Stop Motion Animation workshop


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So, I ended up going to a stop-motion animation workshop. It is something that has always intrigued me and I follow a few people involved in this area on social media. When I received a text from a friend about a weekend course in stop-motion animation two weeks ago, I thought ‘that’s really interesting’, but…

The but…. comes from before Christmas my Mac, which is new, getting damaged and with it a hefty bill.  A series of unfortunate events comes to mind….

Anyway fast forward to last Friday night week and my friend rang and said “well are you going to go to the stop motion animation workshop?”. My answer was “no, can’t really afford it and the kids have different things on this weekend”. When hearing this, my husband said “go for it”.


I am a fan of Neil Gaiman and Tim Burton, so films such as Coraline, Corpse Bride, Frankenweenie, James and the Giant Peach  and Wallace and Gromit just leave me smiling and in awe of how the whole team of people put it together and bring all of the characters to life.


Instead of using computers to render images and smoothly move characters, stop-motion animation on films like The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline, requires animators to move tiny puppets a fraction of an inch at a time and then photograph them. The photos are put together and become a film.

On The Boxtrolls, they were able to complete 1 to 2 minutes of footage per week. Stop-motion animation really is an incredible art form that is so beautiful. I discovered a video about Deborah Cook who is a costume designer who worked on The Boxtrolls, Kubo and the two strings, ParaNorman and Fantastic Mr. Fox. Her work is so very intricate and detailed. The video is brilliant at showing the passion that people have for what they eat, breath and love. I really have such admiration for her. I hope you enjoy watching her work.

Ireland’s first ever stop-motion feature film,  is in production at the moment.’ Morten On The Ship of Fools’ will be produced by Galway- based studio Telegael. It tells the story of a 8 – year old boy called Morten,who dreams of being a captain just like his dad played by Brendan Gleeson.

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<p><a href=”″>&quot;Morten on the Ship of Fools&quot; trailer</a> from <a href=””>Nukufilm</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a>.</p>

Saturday morning came and waiting outside the studio, I wondered what was in store for us.  I sat down in the studio not sure what I was going to make. But I decided to just go free fall and let my hands do the decision making. It is a lovely way to work as normally I feel restricted when you are working from a drawing. Not having a drawing in front of me or any predetermined idea worked for me over this creative weekend. I said to myself this is my creative retreat weekend.


We got handed some wire and Jennifer showed us how to make the structure for the figure. You can buy Armature kits online. It’s fun making up the little structures out of the wire.

The wizard with his hand up feeling a bit underdressed ;))

Jennifer kidd was the artist running the workshops. Jennifer studied Fine Art in DIT and now is studying for a  MA in Experimental Animation // Royal College of Art // London // 2016 – 2018.  The workshop  took place in Temple Bar Gallery and Studio.

What my hands came up with at first glance was a monk with big bare feet. He then turned into a wizard. I decided at the last minute on Sunday morning to give him some goggles. So he looked a bit like the Doc out of the film Back to the future or a steam punk character with his goggles.

He looks like he is being blown away. He has his steam punk googles down and ready for action..

I decided he needed a patch on the back of his jacket. I also gave the coat some tails that were movable.

By giving him such big feet he was able to stand up really well.

Once we had our characters made, we discussed storyboards. We then decided on a background for our stop-motion animation.

Drawing the background



All the characters are marching..

If you think your children are interested there is a course in Rua Red Tallaght for 12 yrs upwards in stop-motion animation that looks really interesting.

I will be trying this out with my own kids and will write a blog about it in the coming weeks. I hope you step out of your comfort zones and do something different. Money permitting…..



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