Moulding new talent

CLAY-TASTIC: Animator and comedian Guy Capper holds some of the plasticine moulds he uses for stop motion animation.
CLAY-TASTIC: Animator and comedian Guy Capper holds some of the plasticine moulds he uses for stop motion animation.

He's made animals talk for the past 15 years and now one entrepreneur wants to share his talent with Auckland teenagers.

Comedian and animator Guy Capper is hosting claymation workshops at Artstation during the April school holidays.

The quirky classes involve using stop motion animation techniques to turn plasticine moulds of animals and aliens into moving digital footage.

"It's another way of creating life without having to feed it," Mr Capper says.

Claymation is best recognised for British television series Wallace and Grommet.

The course is funded by Creative Communities and teaches youth the basics of character movement and film-making skills.

Mr Capper compares creating the creatures to assembling a Mr Potato Head.

Different body parts such as ears, eyes and noses are moulded and put on to plasticine animals.

These then get photographed in front of a green screen.

Each frame has the character with a slightly different expression or movement.

The animation is brought to life when the photos are played back quickly – creating a video that participants get to take away after the workshops.

Claymation is a field of work Mr Capper's mastered during the past decade.

He's created TV series Robert and Sheepy with Flight of the Conchords star Jemaine Clement as well as creating several comedy shows.

He also worked with friend Daniel O'Brian to make comedy piece Animals, Aliens and Vegetables.

"I think anyone who's even remotely interested in claymation will be spurred on after learning from that dude," Mr O'Brian says.

"I'd call him my mentor."

The duo is also working on a new show called Quantum Sheep and the Animal Orchestra.

Guy Capper is running two animation courses for 13 to 17-year-olds in the April school holidays at Art Station on Ponsonby Rd. The four day courses start on April 10 and April 17.

The course costs $50. Call Artstation on 3763221 to book.

Auckland City Harbour News