Last year my fifth graders made collaborative rotoscope animations that we put into flipbookit.com mutoscopes. It was pretty amazing to see digital art become physical through this fun viewer. See the post with all the how tos here. Below is the display I set up this school year showcasing their flipbookits. I used this display to introduce the concept to my 4th graders.
I want to do a rotoscope movie making lesson with my 4th graders so we tried a collaborative rotoscope as a practice round. Each student was assigned one frame of a video to draw a contour line drawing over. They used the Do Ink drawing app this time since it will be the tool for their real animation. This picture shows them in action.
The animation was uploaded to the flipbookit site to be fitted for their mutoscope.
I taught an animation workshop today at the Taste of Tech 2017 conference. Below are the lessons we tried to cover and links to the resources. Click on the Thinglink image to go directly there. Thumb through the slideshow for quick tips. Page 1. Page 2.
I was able to attend Kim Darche's session about questioning techniques. To help me remember the great ideas she was sharing, I made this sketchnote.
..and other Individual Rotoscope Animation Ideas
One of the super cool things about Do Ink Animation and Drawing app is that you can pull in photos or videos and draw over them. Drawing over each frame of a video is a technique called Rotoscope Animation. You probably have seen this technique in the famous music video from the 80's A-Ha's Take Me On. I also LOVE this music video and song by Andrew Huang, Every Night I Dream of Dancing, which is a rotoscope collaboration using 30 artists crowdsourced through the internet.
I tried many ways to instruct my students to create rotoscope animations collaboratively, but I've yet to have them create their own...until now. I think I've come up with some ideas that can make this project manageable for very little people.
Plan One: 1 second loops
Tutorial for Rotoscoping in Do Ink app
Plan Two: Color the Loop
Plan Three: Add Rotating Mandalas
I began a new drawing (still in the Do Ink Animation app) and chose a fill and border color, and dragged out a shape to fill the screen. Then I added line or/and shape pattern.
I made two of these patterned mandalas so that I could rotate them behind my rotoscope in opposing directions. The centers won't show much, so I focus the design on the edges.
Plan four: Dancing Sketches
Since the rotoscope animation has a built in transparency (the background is empty and see through) while it remains in the app, you could use this to create some very cool effects. One idea I've been playing with is to layer the rotoscope line drawing animation over a sheet of notebook or sketchbook paper. Since my drawing looks like it was made using a sharpie marker, I try to enhance that illusion by either leaving a marker on the notebook when I take the still image, or write with a sharpie marker alongside the animation. Below is my first rotoscope done this way, "How to Whip."
Did you see the video of the kids showing up at the end? That was an added step using the green screen app by Do Ink. I exported my sketbookbook video and put it in the green screen app and layered on the original green screen video, lined them up with the drawings. The only problem is that GS app limits you to three layers. I needed 4. So I "flattened" the video effect when I had two kids in place by exporting it. Then brought it back in to a new project and finished the third child's effect.
More Advanced ideas: animated sketchnotes
Mini Digital Stories:
My collaborative Rotoscope Projects:
In 2012, my 5th grade students did a collaborative rotoscope animation project with every one of my 100 students drawing over 330 frames of video pieced back together to make the animation shown in the video below. We entered it into the McGraw-Hill STEMie national online contest and won the $5000 second place prize. This money became the seed money for our 1:1 iPad art room. As you can see from the post, the process was very complicated on my end since there wasn't an iPad app (yet) that allowed students to work over video. We filmed a video then ran it through a program (mpeg streamclip) to break it down frame by frame. Students were assigned frames, pulled it into their iPad from the dropbox, drew over it in Brushes app, turned it back into the dropbox with a number that placed it back into the sequence. I pieced it all back together on my computer using a gif maker to turn it into video. They explain below:
This past school year, I tried a different kind of collaborative rotoscope animation with my 5th graders: a rotoscope in a mutoscope (digital art made physical). This time we made 4 small videos (one per class) that would loop nicely into a hand cranked mutoscope kit by Flipbookit.com. These turned out to be very cool. The work again, fell mostly on me. I had to purchase and assemble the kit, prep the video through their online tool, print the images onto labels, and stick them on flip cards. The students each made one frame of the rotoscope, so they finished in one class period. I love the results, but the kit costs over $40, so students don't get to keep their work individually. However, they do have their still image posted on Artsonia with links to their video.
Step 1: pose
Step 2: import photo and draw
In the Do Ink Drawing and Animation app, touch the + in top right corner and choose "New Drawing". Click on the layers tab (top middle, it has three lines stacked), use the camera icon to import the photo. The photo defaults to the top layer so grab the three lines on right of layer and drag it to the bottom. Touch the empty layer to select it and do your drawing (tracing) first. Then add your extras to transform the photo into a superhero or fairy. In the screenshot above you can see that I took the opacity of the photo layer down to 0% so that it doesn't show. I drew the figure three times and change it slightly in each. I use the + button in the bottom right to make the next frame and redraw over the last with slight changes like blowing hair, cape, and shirt. These changes are seen as a ghost effect from one layer to the next. That can be turned off in the settings if you prefer. I made each of my lines in my drawing connect so that I could use the pour bucket to color everything. I use the Preview button (looks like an arrow head) to see how my animation is looking. It will animate too fast since it is only 3 frames long. That's okay. We can make adjustments to the timing in the next step. If it looks good, choose gallery button top left.
Step 3: layer the flipbook animation
Prepare a background image or animation to make your character "fly" across. I had a castle drawing in my camera roll on my iPad. Again, in Do Ink animation app, I touched the + in top right corner and chose "composition" this time. If you background is a photo bring it in using the camera icon, if it's another Do Ink drawing, bring it with star icon. Then bring in you animated superhero/fairy with the star icon. It will be too big at first. Use a corner handle to rize (do not touch the green dot yet) and place it in a starting position. Take a look at your timeline. It may have defaulted to only 2 seconds long. Touch the diamond and drag out each layer as long as you want. I used 4 seconds above. Before you animate you may want to slow down the flipbook style animation. Touch the gear in the lower right and slide the timing down to half speed (0.5). Now create an animation path by touching and dragging the green dot (see my green line above). Use the play button to preview. If it looks good, touch gallery. This is where you can find the share button by touching the gallery thumbnail and export your animation a as a video. I would create a class video from their short clips like the ones I made for first graders.
Need a tutorial? See my Fugleflip page and follow Draw & Compose tutorials.
Step 4. Turn these into holograms
Now that you have these little flipbook animations, make them into a custom hologram. I wrote up all the steps for creating this effect in this previous post.
I'm super excited to have found the Flipbookit in my Twitter feed a month or so ago. The discovery came at a time where I was thinking about how to display our class animations as I was preparing for rotoscope animations lesson with my 5th graders. What a perfect solution. The flipbookit is a DIY kit that creates a retro styled mutoscope, an early motion picture hand cracked flipbook device. This box has a crank that spins a rolodex of cards that you can customize through their online tool printed on labels. It took me 1 hour to put the box together and 1/2 hr to print, stick, and load the art. They are too expensive to have each student make their own, but because of their design, they make for a really simple all class rotoscope collaborative project. I'll try to explain.
The Flipbookit animation is only 24 frames long. That is a pretty short video.
It would be best if the video loops too since the crank allows you to view it over and over again. So, I asked one 5th grader from each of the 4 classes to volunteer to be filmed performing a short dance move that would easily loop. Here they are below.
1. Film a short looping video
I filmed them before green screen and used the Green Screen app by Do Ink to clean up the background so my animators would be undistracted by the background and better able to focus on the dancers when they draw their rotoscope.
2. Prepare the 24 frames of video
3. Preparing the tools to draw
Since the class is going to make one collaborative animation, we need each of the 24 frames of the video to look similar. The size of the image, color of the pen, thickness of the pen, and style of the drawing need to be similar enough that the illusion of movement is created. I set some parameters ahead of time when I created my example. Here is the handout to set up the drawing in the Brushes Redux app.
4. Turn in and rename digital files
----VIEW STUDENT IMAGES HERE----
4.5 (optional) Made an animated gif
I wanted to see how the 24 drawings would look as a digital animation so I loaded them into https://ezgif.com/maker to make an animated gif from the images.
5. Print and load the flipbookit
I followed the online directions for converting the 24 drawings into a pdf that would be printed onto the special sized labels that came with the DIY Flipbookit. I stuck them on the blank cards and loaded them into the rolodex to see the magic of Mutoscope animation from our collaborative rotoscope animation.
Digital animation made physical
Displaying the Mutoscopes:
Every Night I Dream Of Dancing by Andrew Huang is a music video collaboration of thousands of drawings from 30 different artists. The song is fun and the artwork is very inspiring. It has much more color and creativity than this project, but now that we've learned the process, perhaps next time we can take it further.
Drawing from Experience
This lesson requires student to create a CONTOUR LINE DRAWING. Allow the old and wise (and very little from all the years of sharpening) Grandpa Pencil explain more.
Extension: Build a Mutoscope Viewer
Drawing a nesting doll design
Animating the nesting doll
In order to animate the nesting doll I needed to have the image saved on my camera roll of the iPad as a PNG with a transparent background. The Do Ink animation app gives you the option to save the image this way.
I used the Superimpose app to make a top and bottom image of the nesting doll so I could animate it. I used the mask tab and square tool to select and delete the bottom half then save it with "mask as png". Then I hit the "undo" button to restore the image and select and delete the top half and save it the same way.
I've shared before how I learned on accident that you can use the Green Screen app by Do Ink to make video silhouettes. I wrote about it here in my dancing silhouette post and here in my shadow dancing post. Quickly, again, I'll share the process below.
Layering video over image:
Layer and resize any videos:
I wrote a post last year about the cool visual effects my students were inventing while making their movie about Movement. View it for details and inspiration here.
Skip the silhouette step:
I had my 4th graders use video of 1st graders to make this "Little Buddies" video.
Five young animators met with me on Monday after school for one hour to learn to fly. Second grader, Sophie, won the iPad animation party prize offered through the Dryden Fundraising Raffle before spring break. She and 4 friends learned how to turn themselves into fairies that fly across the flower garden using 3 different apps on our art room iPads.
I spent my first day of Spring Break in West Bloomfield, Michigan working with a lovely group of teachers on iPad creation and STEAM ideas for fine arts and technology. All my lesson ideas are on this growing smore flyer. There are over 185 so far so I use a numbering system to refer to them as in my handout for the workshop below:
I was fortunate enough to attend and present at the National Art Education Conference in NYC this pas week. I went to fascinating sessions, networked with some amazing art educators from around the country, and had the chance to share our iPad animation lessons with others through my presentation.
I got through slide 90 of 150 during my presentation of Elementary iPad Animation. I have way too much to share on this topic right now (which I think is pretty exciting). I have been updating
<<<this online flyer>>>
with my lesson ideas here. This handout is pointing back to the numbered lessons from the flyer where you can find "how tos" and resources.
Or download the handout as a PDF here.
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View this musical tribute to the hard working teachers at Dryden and the students they love to teach.
Tricia Fuglestad, NBCT 07
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