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How to Create a Clay Face

Learn how to create a clay face from Joe Vena of the Children's Museum of the Arts in this stop motion animation tutorial from Howcast.


So a really great stop motion animation exercise is to create a face and animate that face. And we create that face out of clay. We'll start with a larger piece and an extra piece of clay here. I'm going to sculpt the face out of this clay, and I'll save this piece for facial features. We're going to be animating with a camera up here, shooting straight down into the face so the face will appear right there. We'll start by taking that piece of clay and maybe flattening it down a bit more in the shape of a face. I'm going to do something vaguely human, I suppose, though you could do a cat face or a dog face, or a monster face. I'm liking this shape as it is, just like that. We'll roll out another piece of clay and maybe add a nose.

Roll out a kind of a teardrop shape. Place it on the face. Smooth it in there a bit. Press in a bit where you'd like the eyes in your face to go. And we'll take some more clay here and work out some cheekbones for that face, build it up a bit. Some brows. Come in here with a different color, just slightly different for that mouth. Roll out some lips. Maybe mix in a bit of that color just where the eyes are going to be. You can use a toothpick to create some nostrils. And when it comes to the eyes, you can use beads. Press them right in there. Beads are great for eyes, because you can turn them.

You can use that eye, that bead as it is, or you can go in with a permanent marker and do a little black, just add a little black inside the eye. Bling it out a bit. But of course, you can add ears or hair. Eyebrows are very important to face. I'm using clay of a different color, some darker, sort of light black clay here, and I'm going to roll out little worm shapes. Make him some eyebrows. And we'll give him a mustache as well. Why not? Pop it on there. OK. We now have a clay face with which we can animate.

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