Walk This Way

There is no denying that the Animation Studio is a popular place to be in the Children’s Creativity Museum. It only takes a few minutes for claymation’s endless possibilities to draw in visitors of all ages. What would it be like to be a professional animator?

CCM interns heard about claymation from an expert last month. Dave Osmand from Shademaker Productions, a stop-motion animation company in San Francisco, visited the museum and spoke to educators and interns.

Osmand brought along some of the tools of his trade: wooden implements for shaping clay and creating detailed expressions in his characters. He demonstrated their use and then let CCM staff practice molding their own clay characters. Meanwhile, Osmand captivated everyone with stories and sage advice about animating. He outlined the main principals of animation (of which there are a large but variable number, depending on who you talk to).

Osmand has been animating all his life. He loved cartoons as a kid and gravitated towards Daffy Duck. He always enjoyed playing with clay and that remains his favorite medium for stop-motion animation. As a professional, Osmand became a stop-motion lip-sync expert and worked on films like Wallace and Grommit and Chicken Run.

The highlight of the visit was the opportunity to see an animator in action. Osmand graced the CCM stages with his stop-motion skills in a wire figure walking demonstration. His audience challenged him to make the wire figure (or armature) sneak across the stage. Osmand’s personality came through in his movements and he was a captivating storyteller.

Animation by Dave Osmand

While Osmand painstakingly adjusted and readjusted his armature, he explained some of his techniques. Practicing movements he was animating with his figure was an important part of the process. Osmand tried a sneaky walk over and over again himself so he could get it just right in the animation. The result was impressive!

Dave Osmand left CCM staff in awe of the time and effort that goes into professional stop-motion animation. He also contributed some exciting new ideas for our animation studio that we can’t wait to try!

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