Book Tour & Giveaway: The Klutz Book of Animation – Stop Motion Video Made Easy

In Application, Family, General, Giveaway, How To, Review, Video by Michael Sheehan

Have you ever wondered about how Wallis and Grommit or Mr. Bill and Gumby or Davey and Goliath or Christmas shows like Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer were made? Well it’s a pretty simple but incredibly painstaking process called stop motion animation. It is sometimes known as claymation if the objects are made out of clay. Regardless, the premise is simple. You set a scene, take a picture of it, move one of the objects ever so slightly and then take another picture and continue with this process. Then you take all of these still pictures and piece them all together. Some people have become masters at this art, and others, like me, are just beginning to discover the fun of it.


Wait! Stop! Before you go on any further, I am giving away a copy of this book and a couple of others. Read on to find out more!

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Well, I have to tell you about a great book that gets you down the path quickly and easily in terms of creating stop animation, and you could win a copy of this book that teaches you how. The book is from the Klutz series (which I actually bought many many years ago to learn how to juggle). This book is called “The Klutz Book of Animation” (by John Cassidy and Nicholas Berger) and it will teach you how to easily do incredible stop motion animations in literally a few minutes.

And, to help you get a better understanding of this book, the Klutz team has set up a virtual book tour. is Stop #1 of a 16 Stop multi-blog virtual book tour for the Klutz Book of Animation!

Each of the sites in the tour features a different video of stop motion animation from the book. As you can see above, mine is from a chapter in the book called “Model Car Smashups”. The book is organized into a variety of chapters on stop motion animation with many examples on how to “get creative.” With the book there is even some animation clay, some paper figures, a phenakistoscope, and plenty of ideas on how to make your next award winning animation.

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Also with the book, you can download some Stop Motion software from Tufts University Center called SAM Animation Program. This entry-level stop motion animation software works on both Macs and PCs and it extremely easy to use. You just need to download it, install and hook up your USB or other web-cam to it. You can also do stop animation by simply taking pictures in sequence and then importing them into SAM. While the SAM Animation Program is very rudimentary and basic, it does give you a very good introduction to stop animation and gives you enough of a toolset to do some pretty fun things.

Here are a couple of pages from the book. The first shows what you need to get started with Stop Motion video:


The page below shows how you use SAM to create voice-overs on your animation:


The movie below represents some animation attempts, using SAM and some ideas in the Klutz book, by my daughter and I. We used SAM for all of the filming and movie creation:

While creating stop animation is something that is extremely time consuming, it definitely is quite a bit of fun. Remember that the premise behind stop motion animation is that you take a picture, move the object slightly and then take another picture. My daughter and I spent a couple of hours creating these movies, which is kind of amazing when you think that many hours simply boil down to a minute or two end result.

Stop Motion animation can be broken up into a variety of subcategories according to the Klutz book, and they provide ways to do each of these in the book:

  • Claymation – how to make lumps of clay “sing and dance”
  • Cut-Out Animation – how to make paper dolls “fly through outer space”
  • Photo Animation – how to make a photograph “go for a walk”
  • Time Lapse – how to make animation “speed up snails”
  • Rotoscoping – how to turn video into animation
  • Pixilation – how to make people move in “magical ways”
  • Object Animation – how to make “eggs scurry around the house”

After participating in the creation of the video, my daughter wanted to do many more movies. These types of activities are quite great for kids as you can work with them to create a bunch of really fun content. My other daughters are now excited to work on another stop animation project and have spent an hour looking at the various videos on the Klutz site. At the Klutz animation site ( you can find:

  • Videos from the book
  • Download links to the SAM Animation program
  • Get some cool sound effects for your animations


So, I want to know what type of animation movie you would make. And for added incentive, I’m going to be GIVING AWAY a copy of the Klutz Book of Animation as well as Draw Star Wars, Quick Draw Flip Books and Tricky Video! This is an $80 value!

Here are a few ways to enter in this giveaway. But you MUST tell me about the stop motion movie you want to create!:

  • Leave comment on this blog on what type of stop motion movie you want to make
  • Follow me (@HighTechDad) and send out a Twitter message about this giveaway (leave a comment on this post with the Twitter link)
  • Post a blog post and link to this article (leave a comment on this post with the direct link)

Some rules for entry:

  • Only one comment on this blog is needed to enter, you can, however, do multiple tweets talking about it!
  • You must leave a valid email address (either through the comments or some other way so that I can contact you)
  • Contest is open to US Residents only
  • Contest Ends on October 4th, 2010 at 11:59 PM CST.
  • Winner will be randomly selected and notified via email
  • If the 1st choice winner does not respond within 1 day (24 hours) a second winner will be selected.
  • Read through and memorize my “Legal Stuff” section on my Giveaways page

WINNER notification: Congrats to Michelle C (@MrsMChappell on Twitter) for winning this giveaway!

The Klutz Book of Animation is a great way to create some really imaginative and fun projects with your kids (or even on your own). They are easy to do and the Klutz book clearly illustrations some of the best practices for production really great stop motion animation. With this book at your side, you will definitely have a lot of fun! The book retails for $19.95 and is available on Amazon for $13.57.

Be sure to head over to who will be the next one in line for this book tour. I wonder what kind of video the Klutz team did for them?!

Disclosure Text : I have a material connection because I received a gift or sample of a product for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was/am not expected to return this item or gift after my review period. More information can be found in my About page as well as here.

HTD says: Start snapping some photos! Your animation could be the next award winner!

The Klutz Book of Animation: Make Your Own Stop Motion Movies (Hardcover-spiral)

List Price: $19.95
New From: $18.23 USD In Stock
Used from: $3.42 USD In Stock