Second graders are creating their self-portraits while learning to map and measure their faces to draw the features of their face in proportion.
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.
I just started playing with the apps that I learned about during ISTE18 in Chicago. One that I'm really drawn to is an updated version of an old Apple app, Keynote. As of spring I learned from @karlyb that keynote had added a drawing feature to their iPad app. As I was searching this topic on twitter I found Mrs. Kellenberger's twitter feed showing student drawings like this one made using Keynote. She shared her tutorial that she made for her students (below) demonstrating a contour line drawing over a photo.
Learning to draw realistically:
The sketches were SO amazing that I photographed them (applied a high contrast filter to make them purely black and white) and uploaded them to Artsonia. We will start painting these next. View the gallery of sketches here.
Finished paintings are in our Artsonia gallery here.
Learn about George Washington:
While students are learning to draw George Washington, it's a great time to learn about who he was. Below are links to some of the resources we use.
This George Washington Portrait lends itself nicely to a bunch of digital extensions.
Students learned about masking and layers as they replaced their portrait face with their own using the Green Screen App by Do Ink. View the gallery here.
Students used my custom photo booth effect to talk through George Washington's portrait and share a fact about him they learned while creating his portraitto make this.
Try animating the expression on your George Washington Portrait. See this post to find out how you can do this using a free app Brushes Redux and Ezgif.com to make a GIF.
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.
My second graders had two very different portrait experiences this year. First they learned all the rules for creating a REALISTIC self-portrait with features drawn in the correct places with correct proportions. We carefully measured and studied the face to make these beautiful winter self portraits. View the gallery of finished work here.
Then, these same students were given cardboard, foam board, puzzle pieces, and odds and ends. They were shown examples from this School Arts article by Donna Staten and images of Picasso's cubist portraits. They were then told to go ahead and break all the rules to make ABSTRACT portraits. See the growing gallery here.
UPDATE: I tried adding the concept of paper circuits to a canvas painting. In this light up interactive painting there is no "button" to close the circuit. Instead there is a spring behind the painting over the cell battery. When you find and press the "sweet spot" the circuit is complete and the LED lights up the engagement ring.
You can view my other posts on paper circuits here:
Paper Circuits add STEAM to Learning
Light Up Robots with Paper Circuits
How to Make a Light up Robot
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
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