Discover the art of bringing objects to life.

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For filmmakers and photographers who want to be introduced to the basics of photographic stop motion object animation.  Guided by stop motion animation master Tom Gasek, learn how to bring objects and products to life via anthropomorphic and textural means to highlight the object or product. These finished animations can be used as a contributing piece of filmmaking to any film or commercial or a GIF for websites.  It will add more interest and dynamic to still photography and more control to filmmaking techniques. 

As we explore how to bring human emotions to objects through animation techniques, participants will learn about the principles of animation movement, lighting, simple rigging, clean plates, and appropriate camera-work. 


We’ll start by concentrating on object animation, the camera set-up and the software. The class will move on to lighting techniques and rig support techniques that will allow the objects to move off the ground. As an option, the class will learn how to move objects frame by frame in exact synchronization with a simple piece of music or sound to motivate the object’s movement. Finally, each class member will work on their own or in a team of two to create final short animated object / production animations, as a culminating experience.

You will work on sweep table-top set-ups with all the equipment needed (camera, grip, lighting, tripod and computer with software) provided for these exercises. Participants will learn how to operate the camera and Dragon Frame. A basic knowledge of Photoshop for post-production rig clean-up will be helpful, but the instructor will provide guidance.


  • Frame by Frame object animation
  • Camera and grip techniques for stop motion
  • Simple lighting techniques
  • Dragon Frame Software instruction
  • Object rig supports and rig post clean-up
  • Sound synchronization animation



© Xuting Liu


© Tom Gasek

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Instructor: Tom Gasek

Tom Gasek has over 30 years of award winning professional stop motion animation experience as an animator and director. He worked with directors Will Vinton, Art Clokey and Henry Selick. At Aardman Animations in Bristol England, he contributed animation to Nick Park’s Wallace and Gromit short, “The Wrong Trousers” and the Peter Lord / Nick Park Feature, “Chicken Run.” Gasek co-directed and animated the “Inside-Out Boy” for Nickelodeon, which is a part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He has maintained two small stop motion studios, one in San Francisco called “Sculptoons” in the early 90’s and OOH, Inc. in Massachusetts., and contributed animation to Aardman’s “Creature Comforts America”, Sony Bravia’s “Play-Doh”, Laika Studio’s “Coraline”, a series of Amazon Prime spots for Hornet Inc. in 2016 and he continues to direct and animate commercials and independent films. In the past several years, Tom produced, directed and animated two award winning short independent stop motion films, “Off-Line” and “Ain’t No Fish”. He is currently working on a short “pixilated” film called “4 @ 60.”