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).
Painting Annie reminded me how fun making physical art can be, so I put down my stylus (from the #keynotedrawingchallenge) and picked up my paintbrush to make some more. My next painting is this lovely couple, Do-Dad & Alumi-Mum.
I wanted my next robot to be multifunctional, like early version of an iPhone. It should have a radio, TV, turn table, equalizer, and a telephone all built into one. Meet; Polly. her eyes are AM/FM dials. Her mouth is the speaker for all her integrated gadgets. The telly is in her belly and it happens to have Annie Log on the screen (what?). Her arm becomes the needle of the record player that emerges from the slot next to the jukebox-like selections. There is no dial for the phone since you can just ask Polly to place a call.
I have a TON of robot inspired lessons on my blog. A quick search of "robot" gave me a well over a dozen results. But, I pulled out and linked to the lessons below that would best match the concepts covered above. Click on the photos below to explore.
I have a blog post about using the Brushes app to make a very simple animated GIF from a digital picture of artwork. I played with this idea using many different subjects however animating robots is the easiest since they can have so many moveable, blinking, or flashing parts. Here is the post and below are more examples.
A group of young engineers, computer programers, and artists gathered in the art room during lunch recesses for a couple months to see what they could make using a Hyperduino, old computer, some cardboard, LEDs, touch pads, and creativity. The results of the collaboration is called a Fugleflick Art Bot. It is an interactive art piece that plays 5 different student-created, art-related movies when you touch a button on the computer screen in its belly with audio coming through the speaker (mouth). The lights are on a circuit made from copper wire and batteries connected to two LED lights behind 3-D glasses. The switch is built into the nose.
Below is a series of photos taken during the creation process. Since we were making discoveries, problem-solving, and working with limited resources, our design changed as we progressed. You'll see the original sketch was for an iPad in the robot belly but then we learned that the hyperduino needed to run in a browser. So, we adapted. The group also changed as we added artists after the engineers wired up the robot. They helped make the robot have a unified design with balanced colors with a brass brad motif.
We created a youtube playlist for the Fugleflick bot. You can explore the five Fugleflick movies that it is programed to play here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLS4LIonCAPBfr0enREOu6HH9BQPf6JaGf
Explore all our Fugleflicks here.
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.
Process: designing the robot
Crowdsourcing solutions: using twitter
It was at this point that I realized I could ruin everything if I'm not careful about my approach in painting the robot. So, I composed the following tweet and collage asking followers and anyone who sees what I should do next so the cardboard doesn't curl up.
Here are some of the responses I received; lots of great advice.
Painting the Robot: disassemble, paint, press
Complete: B-Rad Fastener the LoveBot
Create an advertisement using graphic design techniques to explain the marvels of your creation.
As I was making my robot, I kept thinking about his cool gadgets and what they can do. This is my chance to fully explain B-Rad's coolness to the whole universe.
Create an animation using iMotion app
Show off your robot's moveable parts in a stop-motion animation. Notice the spinning eyes, moving gauge, peeking door, flipping feet, and flapping arms. (Oops, I should have included the blinking light)
So, if you've been following my posts lately you would notice that I've been working on an idea to incorporate paper circuits into an art-making experience for my students.
See my post where I discovered how to make a circuit & dreamt of a light up robot.
See my post where I made my prototype for a light up robot.
Now, watch my step-by-step video where I try to explain the process here or below.
Our students finally had a chance to make light up robots. View the movies below of students lighting up their robots and clickhere to view the gallery on Artsonia here.
My experimental video featuring Adam the Doodles Man, his dog Rover, and one of my animated robots made in DoInk Animation app was chosen as a finalist in this contest: http://designideas.net/adam/AdamContestEntries/Default.aspx
Please take a second to vote- it's super easy and there is no registration.
The video was edited in the Funimate App with footage from layering stop-motion animation and drawn animation in the DoInk Green Screen app. Learn more about these robot animations here: http://drydenart.weebly.com/fugleblog/animated-robots
The robot above was inspired by my little neighbor's robot t-shirt. We talked about the moving parts in the design and what should flash, light up, and spin. It was a challenge that I couldn't wait to try. He said the eyes should move and lights on the belly light up, the lever should go up and down, and electricity should come out of his head. I added some gears that turn, a moving gage, animated teeth, and growing/flashing lights.
This video was made by combining stop motion animation of wire figures and drawn animation created in DoInk animation app. I layered both together in the DoInk Green Screen app and put FXs on the footage using Funimate App.
I've been playing with ways to make a switch or button on my paper circuit artwork appear more integrated and purposeful. The robot I originally played with had a momentary button that I designed over the battery into the belly of the robot. See it here. The button also worked as the mechanism that closed the circuit. This time I bought a button online that was spliced into the circuit and not necessarily near the battery. This meant the connection to the battery was fixed and pushing the button (with a satisfying click noise) completed the circuit. I've been playing with ideas in preparation for the fall since I finally received the Donors Choose grant for supplies to try this with my students.
Shout out to Journal Fodder Junkies and their 15 minute for 30 days sketchbook challenge #JFJ15for30. Today's challenge was for paper cut outs of windows and doors. It forced me to think differently about how to add more interaction to the paper robot with the eyes and helped me invent a way to hide the button in the belly. Thank you!!
See my previous posts on paper circuits:
and my "how to" video:
I've been learning about ways to add more science to my art projects via conferences, Edcamp Chicago, Twitter, the Art of Tinkering book, and of course having a husband who is a high school science teacher helps. I decided to try creating an art and science lesson using paper circuits as a first step. The plan (see this blog post were I drew out the plan and animated what I hoped would be the results here) is to have students design and paint a robot, make a circuit with copper tape, LEDs, and batteries on the back that lead to a flap in the front that will complete the circuit.
I submitted the plan as a project on Donor's Choose. So, if you would like to in pitch a few bucks to help us get a chance to make these use this link. (Thanks for considering!)
UPDATE: view my tutorial here
During the last school year or so I've been seeing many examples of tinkering, maker spaces, and other science infused projects showcased at conferences and online. I'm very interested in trying to find project ideas that are a good fit for my 45 minute elementary art classes, will not compromise the art-making experience, and embed science concepts. I've lots of ideas but one place I want to begin is with paper circuits. See this resource.
I hacked into an old LED flashlight, grabbed some copper wire and tried to learn about making a very simple circuit. It is very exciting to see the LED light up after making all the right connections. My next task was to think about the art that this LED could light up.
UPDATE: see my light up paper circuit robot painting! http://drydenart.weebly.com/fugleblog/light-up-robots-with-paper-circuits
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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