Tuesday, March 1st, 2022 Posted by Jim Thacker

Sneak peeks: Blender’s upcoming Claymation add-on

Blender tools developers Daniel Martínez Lara and Antonio Vazquez have posted two new demo videos of Claymation, their upcoming Blender add-on for creating stop-motion-style animation.

New features announced for the add-on, previously known as KeyMesh, include the option to convert Blender Grease Pencil objects to virtual clay, and support for onion skinning.

Upcoming plugin lets users create virtual claymation within Blender
First demoed in 2019, Claymation enables users to take a base 3D model and create different versions of the mesh on a frame-by-frame basis, using Blender’s sculpting and deformation tools.

The resulting workflow is rather like traditional claymation or stop-motion animation, but in 3D.

We covered the technology, then an experimental feature called KeyMesh, back in 2020, at which point, it was being co-developed by Pablo Dobarro, then lead developer of Blender’s sculpting tools.

Now integrates with Blender’s Grease Pencil toolset
The two new demo videos are the first public showing of Claymation for a while, with the baton passing to Lara and Vazquez, both key members of the team behind Grease Pencil, Blender’s 2D animation toolset.

As you might expect, they show tight integration with Grease Pencil itself, including the option to convert Grease Pencil objects to virtual clay, and even turn annotations to clay on the fly.

The latest video, embedded above, also shows an onion skinning system, enabling animators to view the form of the clay in adjacent frames as ghosted outlines in the viewport.

Pricing, release date and system requirements
Claymation is still in development. The developers haven’t announced a final release date, or whether it will be a commercial add-on.

Follow the development of the Claymation add-on for Blender on Daniel Martínez Lara’s Twitter feed