4th graders are embarking on a project I've been wanting to try to for a couple of years. We are going to do collaborative lip sync rotoscope animated movies. Each class of 4th grade will make a patriotic movie using their artwork and voice. Together their words or phrases will be edited together to recite the preamble of the constitution, the pledge of allegiance, and the ending of The Colossus poem on the State of Liberty.
1. Assign parts
I went through each of the patriotic themed pieces and broke it into enough "parts" that each student could contribute one word or phrase. I wanted each part to be only 1 second of video if possible. This would keep the number of drawings somewhere between 5-8.
The week before we draw the rotoscope, we record video of each student speaking their part into the camera. I used an iRig microphone to help get better audio. Since audio really counts for this project, I needed to ask all the students for full cooperation. I gave them paper and monster packets to draw from as they waited for their classmates to be recorded.
I set up each video with a tight close up so that students could easily draw their face and the changes in their expression and mouth as they say their word or phrase. I use the iOgrapher tripod mount for my iPad so that I would have steady footage.
3. Prep the footage
I always leave a bit of lead and end time when I film so that no words are cut off. This means that the footage I took of the students needs trimming. After I transfer my files to my desktop (via dropbox or google drive app) I pull up each clip in quicktime, trim, and rename the file to "number_phrase_studentName". This puts all the files in order which will help for future editing.
4. Prep for Rotoscoping
This handout helps students get their video imported into the Do Ink Animation app to the correct layer, add some transparency, get a small frame rate, adjust ghost images (I find them distracting in this project so I turned them off), and set up the brush tool.
5. Contour Line Drawing
Students will be lead through the first drawing so I can share my recommendations for how to draw the features of the face in a simple but accurate way. This contour line drawing lesson will help them get into a good pattern of attention to detail and accuracy.
6. Putting it all together
4-1 and 4-2 The Preamble of the Constitution
4-4 Pledge of Allegiance Lip Sync
This video introduces the idea of contour line drawings.
This Rotoscope video will inspire your students.
Contour line drawing extension:
The students uploaded their favorite single still image from their rotoscope animation to Artsonia. This gallery description lead viewers (parents) to links to their movies. The image was drawn fast and without much art instruction since the focus of our class time was creating a series of drawings to make the rotoscope animation. Eventually, I would like students to spend some time working with their portrait drawing to take it to the next level using Colorscape app. This app will allow them to improve on their drawings and color the art without disturbing the black lines.
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