The last thing were going to talk about is the trusty surface gage. It is highly under rated. That's probably because you can't plug it into a computer, press buttons that light up on it or program it to do the animation for you. Also surface gages have been a tool for machinists since before the first automobiles were invented, so it's something your father or grandfather might have lying around in their work shops.

Armatures are the support for your new creation. Basically it is the skeleton underneath the clay which will allow you to move your character in small increments for animation. The items you will need are, 1/16th inch aluminum armature wire, 1/8 inch wooden dowel rods, steel craft wire, a scrap piece of wood, two small wood screws and a hot glue gun if you can get one.

The tools you will need are a power drill, a screwdriver, and a pair of wire cutters.
The first step in creating your armature is to take your spool of aluminum armature wire, and stretch a four foot piece out, and fold it in half so you have two straight parallel pieces of wire. Place the two ends of wire into the chuck of your drill bit, while you hold the other end of the wire under a chair leg.

Learn how to do the basics of lip sync for animation without paying for a sound program. Just watch the video above to learn how it's done. The free program which works on PC's and Macs is JLipSync that you can find here:

How well does the rig removal function work in Stop Motion Pro 8? This tutorial shows you how to do it and what the results are.

In the tutorial we used a Logitech QuickCam web camera that has a 2MP resolution. The software isĀ Stop Motion Pro 8 Studio Plus!, and the rig is an Animation Supplies rigging system. Oh, and yes - that's a Han Solo toy figure. You can visit the official SMP web site here.

Clay hair is heavy, but it's still something you may need to tackle for your clay characters. For stylized characters you might even be able to sculpt and cast hair in a light weight material such as foam latex. Either way you first need to learn how to sculpt it. In this video Marc shows you tricks and tools that will help you understand the basics.