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Stop Motion is a technique of animation involving physical models as opposed to drawings or CGI. The models have to be moved for every frame. This sort of thing can take a ''very'' long time to film.

The models used can be made of anything, from hard plastic to foam rubber to metal. Rogue independent animator [[http://www.wizworld.com/ Mike Jittlov]] has been known to animate anything and everything with Stop Motion, including himself (see his famous shorts "Fashionation", "Film/TheWizardOfSpeedAndTime" and "Mouse Mania").

At one time, this was the default method for producing a non-human character in special effects, along with puppetry. Stop motion characters would be matted into shots along with live actors. Creator/RayHarryhausen was a leading practitioner and innovator of the art; his last stop-motion film was 1981's ''ClashOfTheTitans.'' The technique has been supplanted almost entirely by CGI from the 1980's on.

Stop motion animation can be done on ''live actors'' as well - in this case it's called ''pixilation''. (Not to be confused with {{Pixellation}}.) Pixilation can make certain scenes very surrealistic, and can be used to create some cheap special effects (e.g. it can be used to make an actor appear as if he were levitating). In this form, the Scottish-Canadian animator, Creator/NormanMcLaren, is generally considered the master.

Was very often used in Eastern Bloc children animation, perhaps even more often than the classical drawn cartoons.

"Claymation", a trademark owned by [[strike:Will Vinton Studios]] Laika for its clay-based animation technique, is one form of stop-motion animation.

Actual "Claymation" is almost never done with earthen clay, which hardens rapidly when exposed to air. Most commonly, a polymer compound like [[MadeOfPlasticine Plasticine]] is used, since it never dries out and is slow to melt under lights. The figure is usually built on a flexible wire skeleton called an armature, unless the character's nature requires it to be formless.

Some common features to stop-motion figures are an interchangeable mouth, so that lip sync can be done without resculpting the mouth every time, and barely-visible holes or clear pegs in the pupils of the eyes, to make pointing the eyeline easier. On human figures, the mouth is usually a mostly-flat stuck-on piece with a black background to suggest depth. Aardman figures actually have a full set of sculpted mouths.

During the animation process, each character normally has his own "performer" -- a technician assigned solely to that figure, who adjusts its movements between frames.

Even though the art itself is rather primitive compared to CGI, there are some variations on how the final product ends up. Some like to keep true to the original methods in keeping ''everything'' in the view of the camera, while others like to use digital touch ups for the more complicated subjects such as fire, water or flying objects.

Do not confuse with works that use real-time or close-to-real-time puppetry, such as the {{Supermarionation}} series.

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!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Claymation (clay figures)]]
* AardmanAnimations' specialty:
** The ''Franchise/WallaceAndGromit'' shorts, and their 2005 feature film, ''WesternAnimation/TheCurseOfTheWereRabbit'', which won Nick Park three Oscars.
** ''WesternAnimation/ChickenRun'' (the page photo above is of Nick Park on the set)
** ''WesternAnimation/ThePiratesInAnAdventureWithScientists''
** ''WesternAnimation/CreatureComforts'', a series based on real audio from VoxPops interviews, with appropriate animals substituted for the British public.
** Also their TV series ''WesternAnimation/ShaunTheSheep'' (a SpinOff featuring a character from ''WesternAnimation/ACloseShave'') and ''its'' SpinOff, ''WesternAnimation/TimmyTime''.
* ''{{Pingu}}''
* ''WesternAnimation/CelebrityDeathmatch''
* ''{{Gumby}}''
** Creator Art Clokey did clay titles for some mid-60s American International movies.
* Among many other works, Will Vinton Studios [[note]]Whose founder originally invented the word "claymation", and whose company originally held the trademark on the word[[/note]] did a Claymation Christmas special featuring the California Raisins.
* ''ClayFighter'', ''VideoGame/TheNeverhood'' and its sequel ''VideoGame/{{Skullmonkeys}}'' were ''video games'' that employed claymation art.
** Shiva from ''VideoGame/MortalKombat3'' was made with this technique.
** Another videogame example is [[EverythingsBetterWithPlatypus Platypus]] - which is a NintendoHard ShootEmUp.
** And the coin-op ''Trog'', presented in "[[IncrediblyLamePun Playmation]]". It has cute little claymation sprites.
** ]]VideoGame/TheSwapper'' is an indie puzzle platformer composed of clay models.
* Claymation Comedy of Horrors.
* The 'Just a tiny amount' sketch on ''Series/TheFastShow'' showed a very dull claymation director demonstrating how his films are made -- moving bits of a model 'Just a tiny amount' for every frame of film, over and over and over. Inevitably the man he's talking to turns out to be Mr 'Does anyone fancy a pint?'.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheWrongCoast'', an entertainment NewsParody.
* The children's television show ''WesternAnimation/BumpInTheNight''. The animation was excellent. Unfortunately for the show, which was cancelled after one season, the writing was less so.
* The California Raisin Board, a part state-agency[=/=]part agricultural co-operative association of fruit growers, created a set of clay stop-motion characters in their TV ads as a music group, to advertise the fruit its members wanted to sell. This was apparently so successful they created actual toys of the characters and a short-lived TV series. Bonus points if you can guess what state it was from. Hint: [[spoiler:basically the first three words of this example were what they were called]].
* A number of Creator/{{Ufotable}} anime feature claymation segments:
** The ending sequence of ''Anime/CoyoteRagtimeShow''.
** The ED for ''Anime/FutakoiAlternative''.
** The ED for ''Anime/ManabiStraight''.
** The audience warnings (no smoking, no mobile phones etc.) for ''LightNovel/KaraNoKyoukai''.
* Anything by Music/{{Voltaire}}.
* ''KlayWorld''.
* ''WesternAnimation/MoralOrel'', a show parodying ''WesternAnimation/DaveyAndGoliath''.
** For bonus points, title character Orel himself does stop motion animation as a hobby, and is usually seen doing it in the credits. The episode "Orel's Movie Premiere" centers around his first stop motion animation movie.
* [[http://www.jtanimation.com/news/detail_MzMx.jhtml ''Mr. Cookie'']]
* Russian shorts by Harry Bardin (alt. spelling Garry Bardin). [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8OHCOiTZ6g ''Break!''.]]
* ''Animation/PlasticineCrow''
* ''Animation/LastYearsSnowWasFalling''
* As a SomethingCompletelyDifferent stunt, Creator/ConanOBrien once had entire episode of his ''Late Night'' show produced in Claymation.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfMarkTwain''
* The opening titles and closing credits for ''BrainDonors'' are done with Claymation by Will Vinton (of California Raisins fame).
* ''Series/{{Community}}'''s [[Recap/CommunityS2E11AbedsUncontrollableChristmas second season]] ChristmasEpisode [[ArtShift was in stop motion]].
* Several scenes in Creator/TakashiMiike's surreal comedy ''Film/TheHappinessOfTheKatakuris'' are done this way.
* Some of the characters from ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball''.
* The {{Cutscene}}s in the [[SegaSaturn Saturn]] and [[PlayStation PS1]] versions of ''VideoGame/ClockWerx''.
* ''Edward and Friends'', an [[BritishSeries British]] TV adaption of the ''Toys/{{Fabuland}}'' toy line by {{LEGO}}.
* The AnimatedMusicVideo for ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrQRS40OKNE White Winter Hymnal]]'' by Music/FleetFoxes.
* Also the music video for CageTheElephant's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZBmcSBoRAE&ob=av2e "Aberdeen"]].
* All work by Creator/BruceBickford, an [[DerangedAnimation unusual animator]] with a [[CultClassic Cult Following]] whose work can be seen in Music/FrankZappa's ''Baby Snakes'' and other home video releases, including one specifically devoted to Bickford's animation, ''The Amazing Mr. Bickford''. There's also a documentary about Bickford, ''Monster Road''.
* ''Film/ReturnToOz'' blends live actors and Will Vinton's Claymation.
* ''[[WesternAnimation/JoJosCircus JoJo's Circus]]''
* The ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarepants'' ChristmasSpecial "WesternAnimation/ItsASpongebobChristmas" is this. It seems to be parodying the occurrence in a lot of the 'classic' Christmas cartoons.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheTrapDoor''.
* ''WebVideo/WWESlamCity''
* ''WesternAnimation/GaryAndMike''
* ThePJs
* FantasticMrFox
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Puppet stop motion (non-clay figures)]]
* The first word in this trope is Willis O'Brian and his masterpiece Film/KingKong. Willis' filmns, besides early Clay Mation shorts, include: ''The Ghost of Slumber Mountain'', ''Film/TheLostWorld'' (1925), ''Son of Kong'', ''MightyJoeYoung'', ''The Animal World'', ''Film/TheBlackScorpion'' and ''TheGiantBehemoth''.
** The original ''Film/KingKong''. Unfortunately, the fur on Kong wasn't brushed back between shots, so it constantly ripples. The animator, Willis O'Brian knew this and was very displeased. The Director, however, loved how it looked and so did the critics, commenting that "you can see the ape's hairs stand on end!"
* The second word in this trope is Creator/RayHarryhausen. He's important enough to bear repetition.
* The third word is [[Main/TippettStudio Phil Tippet]], who now has a [[http://www.youtube.com/user/PhilsAttic youtube channel]]. He's worked on a few small movies like ''Franchise/StarWars'', ''Franchise/RoboCop'' and ''Film/{{Dragonslayer}}''. He made the switch over to CG effects and keeps in the business.
** [[http://www.cartoonbrew.com/stop-motion/phil-tippetts-mad-god.html He seems to be going back to stop motion, however.]]
** Tippett also developed a new technique he dubbed "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Go_motion Go motion]]", where MotionBlur would be added to the puppets.
* Another name of historical importance: Ladislas Starevich (or Władysław Starewicz, or Vladislav Starevich).
** ''Le Roman de Renard'', based on the [[FantasticFoxes Reynard]] folktales. Made in 1930 and still looks great.
** Starevich was one of the first if not the first puppet animator. Starting from 1909 he created documentaries about insects using puppets made out of wax, gutta-percha, wire and dead insect parts.[[note]]First he tried filming live insects, but hot bright lamps made them too sluggish.[[/note]] Unfortunately, [[LostForever no copies survived]] of his first stop-motion documentary ''Lucanus Cervus''.
** In 1912[[note]]various sources give different release dates for his first films, ranging from 1911 to 1912[[/note]] he released several shorts including ''Film/TheCameramansRevenge'', which parodied contemporary parlour melodramas, quasi-medieval[[labelnote:*]]with swords, halberds, siege towers, bottes fortes, shrapnel and dynamite[[/labelnote]] drama ''The Beautiful Lukanida'', a fairy tale ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCZL4K6E1jc The Insects' Christmas]]''. The characters were mostly beetles, with occasional dragonfly or a grasshopper. The funny thing is: most viewers though the insects were alive and Starevich was an excellent insect trainer.
* George Pal's WesternAnimation/{{Puppetoons}}, which used thousands of hand carved wooden puppets with rubber limbs, although he did upgrade to articulated puppets in later works like his John Henry adaptation.
* A lot of work written or produced by Creator/TimBurton, including:
** His first short ''Vincent''.
** ''WesternAnimation/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas'' (writer/producer).
** ''WesternAnimation/CorpseBride'' (director).
** Large sections of the movie of ''Film/JamesAndTheGiantPeach'' (producer).
** Parts of ''Film/{{Beetlejuice}}'', like the sandworms, the snake-banister, and facial transformations, which gave the movie a charming George Pal quality.
* ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'', created by Seth Green of ''Buffy'' and ''AustinPowers'' fame, was made using modified action figures.
* The film ''WesternAnimation/ChickenRun'' -- only the heads were clay, the rest of each figure was a bendable wire framework covered in silicone. Each character wears a scarf or ribbon around their neck to hide the seam between the head and the body.
* ''DaveyAndGoliath''
* RankinBassProductions holiday specials were usually puppet stop motion (a process R/B called "Animagic"). ''RudolphTheRedNosedReindeer'', ''HereComesPeterCottontail'', ''SantaClausIsCominToTown'', and ''TheYearWithoutASantaClaus'' are the most widely known.
* The French film ''Max&Co'' combines puppet stop motion and CGI.
* {{Kablam}}, which has a variety-show approach to the cartoons it presents, had a number of recurring stop-motion sketches.
** ''ActionLeagueNow'' is perhaps the most notable example; it used obscure (usually Dollar Store brand) and custom action figures and referred to the process as being "Filmed in Chuckamation"--any character that flies is just tossed in front of the camera. It also got a SpinOff when Kablam ended.
* Used in the ''{{lonelygirl15}}'' episodes "My Sister = Slut", and "My Mom's A Freak!".
* Creator/WesAnderson's FilmOfTheBook of ''Literature/FantasticMrFox''.
** Also used for the sea creatures in ''Film/TheLifeAquaticWithSteveZissou''.
* The film of ''WesternAnimation/{{Coraline}}'', in which nearly everything (including the grass and Coraline's raincoat) was wired to move around with the exception of the faces, which, instead of being made with clay, were designed on a computer, made with a three dimensional printer and were replaced every frame, like Henry Selick's previous work on the Pillsbury Doughboy commercials.
** Laika's other films, ''WesternAnimation/ParaNorman'' and ''WesternAnimation/TheBoxtrolls'', were made in much the same way, but with [[TechnologyMarchesOn more advanced 3D printing technology]], allowing for pre-colored faces.
* ''WesternAnimation/PinchcliffeGrandPrix'' is the most visited film ever in Norwegian movie theatres.
* ''WesternAnimation/ChorltonAndTheWheelies''
* ''WesternAnimation/MaryShelleysFrankenhole'' is made with paper dolls. They're still molded to be three dimensional figures, so they're not cutouts.
* ''WesternAnimation/BobTheBuilder''.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=718DpmQrPbg This]] classic Christmas ad for Norelco shavers.
* ''{{Cheburashka}}'', a Russian series of short movies. They are based on Eduard Uspensky's books.
* Most of Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin's children's shows, including ''The Pinguins'' (shot ''outdoors'' with all the problems that entailed), ''Pogles Wood/The Pogles'', ''The Clangers'' and ''Bagpuss'', although the latter also included some cutout animation.
* The Trumptonshire series - ''Camberwick Green'', ''Trumpton'' and ''Chigley''
* ''The Magic Roundabout'', made in France but probably best known in Britain for its jokier rewritten narration
* Some of the characters from ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball''.
* The yarn dolls used to represent the characters in the film of ''Film/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'', when the spaceship enters the Infinite Improbability Drive. The cut from the live action to the stop motion scenes is seamless (live-action Arthur even throws up some yarn!).
* The Mrs. Butterworth's commercials originally used it for the bottle; CGI is used today.
* Gran, a British series of shorts that were seen in America on EureekasCastle.
* Dick Spanner, also a British production. It was once shown on The Comedy Channel (now Creator/ComedyCentral) together with Series/LancelotLinkSecretChimp.
* The music video for Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" used mostly this, though one instrumental sequence used claymation.
* Some of the stories in ''WesternAnimation/AnimatedTalesoftheWorld'' were in stop motion animation including ''The Three Sisters Who Fell into the Mountain,'' ''Cap O'Rushes'' and ''King March.''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Cutouts]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' was originally construction paper cutouts; however, they quickly switched to CGI designed to replicate a cutout effect, as the pilot ("Cartman Gets an Anal Probe") had taken ''three months'' to make.
* ''TheMoomins'' were felt cutouts.
* EmileCohl, one of the very first auteur animators, tended to use cutout animation in conjunction with everything else he could get his hands on.
* ''Worker And Parasite'', the cartoon-within-a-cartoon of ''[[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Krusty Gets Kancelled]]'' (and quite an accurate spoof of Eastern European cartoons), was done this way.
* Many sketches on ''WesternAnimation/{{MAD}}'' by Bunko Studios were made with cut out animation (and sometimes, other techniques.)
* Creator/TerryGilliam's animations for ''Do Not Adjust Your Set'' and Creator/MontyPython, mostly using found images in surreal combinations.
* Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin's (see above) series ''The Saga of Noggin the Nog'' and ''Ivor the Engine'' were executed entirely with cutout animation, as were some of the stories-within-the-show in ''Bagpuss''.
* [[RuleOfThree Some of the characters from]] ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldofGumball''.
* The {{Animated Music Video}}s for ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DT-dxG4WWf4 Mykonos]]'' and ''[[http://fleetfoxes.com/videos/music_videos The Shrine / An Argument]]'' by FleetFoxes (see above). The lead singer's brother is an animator.
* Music/JagaJazzist's music videos for "Animal Chin" and "Day" (both made by Acoustic Kung Fu Films) both involved animation of cutouts from photographs and magazine pages.
* The oldest animated feature in existence, ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfPrinceAchmed'', uses a variation called silhoulete animation, which involves shooting jointed figures made of black cardboard against a backlit background, similar in technique to Oriental shadow puppets.
* ''WesternAnimation/TwiceUponATime''.
* ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_Tipps_and_Alistair Crystal Tipps and Alistair]]'', the psychedelic adventures of a girl and her dog.
* The British kids' show ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_Pugwash Captain Pugwash]]'' was a cheat - the characters were made from cutouts, but articulated so they could be moved in live action.
* ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oW0jvJC2rvM Hedgehog in the Fog]]'' and several other cartoons by Yuriy Norshteyn, including ''The Overcoat'', which has been [[DevelopmentHell in production since 1981]] (25 minutes out of planned 60 as of 2004).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Other]]
* [[BuiltWithLego LEGO]] is popular as a medium for stop motion for amateurs or professionals. {{LEGO}} even promoted this with their LEGO Studios line of toys back in 2000, which included sets like exploding buildings or giant dinosaur heads with moving jaws. One set had a camera that you can use to make the movies, and it can even attach to your LEGO bricks in the case you need to prop it up somewhere. The LEGO Studios website even had a few tutorials on how to do various specials effects like making minifigs run. Eventually the lineup ended with a {{Spider-Man}} theme in 2002.
** Others go on to make custom LEGO characters and pieces to make stop motion videos of other properties that LEGO isn't involved with. Such as [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ua5qh40x4KA&feature=relmfu this video]] for ''GearsOfWar'' called ''Bricks of War.''
** ''WesternAnimation/TheLegoMovie'' uses some stop motion, combined with CGI designed to ''look'' like stop motion.
* ''WesternAnimation/PhantomInvestigators'', which was half stop-motion puppets and half live action, made by the same company of ''[[KaBlam Life with Loopy]]''
* The film ''BetterOffDead'' includes a brief stop-motion sequence where the protagonist Lane, while toiling at a fast-food restaurant, imagines himself as Doctor Frankenstein bringing burgers to life.
* The web series ''ArbyNTheChief'' uses ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' figurines to represent the titular characters and some secondary characters. Most of the other characters are represented by off-screen voice-overs.
* ''HumorousPhasesOfFunnyFaces'' uses stop motion and a mixture of chalk and cardboard cutout animation.
* The short film ''The Polos of Death'' uses a [[StarWars Boba Fett]] figurine and a lot of polos.
* Norman [=McLaren=]'s 1952 short film ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neighbours_%28film%29 Neighbours]]'' does this with live actors, and the effect (combined with the film's theme of violent EscalatingWar) is one of horror. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wh4DstK2w_Q See it here]].
* The Sumatran Rat Monkey in ''{{Braindead}}''.
* ''Film/KingKongVsGodzilla'' features a brief piece of it when Godzilla drop-kicks King Kong.
* MuteMath has used stop motion for a couple of their music videos [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cv2mjAgFTaI&feature=artist Blood Presure]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ry6GAwDCI2I Spotlight]].
* The ''WesternAnimation/{{Paddington}}'' TV series from the 1970s-80s used MediumBlending with a stop-motion bear for the main character and animated paper cutouts for everyone else.
* As the ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'' toys became more poseable and screen accurate it has become more common for fans to create their own stop motion Transformers ''series'' or recreate a battle scene, especially from [[TransformersFilmSeries the movies]] for their memorable action sequences.
* NoddysToylandAdventures used toymation.
* The aliens in ''Series/TheOuterLimits'' TOS episodes "The Zanti Misfits" and "Counterweight" were created with stop motion.
* WebVideo/{{VlogBrother|s}} Hank Green [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSEfK0UYz48 had fun with this in Denver Airport]], through doing very basic stop motion animation with himself as the moving object. Somehow, nobody seemed to notice him lying on the chairs in various abnormal positions. He then set the animation to some music.
* The ClassicDisneyShort "Noah's Ark" uses figures made of household objects filmed against a flat background. The {{Animated Credits Opening}}s in ''Film/TheShaggyDog'' and ''Film/TheParentTrap'' were done in a similar technique.
* Above-mentioned Garry Bardin has made short (5-10 minutes) cartoons with various inanimate objects: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSWl9IstYvM ropes]][[note]]it's not in any existing language, they're SpeakingSimlish[[/note]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHd-VL9RZWs matches]], [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yY8OYdbWn6Y wire]]...
* Experimental 1929 Soviet film ''Film/ManWithAMovieCamera'' includes a sequence using this technique. A camera box opens, and the camera inside exits the box and climbs to the top of a tripod. The tripod then walks away.
[[/folder]]

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