Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Working with two on line apps in our links to explore list brought some original creations in class.  Thanks to a fellow art teacher in a neighboring district who shared Sumo Paint and Myoats after I shared the ghost images on the blog earlier this week.  Sharing things you find comes naturally to art teachers and I think the students had fun creating these digital images with the programs:

Stop Motion Animation

We're going to create an animated short film working together in groups and using a variety of techniques shared in class.  Put your thinking caps on to come up with an original idea of a story you can tell visually!

Stop motion (also known as stop frame) is an animation technique to make a physically manipulated object appear to move on its own. The object is moved in small increments between individually photographed frames, creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames is played as a continuous sequence. Dolls with movable joints or clay figures are often used in stop motion for their ease of repositioning. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_motion
Stop Animation Movie
A stop-motion animation movie is made up of individually taken photos. Between one photo and the next, the characters, objects and/or camera are moved slightly. When the photos are shown in rapid succession, this creates the illusion that the characters and objects are actually moving in real time.

Ideas… Who?  What?  When?  Where?  Why?
Think of creative solutions to this dilemma.  Try to create something original and different.  Don’t just copy what someone else has done!  What kind of story are you telling, entertaining with, drawing your viewer in to see what is next!

1st… Share ideas in your group.  Brainstorming takes place when EVERYONE has input.  We all have good ideas waiting to “get out”.  Through a process of elimination discuss which ideas will work the best and be the most original.
- What kinds of Props will be required?  It will be your responsibility to produce, create and have them ready on the day of videoing.
- Do you have to set up a special backdrop or location?  Where?  What do you need?
- Can the animation / videoing be done in one classperiod or do you have a camera to video it outside of the school day?  Remember you have to set up and move things around.  If the scene gets disturbed the animation needs to start over.

2nd… You have your idea!  Write down the story.  Imagine what is happening like you were reading a children’s book about it.  Now you’ll need to story board the action.  Sketch out a rough view of how the scene will change.  Be aware of camera angle, lighting, simplicity vs. too much going on,…
A story board can look like a long comic strip.  Shetch out your introduction,  Then beginning intrigue for the viewer.  The main part of the video and then close it up.  Of course there will be more than four pictures.  What all happens or changes to draw the viewer into the scene.

3rd… get your props.  Do you need to create anything?  Use bulletin board paper or canvas to stage the backdrop by draping it down a “wall” and onto a table.  The clay area will work well.  Put a DO NOT TOUCH sign in your area.  Gather everything together and start practing the moves.

4th… Take photos of your scenes.  Set the resolution to the lowest setting on whatever camera you use. No need to take high resolution pictures. It just takes up memory. Low resolution pictures will work and look great and be easier to use.  Remember you can switch the camera angle when the action stops or moves but not within a scene with movement.   Just break into segments so each segment can then be clipped together for the movie

About the Stationary stand or Tripod: You don't have to use a tripod, but you have to do something to keep the camera steady! It has to remain in the same spot for all the pictures or else the animation won't come out right! So, tape it down or tape it to a board or secure it down in one spot with rubber bands! Do anything you have to do to make sure the camera never moves, especially when you press the button to take a picture.
It is always good to take a sample picture or two and look at them to see if it looks right and if the lighting is good. 
Move the action a little at a time.  The bigger the move the choppier the scene.  Continue moving the model in small increments. Take a picture after each move. Do this until you are satisfied and done with the whole motion you had planned.  Try to take as many photos as possible each day. 

5th… Download the photos to each persons iPhoto account.  Allow all 3 or 4 people to share the photos so everyone can work on the editing themselves.

Monday, April 8, 2013


Working with type, fonts and graphics together creates a poster in graphic form that is known as Info-graphics.  The creator needs to be aware of spacing, color, size and data they are working with to get the content across to the viewer in a quick and clear manner.  What may be complex and a large amount of material can be organized and clear using a few different programs.  We used piktochart and easelly, both on line free programs that help to organize and portray this information.