Stop motion can use a wide range and combination of materials and not restricted to just the puppet humanoid or creature forms. Any real objects can be animated. Clay Animation is just another form of Stop Motion. There is a most unique animation method that possibly most of you are not familiar with, called, Strata-Cut Animation, the technique is attributed to, David Daniels. From what I read, he is suppose to have invented the method. As far as I know, there does not exist, how-to information about the technical details of this unusual animation method. It is difficult to describe. You can view for yourself one of Daniel's original Strata-cut work (about 1985), called Buzz Box.
animation involves making 3-D rectangular pieces of clay in
layers. It was invented by David Daniels. David lays out the clay in a four
dimensional space to create the large block of clay. Then the clay is
normally slid on popsicle sticks towards the camera as the front part is
sliced off to reveal a new section of clay. Characters faces or images are
animated in the 4-D space before the camera captures the movement. It's
possibly the strangest way to animate, and has the look of oil on water
during a breezy day."
In Geology, Strata means layers-slices of rocks, dirt, earth, etc.....so that seems like a good description of this animation technique. David Daniels' early work was on the ol' Pee Wee's Playhouse, then did work for Will Vinton Studios, and also did Strata-Cut animation for Michael Jackson's MoonWalker. Daniels has been doing his more recent work (not just Strata-cut) at Bent Image Labs . Here is a montage of some of his commercial work using the Strata-cut animation technique:
In my quick research, it seems that
Oskar Fischinger link-1--
link-2 was an early
experimenter of a similar Strata-Cut type
animation method ,much, much earlier..... in the 1920's.
Doing a Google search gives us plenty of references to
Fischinger. He was an abstract surreal artist-filmmaker
and experimented with a variety styles & methods of visual motion
presentations. Daniels uses plasticene oil-wax colored
clays whereas Fischinger used Wax that was colored
via random swirls & patterns
within the wax block or log. He also devised a special wax
slicing machine specifically for his Wax Animation work. So, I am
guessing that Daniels' might have been inspired by