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Track 4: Stop-Motion Animation

Study at the world-renowned UCLA Animation Workshop this summer! This program is a two-week intensive production workshop that immerses students in the techniques and practices of stop-motion animation.

This program carries 3 quarter units of UC credit. Students in this track are enrolled in the following class:

FTV 180C Stop-Motion Fundamentals Workshop (3)
Through lectures, discussions, workshops, and group projects, students will learn the technical skills and processes required to create stop-motion animation.

  • This workshop offers a hands-on overview of the stop-motion animation process. Students participate in exercises designed to teach principles of motion and timing. Using a range of materials, students will build their very own stop-motion animation puppets and infuse them with the spark of life by creating performances in split-second increments. Students will learn how to arrange gestures and manipulate materials to not only give the illusion of movement, but to tell a story.
  • The workshop will explore stop-motion animation’s early history, as it emerged from the shadows of Victorian stage-craft, and follow its development through the pioneering days of cinema and television. It will also examine the combined influences of European Puppet Theater and Hollywood Special Effects on stop-motion animation’s growth through the 20th century and into today’s digital landscape.
  • The program will culminate in a collaborative final project, with each student directing and animating a portion of the stop-motion film. This final film will be screened in a state-of-the-art theater during the certificate ceremony and reception at the end of the program. Friends and family are welcome. Each student will be given a copy of the final film.


Mike Johnson

Mike Johnson is an Academy Award nominated director, animator, artist and educator specializing in stop-motion animation. With over 20 years in the animation industry, he’s contributed to a wide variety of award-winning projects including commercials, short films, television and features. Mike got his start in the feature-film world as an assistant animator on Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas. Mike was later selected by Tim Burton to direct Corpse Bride, for which they both received Academy Award nominations for Best Animated Feature. Additional credits include: Anomalisa; Ping Pong Rabbit; The PJs; James and the Giant Peach; and The Devil Went Down to Georgia.

Program Activities
During the program, students attend film screenings and visit a Hollywood Studio

Guest Speakers
The Summer Institute invites prominent guest speakers from the industry to share their experiences and answer student questions about their career and working in Hollywood today.

This track is open to all college students and aspiring filmmakers (18+), including international students.

View the program layout for Stop-Motion Animation (August 5 – 17, 2018).

Register Online. In order to secure your spot, a $150 nonrefundable deposit is due upon completion of your application for the program. You may pay by credit or debit card using our secure online credit card form. Your $150 deposit is nonrefundable.

Grades and Transcripts
Program participants will earn units of credit on a letter grading basis and will be recorded on an official University of California transcript. Please note that official transcripts are not automatically sent to students.

Housing is available in the UCLA Residence Halls for students age 16 and older. You can view the various housing options and rates. You will need UCLA Logon ID and Password in order to access the online housing application.

Contact Us
UCLA Summer Institutes
1332 Murphy Hall
Box 951418
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1418 
Tel: (310) 825-4101
Fax: (310) 825-1528
E-mail: institutes@summer.ucla.edu