The year was 1998 and the world of clay animation and stop motion was just getting revved up on the new world wide web. Fans of the art form were spread across the globe, many who just got connected for the first time on their home PC's. Computers then were like slow dinosaurs. Animation capture was barely off the ground and only big studios could afford highly the specialized hardware and propriatary software made by in-house coders. Our site, Stopmotionanimation.com, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, all the modern conveneinces that we take for granted today to create and share our work was something that didn't exist. All that changed on Sep 15, 1998. A fan of stop motion and named Wayne Hollyoak utilized a new way of communicating with like-minded people. It was Yahoo which allowed anyone to create e-mail groups and connect with others about their favorite topics. In his first ever post, Wayne writes:

 

From This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tue Sep 15 19:58:42 1998
X-Digest-Num: 0
Message-ID: <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 22:58:42 -0400
From: "Wayne Hollyoak" <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subject: Welcome

Welcome to THE place on the net to discuss clay animation!

My name is Wayne Hollyoak and My wife and I have been animating
clay for several years now. We've learned alot from watching the
works of the masters, Art and Gloria Clokey (Gumby), Nick Parks
(Wallace and Grommit), Will Vinton (Claymation) and others.

Clay animation is one of several forms of Stop-frame animation,
where the animator creates the illusion of motion in an inanimate
real object by moving and photographing the object one frame at
a time. When the film or video is replayed, the object(s) appear to
come to life.

Are you a stop-frame animator? (hobbyist, or pro)

Do you want to share clips from your latest stop-frame
projects?

Have a tip, or need technical advice?

Do you have a favorite clay film you'd like to discuss?

Do you have questions about stop-frame animation?

Then, join in the discussion.

Have fun!

 

That simple message was the start of something great for the future of clay animation. Many people who read the daily messages became inspired to create and build upon it with their own message boards, tutorials and software. Some went on to work big studios and you can find a lot of them still very much active in the art today.

So why are we posting the archive here at Animateclay.com? It's simply because Yahoo has shut all groups down starting in January 2020. Since the internet has changed, many have moved on to where it's easier to share media files. Interestingly enough, there were still 327 members at the time of Yahoos decision.

How to download:

To download the zipped files, right click here and select "save as" and save to a location of your choice. Make sure to read the file called "How to read the data" which gives you some tips. However on Windows you only need to double click the two messages files to scan through past posts.