I drew my learning mascot and placed her on this Calm Down poster for my classroom. When you scan the QR code using EyeJack app she comes to life dancing to Taylor Swift's song, Calm Down. This was made using free apps (drawn in Keynote, set to music in iMovie, and augmented in EyeJack app Creator). You can try it yourself or have a print made from my image using Artsonia (make sure you designate Dryden for Artsonia's 20% classroom donation). Here is what she looks like when you scan her.
Here is a simple idea for an animated portrait using two apps: Keynote and Ezgif.com
I wrote a post over the summer about how to use keynote for making portraits: explore it here. This will help you go through the steps of importing a photo, tracing over it, and using transparent color shapes to fill the portrait with color.
I've been playing with the drawing feature in Keynote ever since I learned about it at ISTE18. See my post with steps and a tutorial here.
I also have been working on animating robots lately too. Now the two ideas are coming together. At first I started thinking about making a portrait then trying to make it move through redrawing it in stages using the Brushes App. You can see below that I redrew the eyes by moving the irises and making them blink. These drawn, saved as steps, and complied in EZGIF.com to make an animated GIF.
Here is an idea I'm playing with. I would love for students to write a statement about how they can be kind next to themselves looking as sweet as an angel with flapping animated wings and halo or other symbols of kindness.
Learn about kindness in stories
Prepare your kindness statement
Download this brainstorming handout on front, and reference for wings on back.
1. Students pose angelically before green screen.
2. Import the image into Superimpose App. Use masking tools (magic wand and paint brush) to erase the background. Save using "mask as png" to retain transparency.
3. Using the Do Ink animation app, student can animate the wings and halo using this guide to see some steps for moving the wings.
Students open up a new drawing in Do Ink animation app. They need to make a three frame drawing with the progression above. Then click on the 2nd drawing and copy it (copy and paste are revealed when you click on the double arrows in the bottom right corner). Click on the third drawing and choose "paste". This will put the 2nd drawing after the 3rd drawing to make a 1-2-3-2- progression that loops nicely.
4. Open another drawing in Do Ink animation app and draw a halo. Click + and draw another slightly different. Repeat until you have 3 frames with small changes in each.
5. Now you're ready to put all the pieces together. Open a new composition in Do Ink animation app and begin layering in your pieces. Start from the back to the front: import the wings (use the star button). HINT: DO NOT TOUCH THE GREEN BUTTON ON AN IMAGE YOU IMPORT. Doing so will create an animation path. That is a different effect. Resize by grabbing a handle on the edge, place it where you need it by touching it anywhere else but the green dot, slow down the animation (under the gear tab) to about half the speed. Next bring in the PNG pose from the camera roll (using the camera button). Resize/place. Bring in the halo (using the star) & resize/place/slow down animation. Next, choose the "T" to write your text. Resize/place. Next, pick a background color from the "i" tab at the top. Click the play button to test it out. When you're finished save as a video to your camera roll.
6. Convert the movie to a moving meme in a GIF format by using EZGIF.com
Save the GIF to your camera roll. It can play a GIF in places like Twitter or website.
Follow this process to help students in class each come up with an original idea for being kind in a variety of spaces in the building. If this process works, student will learn from each other and each have a unique statement to add to their moving meme.
Random Acts of Kindness Club (1st graders)
Our kindergarteners share their ideas of how to be kind.
Results: View the art on Artsonia
Teacher's note: We didn't make halos because the wings were more challenging than I expected them to be for my 3rd graders. We all drew the wings in the same direction and then flipped them if we needed to to correspond to their pose.
Moving Memes Movies
One trick I've noticed ever since I was a young cartoon viewer happens most noticeably in running scenes. Instead of the character entering and exiting the frame of view, the character remains in the center of the frame while the background moves. This is very effective but sometimes completely silly since the background is looping over and over giving the impression that the space is a never ending and always repeating. I set out today to try to make a character run like Scooby or any Hanna-Babera character would.
STEP ONE: Running character
STEP TWO: background drawing
STEP THREE: fixing the background
At drew this background thinking I could make it loop somehow in the app. I wasn't able to figure out how to do that. So I took this image, duplicated it, line them up on edge and cropped awu the door. I wanted to make an image that started and ended the same way from left to right so I could loop it. Does that sound confusing? It was. But, now that I know the solution, maybe it won't be hard to replicate it.
STEP FOUR: Creating the animation
The biggest challenge was getting the background image to loop behind the running animation. Now that I fixed the image to match from left to right all I had to do was line it up to start and end with the same looking background.
Second try-new idea for background:
I had trouble making my background loop on my first try. I think the problem was that I learned while going through the process that the image needed to repeat perfectly. So, this time I made it easier on myself. I did the whole drawing and duplications in Brushes Redux app. I drew one piece of a background (house) and copied the layer, resized it, and placed it next to the first until I had 4 houses in a row. I put this tiny tutorial together so you can see that the biggest trick next is to get the running figure to start and end over the same exact background image. Then, it loops nicely.
Karaoke of Scooby-Doo Theme Song:
Sing along or change the words to what you learned while making a running animation.
Fly like Mighty Mouse Might
This idea works for fling if you make the object remain in the frame as the sky (clouds) whiz by. Here is what it looked like when I gave it a try.
View this Animation as a Hologram:
Check out my post about how to set up your animated hologram here.
Try using the running poses in Scratch
Scratch is a visual drag and drop coding site by MIT. I had some students who were really excited about coding come and talk to me today. We put together the running animation in SCRATCH using the individual drawings set to code. View the project here. or below.
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
Aliens are a truly magical subject for artmaking. They allow the student artist to be creative in it's design by breaking rules of figure drawing, color, and form while also providing the necessary benefit of forgiveness since an alien doesn't have to be drawn realistically. Here are two ideas that extend an alien drawing digitally incorporating music and animation: Idea one: aliens on instruments & Idea two: alien beatboxing.
Idea one: Aliens on Instruments
I began designing an animation challenge for my students after a large dose of inspiration from the animator, musician, and illustrator, Andy Martin. This project would include aliens, repetitive movement, and instruments. If kids can manage this project we'll finally be able to get the band back together! Seriously, students could each contribute a creature to a group animation movie set to music that demonstrates an understanding of flipbook animation, movement, sound, and creative figure drawing.
To animate an alien playing an instrument I created layers that helped isolate the moving and non-moving parts using the Do Ink Animation and Drawing app.
1. I drew the alien head, body, and legs.
(hint: lock the layer when finished so you don't accidentally change or erase it when animating)
2. I drew the alien's instrument then locked it.
3. I drew the arms that played the instrument, copied the slide, erased, and redrew to show movement.
Performance: Lenny and the Leonids
Listen to my favorite alien band's first hit below composed in garageband, animation in DoInk, and edited in iMovie.
Idea Two: Alien Beatboxing
I designed four more aliens in an attempt to try beatboxing. This idea requires that each alien moves its mouth in some way to match the sound it creates.
I used the DoInk drawing and animation app again to make my alien designs move their "mouths" to express their sound. I kept it very simple so that I could generalize the concept later when I layered the music in. Below is a test run of each flipbook design in composition mode. I had to adjust each alien's flipbook motions so they weren't moving their mouths too fast. Later I learn that this was pretty important for matching the mouth with the sound later. But, this was my first time, so I tried to time it better in the movie editing stage.
Next, I pulled out my laptop version of Garageband and tried to make a sound for each creature while keeping a steady beat. I had lots of trouble blending my sounds, getting the timing right, and figuring out effects. What I ended up doing was putting on headphones, laying down a drum beat as one track (which I later deleted), and matching the beat with my new sound recorded to another track. That helped me keep the beat better. I labeled each track by creature color to help me keep track of what's what when I did my final animation. I tried to match the DoInk composition timeline to the garageband timeline as exactly as I could. Luckily both interfaces allow you to look at fractions of seconds so you can bring in the creature at the same time the audio begins.
Below is each alien animation timed with their beatbox sound. Next, to put it all together into one composition using the DoInk animation, garageband sound track, and iMovie.
Performance: Alien Beatboxing
Below is the Dance my 7 alien friends choregraphed quickly. I was able to capture it using Keynote and iMovie with the song they chose from incompetech.com.
Resources: Video and handouts
Andy Martin and his planet animations are the inspiration for animation challenge. There are twelve planets to explore with different creatures on each. Planet one's aliens make music with their voices as they gather. This idea would be fun to explore as well.
Bonus! Alien Remake of a Fugleflick
I used a guitar playing alien and two of his duplicates to recreate a old fugleflick appropriately called, Deep Space. This fugleflick attempts to explain how to create the illusion of space in a 2D place with foreground, middle ground, background, and overlapping. The song was performed by three 3rd graders many years ago. View their movie here. You'll probably notice the moving lips in this video. I recorded my mouth moving to the words and masked them into the video using the Do Ink Green Screen app. The whole movie was created using both the Do Ink animation app and the Green Screen app. I lined it up with the music from the original song using iMovie. View the results here.
Take the Deep Space Quiz
using edpuzzle (found via NICE MiniCon session by Shannon Schroeder-Thanks!)
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.