need props for your background to make it seem more realistic. For example if you are doing a forest scene make some trees, bushes, maybe a nest in a tree, possibly a boulder.


1) When making props concentrate in more detail on the props that the characters will use, if you have props just part of the background you don't need to spend a ridiculous amount of time making them as detailed as they can be.

Choosing Equipment

The best tried and true method of getting the best pictures for your claymation project is to wait until night to do your shots. This way you can control the light. You can use fancy videographer lights or simply an overhead lamp.

In terms of camera equipment I would recommend a tripod and and digital camera that can take a resolution of at least 1280x960 works well enough. If you have a camera that does at least this resolution than you can create your cartoon in high definition at 720p.

Start Shooting

It's now time to begin your project. Place your characters and take your first photo. Move them slightly and take another picture, repeat over and over making sure to move your characters only a little each time.

I will get more in depth at a later time on the process of putting it all together but this gives you the idea of what's needed to reach the point of taking the shots for your project.

Check out some of the claymation cartoon shorts below as well for a good laugh.

Check our hub: LIST 10 OF INCREDIBLE CLAYMATION VIDEOS for some some cool examples of claymation cartoons made by normal people like you or I. Also check out our hub: HOW TO MAKE A CLAYMATION CHARACTER for a detailed process on the steps to create a claymation character.


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    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      Marlin 55 - Thanks a lot :)

    • Marlin 55 profile image

      Marlin 55 6 years ago from USA

      In spite of CGI, I still love clay animation. This is a great article and I loved the skit. good job.

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      Iris Woytowich - no problem hope she likes it :)

    • terrektwo profile image

      Candle Hour 6 years ago from North America

      BkCreative - thanks for bookmarking, glad you like it.

    • Iris Woytowich profile image

      Iris Woytowich 6 years ago

      This is fantastic stuff! I am going to share this with my daughter who is a great fan of claymation.. starting with Gumby all the way to the more recent movies made in stop motion.. thanks for this!

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Oh love love love claymation - like Wallace and Grommit and of course Gumby and so on. I would love to do this. OK, well I am going to bookmark this and spend some time coming back again and again. I love this stuff! Wow!

      Rated up and more. Brilliant!