Thursday, 11 April 2013

Animation workshop

I've been running an animation afterschool club for several weeks now, and have a weekend booked at Kilve to run a workshop in November, so I've done a lot of research and bought some secondhand cameras to use with the workshops. Some of my discussions of animation can be found here (discussion about free animation software)here (free paint programs for making animated gifs) , and here (online gif animators). There are examples of work here (drawn and stop motion) and here (studying the 'walk cycle')

There are a number of ways to go with this...just so much we could little time! I will have to go one way or the other, but will probably depend on the ability and interests of each group. animation takes approximately 15 frames per second, so we only expect to make a few seconds of animated work.

  • Make sure the pupils have access to ABCya free online program
  • or other layering paint program
  • microsoft gif animator
  • cameras (batteries, tripods etc)
  • card reader/usb connector
  • scrap, paper, playdough
  • Make sure Movemaker is available or a portable moviemaker type program
What will the pupils be learning/thinking
  • Understanding the principles of animation (still pictures that change quickly), including tweening/onion skin
  • Discovering websites that can be used to draw animations
And either
  • To make an animated emoticon
  • Drawing fine detail image using layers
  • Use gif animator to combine the frames into a moving image
  • Use of a camera to take still pictures
  • Use moviemaker or other free software to combine the pictures to moving image.

Making a simple paper flipbook.
Long strip of paper folded over. Draw one image on the top fold, draw a slight change on the bottom fold. Curl the top strip over a pencil, and roll the pencil back and forth, to see the top image, then the bottom as the pencil rolls backwards.

The webpage here (abcya)is a really great stepping stone to getting longer animation without technical complications getting in the way...

Next steps
We can go different ways: a tricky, but satisfying project to make a teeny animation which can be used on web pages or emails :  like this or this: 

Here's some instructions I wrote for this project. I have taken G&T projects before where children have branched out from this to creating longer, and full page size drawn animation. Layers become really important, and here's a quick help sheet that may be useful using

I also have lots of design idea sheets including drawing walking.

Alternatively we can make some stop motion animation. The pupils can use cut paper, playdough, lego minifigures and/or scrap to create a very short animation Pupils will have to work in pairs so that they can get the activity complete and to help with the project.Pupils may want to draw images on paper and then photograph these.

Pupils will need to do some planning before beginning to decide on a short story, the 'props' they need.

After taking the pictures we will need to download them and 'slot' them together in moviemaker or a similar program.

Time will be needed at the end to make the final 'movies' if this is done during the session may end with lots of stills, I can put these together after the session.

This is great for extending pupils. Some will make moe complex drawn animations  which can involve using complex features of the paint program, while others will find ways to use the cameras more imaginatively.

These videos I find really inspiring at the moment, though I am cautious with these, the first is produced by a team of artists, and all of them take weeks to make.

This video, Little Talks, by Monster of Men, a pop band, has almost shadow puppetry.

This one, called Address is approximate,  is wistful and shows another way of using stop motion

This pupil has done some amazing, truly inspiring work. Fantastic. Especially the drawn animations. Here's my favourite, though I can only find it on youtube :(

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