First graders just finished up their symmetrical monster portraits inspired by the book, Go Away, Big Green Monster. I wrote up thepost with all the steps here.
I was asked to make a robot painting for an upcoming kickstarter as a gift to those who donate. If all works out, Annie Log will become a poster for 100 or so supporters. The instructions I received was to make a robot like the one I made a few years ago and connect it someway to the idea of "love" (hence the heart button).
I love to come up with digital projects that give students a chance to mix medias to make video, animations, or digital art. This project will ask students to layer green screen video over an empty book cover to become the character through body language and digital drawing. It's kinda like we caught them during their book cover photo shoot.
1. I started by cleaning up a few Dr. Seuss book covers so that this lesson can be used to help celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday in March as well as Read Across America. I have a class set of Dr. Seuss books in my art room, so I love to use them whenever possible. I titled each book, added a drop shadow for depth, and layered it over a widescreen format background so that it will fit into the Do Ink Green Screen app without needing resizing.
Or what about this idea: Use a still picture, size and place over book cover in Superimpose app (because you can add a nice drop shadow) then animate a growing heart (because the Grinch heart grew in the story). This could be done in the style above too, but there wouldn't be drop shadow.
Animated Book Cover
This idea uses Do Ink Drawing and Animation app to redraw the character(s) of a Dr. Seuss book and animate it and the text of the book. This requires masking the book cover to erase the character and pull of the text to use it as an image to animate. It is similar to this Jumping of the Pages lesson idea here.
4th graders are finishing up their monochromatic self-portrait paintings drawn in a 3/4 pose. Student studied their faces and features in mirrors, measured, and revised their work. Their sketches were so amazing that we photographed them for Artsonia too.
Below is the front page of a handout I created for the students. We used a shade (color mixed with black) to paint shadows. We used the base color (straight from the bottle) for the rest of the skin. We used a tint (color mixed with white) for the background. The hair and shirt were painted with a neutral (color mixed with black & white). We layered tints and shades on the hair with brush strokes that enhanced the direction and texture of hair. We layered a pattern with the base color on the shirt.
One of the biggest struggles for young artists is to draw their own hair and clothing in a convincing way. This side of the handout showed some examples to get them started.
All students went step by step through the drawing. We mapped out the face, measured, and studied our features in the mirror. This ppt lesson helps students problem-solve.
To help students prepare for their self-portrait before we move to the good paper, we practice drawing all the features of our face using the handout I designed below. I like to put the handout in my iPevo interactive software and use the interactive board to draw. Students can come up to the board and give it a try too.
Monochromatic uses the lyrics of this original song to explain the meaning of the word. The visuals are full of hints as to what monochromatic means as well.
Black Marker (super silly) is a favorite movie demonstrating how a black marker line can cover sloppy edges in paintings and bring back all the details into focus.
Digital Extension: Triptych
Since students were randomly given their color pallet for their portrait, this digital extension will give them a chance to see what their portrait would have looked like in a different color. They will use the brushes app on the iPad to shift the hue twice. Then they will put the original and two new versions together in Pic Collage as a triptych.
I've taught this before in the old iOS using an old app that is no longer supported. So, I reconfigured the lesson a bit. View the old post here.
Student results: go to gallery on Artsonia
Digital Carpet Painting:
Before you can go on a magic carpet ride like Aladdin, you need your digital carpet painting in perspective so that you can view it from the side so you can climb aboard. I added my painting into the superimpose app over a plain color background. I found the tool mode for the foreground layer and chose perspective (the default). The configuration needed could be pulled and stretched by grabbing the handles on the image or you can chose a pre-created configuration at the bottom of the screen. I chose the one all the way on the right. Then, chose the checkmark to apply.
Fly on carpet (using still images)
This simple method will get your students up and flying without animating a background. They could pose as if they are riding their magic carpet paintings, use the superimpose app to layer their photo onto the carpet, and take it for a ride using the Do Ink Animation app over a background photo (like clouds). This would also create a fun still image for students' Artsonia gallery.
Moving Background Video:
One really fun way to extend this lesson into geographic/cultural studies is to have each student draw a landmark that they could fly over: Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, Statue of Liberty, Mt. Rushmore, The Pyramids, Great Wall of China, Stonehenge Grand Canyon, Red Woods, Golden Gate Bridge, Taj Mahal, Hohenzollern Castle, The Leaning Tower of Pisa, etc. See this list of 15o famous landmarks.
Film the Green Screen:
Paper Cut Version:
BACKGROUND: This version of the magic carpet ride lesson includes a paper cut landscape that shows foreground, middle ground, background in paper pieces. These will be animated traveling across the field of view through stop motion animation. It would be a great opportunity for students to show an understanding of foreground, middle ground, and background in the pieces they create and how they animate the scene.
GROUP ANIMATION: I'm thinking that the background animation would be a group project. Each group would work on designing, drawing, cutting, and animating their landmark landscape. Each student would make their own magic carpet video of themselves flying over their group landmark landscape. Therefore, the class compilation video will only have six backgrounds but 24 videos.
MAGIC CARPET MADE FROM PAPER: A digital magic carpet wouldn't look right with a paper cut background. So, they would need to make a paper carpet in perspective. This is a great opportunity to teach students about a vanishing point, converging lines, and how pattern would be small in the back and large in the front (relative size).
Since you are not going to use stop motion for the carpet, I just took a digital picture of the paper drawing and erased the background in the Superimpose app. It needs to be digital for the green screen effect where a student rides the carpet.
Student Results: view the paintings on Artsonia
Finished: Riding over Landmarks
This link takes you to a travel website featuring 150 famous landmarks. Every student can feature a different landmark in the background video/animation. This would make the class video even more exciting as they fly over scenes from around the world.
View this safeshare.TV link of the "Whole New World" scene from Aladdin.
Update: SchoolArts Magazine Article
I wrote up this lesson for the March 2019 Edition of School Arts Magazine. View it here.
This graphic design lesson gives students the chance to combine their digital drawing skills and artist statement into a meme that promotes art education.
Process: #ArtMatters Memes
I've taught artist statement
lessons in a bunch of ways.
Here are some posts to explore if you want to try this idea differently:
Using Cam Wow and PicCollage
Download my artist statement worksheet
A long time ago I responded to Ian Sands on twitter asking for digital images of children's art that he could offer to his high school students to play with as they learn to animate. Some of his students selected my students "He Came with the Chair" paintings. The animations turned out SO adorable and inspiring-see example below or check them all out here. It has been one of my goals to figure out an elementary level lesson with a straightforward app that would give my students the experience of animating their own artwork in the same style. I think I might have figured it out. This technique isn't perfect, but, it will work.
If we had Procreate app: like photoshop
The Brushes Redux app (free) allows you to work with layers like photoshop; select and match colors, use different textured brushes, and save each layer individually-all things needed to make these animations. However, the app does not allow you to select parts of the image. That's how the feet were moved in the animation below. The artist selected the feet, rotated them a bit, and redrew the surrounding space to match. This is the element my students would need to work around unless we purchase Procreate app for the classroom which has all the tools we would need. Sounds like I should write a grant.
Alternative plan: Brushes Redux (free)
This alternative solution for making animated GIF using Brushes Redux is to redraw each change in the piece of art. You need to choose a piece of art that has colors, textures, and elements that can easily be REDRAWN since you can't select and move. So, let's look at these portraits of George Washington by second graders. They each have clear and solid black marker lines and a clean opaque paint. It would be easy to redraw the eyes, mouth, nose, or even the wig or shoulders. Here is my first run through:
After importing your original image into a layer of Brushes Redux, you need to size it and never change it again. Consistency is really key for making the art look like it is moving. I deleted the extra transparent layer and chose the DUPLICATE button (double square +) from the top bar in the layers. I could only see the top layer so the bottom one didn't distract me, but to make sure I didn't draw on the wrong layer, I LOCK the bottom layer when I'm done with it (touch the lock symbol next to the image layer). I can use the eyeball feature to reveal and hide layers to check on how my changes are looking from one layer to the other. I would try to keep this animation simple by not exceeding 5 layers/drawings. It's hard to see all the layers in the app at one time when you get beyond 4. That can confuse your little artists. When you're ready to save your work: 1. close the eyeball on each layer expect your original (bottom layer), choose save to photos. 2. Open the eyeball on second layer and save to photos. 3. Repeat this until finished. This makes the images in the camera roll stay in order.
Now students can go to ezgif.com on their iPads and upload their images into the GIF maker. You'll see above that my five images are made into a sequence of 8 so that it will loop nicely. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 are the drawings. I copied 4 and placed it after 5 so I could start reversing the sequence, followed by a copy of 3 and 2.
Let's spell this out clearly for little artists:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4, 3, 2 (sequence for 5 images in animation)
1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2 (sequence for 4 images in animation)
1, 2, 3, 2 (sequence for 3 images in animation)
Here is how it looks: (I used the crop tool to trim off white edges)
Quick Video Overview:
Use this video to introduce the project and help students see what the process requires.
Thinking this through: (my notes)
Another approach I might go with is to add structure the process since everything about it would be new to young learners. We could all work from the same gallery of images so we can tackle similar problems together. If we worked on, for example, these Wild Things from 1st grade, I could demonstrate how I would animate the eyes, mouth, and the horns. They might make other creative choices, but the problem-solving I demonstrate would transfer easily to their creative solutions.
The fifth graders' 3/4 pose portrait paintings are perfect for this animation lesson by making subtle changes in the expression. It forces the artist to think about what faces do to express emotion and map out a sequence of drawings to create this expression. This is a different form of expressionism (HA! Art teacher humor).
The fifth grade Light Up Robot painting is fun to animate with moving and blinking.
These first grade Lima Bean Monsters are perfect for this idea with their big features.
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
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.
Some iPad drawing apps like Procreate and Brushes allow you to record the drawing process as a movie. (Hint: Brushes doesn't allow you to export the file but, you can record the movie as it plays from your iPad through your computer using airserver, quicktime, or reflector apps.) This gives the artist a chance to show the creative process and enhance the viewing experience with music and/or narration for digital storytelling. The following images are scenes from my Snow Flurry Fairy story. Below each image is a process animation where you can hear a snippet of the story as you watch the drawing.
Similar idea: discuss your sketchnotes
I attended a workshop in Washington D.C. on educating students to become innovators. I made sketchnotes in the Brushes app of the ideas shared in our discussions and narrated my notes as the drawing process video plays. When they asked for feedback from the event, I sent them a link to this video.
Similar idea: time lapse video of art-making
Another way to record the drawing process is through time lapse video of a physical drawing. iMotion HD is a free iPad app that I use for time lapse and stop motion animation. These Artist Trading Cards were drawn and captured with time lapse then animated and set to music to help tell the story.
We are the 2nd place winner of the ISTE Technology in Action Video Contest.
See my post for more info.
View our Entry for the What's Your Story
Internet Safety Contest
(Won the 2nd Place Prize)
View this musical tribute to the hard working teachers at Dryden and the students they love to teach.
Tricia Fuglestad, NBCT 07
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.