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.
Last year my fifth graders made collaborative rotoscope animations that we put into flipbookit.com mutoscopes. It was pretty amazing to see digital art become physical through this fun viewer. See the post with all the how tos here. Below is the display I set up this school year showcasing their flipbookits. I used this display to introduce the concept to my 4th graders.
I want to do a rotoscope movie making lesson with my 4th graders so we tried a collaborative rotoscope as a practice round. Each student was assigned one frame of a video to draw a contour line drawing over. They used the Do Ink drawing app this time since it will be the tool for their real animation. This picture shows them in action.
The animation was uploaded to the flipbookit site to be fitted for their mutoscope.
..and other Individual Rotoscope Animation Ideas
One of the super cool things about Do Ink Animation and Drawing app is that you can pull in photos or videos and draw over them. Drawing over each frame of a video is a technique called Rotoscope Animation. You probably have seen this technique in the famous music video from the 80's A-Ha's Take Me On. I also LOVE this music video and song by Andrew Huang, Every Night I Dream of Dancing, which is a rotoscope collaboration using 30 artists crowdsourced through the internet.
I tried many ways to instruct my students to create rotoscope animations collaboratively, but I've yet to have them create their own...until now. I think I've come up with some ideas that can make this project manageable for very little people.
Plan One: 1 second loops
Tutorial for Rotoscoping in Do Ink app
Plan Two: Color the Loop
Plan Three: Add Rotating Mandalas
I began a new drawing (still in the Do Ink Animation app) and chose a fill and border color, and dragged out a shape to fill the screen. Then I added line or/and shape pattern.
I made two of these patterned mandalas so that I could rotate them behind my rotoscope in opposing directions. The centers won't show much, so I focus the design on the edges.
Plan four: Dancing Sketches
Since the rotoscope animation has a built in transparency (the background is empty and see through) while it remains in the app, you could use this to create some very cool effects. One idea I've been playing with is to layer the rotoscope line drawing animation over a sheet of notebook or sketchbook paper. Since my drawing looks like it was made using a sharpie marker, I try to enhance that illusion by either leaving a marker on the notebook when I take the still image, or write with a sharpie marker alongside the animation. Below is my first rotoscope done this way, "How to Whip."
Did you see the video of the kids showing up at the end? That was an added step using the green screen app by Do Ink. I exported my sketbookbook video and put it in the green screen app and layered on the original green screen video, lined them up with the drawings. The only problem is that GS app limits you to three layers. I needed 4. So I "flattened" the video effect when I had two kids in place by exporting it. Then brought it back in to a new project and finished the third child's effect.
More Advanced ideas: animated sketchnotes
Mini Digital Stories:
My collaborative Rotoscope Projects:
In 2012, my 5th grade students did a collaborative rotoscope animation project with every one of my 100 students drawing over 330 frames of video pieced back together to make the animation shown in the video below. We entered it into the McGraw-Hill STEMie national online contest and won the $5000 second place prize. This money became the seed money for our 1:1 iPad art room. As you can see from the post, the process was very complicated on my end since there wasn't an iPad app (yet) that allowed students to work over video. We filmed a video then ran it through a program (mpeg streamclip) to break it down frame by frame. Students were assigned frames, pulled it into their iPad from the dropbox, drew over it in Brushes app, turned it back into the dropbox with a number that placed it back into the sequence. I pieced it all back together on my computer using a gif maker to turn it into video. They explain below:
This past school year, I tried a different kind of collaborative rotoscope animation with my 5th graders: a rotoscope in a mutoscope (digital art made physical). This time we made 4 small videos (one per class) that would loop nicely into a hand cranked mutoscope kit by Flipbookit.com. These turned out to be very cool. The work again, fell mostly on me. I had to purchase and assemble the kit, prep the video through their online tool, print the images onto labels, and stick them on flip cards. The students each made one frame of the rotoscope, so they finished in one class period. I love the results, but the kit costs over $40, so students don't get to keep their work individually. However, they do have their still image posted on Artsonia with links to their video.
Want a high tech option?
We now have a class set of iPads available so I designed a lesson to try an iPad Rotoscope Animation collaboration. It's the same idea but no need for transparencies, scanning, or printing. Everything is organized and created digitally. Explore it here.
I have done a presentation called Creative Digital Projects that turn Stem to STEAM at three conferences over the past couple of years. These 45-50 minute presentations include a bizillion ideas in a media packed keynote file that I have trouble sharing online. However I did create a condensed version of the presentation for the AOE Online Conference last summer. The presentation has been behind a pay wall for one year and can finally come out for public consumption now. The following lessons are shared in the video below. Learn more from my links. Also, see Wes Fryer's review of my live presentation at the Illinois Computer Educator's Conference here.
Not Christina's World Anymore
(art, writing, Photography, technology)
Blog post of resources
Download lesson plan
Tip: Use the Superimpose app to eliminate the green screen. See my tutorial.
The Digital Scream
(art, storytelling, photography, drama, technology)
Blog post of resources
Students' painted examples
Students' digital examples
Spooky Scream video
Download your custom
photo booth-your face in the scream
Tip: Use the Superimpose app to eliminate the green screen. See my tutorial.
Cat in a Hat-ify Yourself
(Reading, Dr. Seuss, graphic design, technology)
Custom Photo Booth Effect to Cat-in-a-Hat-ify yourself
Directions and resources for iPad Bookmarks
Cat-in-a-hat-ified Book Covers
Cat in a Hat-ified Art Project
Students' Cat in a Hat Art on PBS TV
American Gothic Spoof
(storytelling, great depression, juxtapose, spoof)
Interactive American Gothic lesson and tutorial
Blog post with lesson resources
American Gothic Spoof (edited SNL skit)
American Gothic Spoof-o-matic resources
Student American Gothic Spoof examples
Download the American Gothic Custom Photo Booth FX
(writing, graphic design, technology)
Resources for making these on iPads
Students' iPad examples
Student examples made on using photoshop and keynote
6 Words About Me
(writing, poetry, technology)
Blog post with resources
Monochromatic Painting Blog post
Download the 3/4 portrait PPT lesson
Monochromatic Fugleflick (music video to teach concept)
Tech w/ George Washington
Blog post with resources
Even more fun with George and Tech
Facing the facts: history and art
Download my PPT lesson plan
(character education, graphic design, drama)
iPad directions and resources with video tutorial
Keynote directions and resources with video tutorial
Download the art/character education lesson
Eat Your Veggies
(healthy choices, acting, technology, literacy)
Blog post with resources and tutorial video
Eat Your Veggies video
Download my Digital Lima Bean Monster lesson
Download our interactive Lima Bean Monster eBook
Surreal Healthy Choices
(graphic design, healthy choices, surrealism)
Blog post with lesson resources and video
Students' digital spoofs of Son of Man
Students' painted Son of Man portraits
Supplement with Connect a Concept game where students use their social skills and knowledge of art concepts to make connections
(animation, figure drawing, technology, storytelling)
(screenshots from movie)
Class movies of Alien Invasions
Original lesson blog post with resources and tutorial
Download my lesson plan here
Notes from my Rotoscoping project
Our very silent movie
View our (cute) Fugleflick about contour line drawing
UPDATE: NEW SONG RECORDED TO INSPIRE YOU TO VOTE:)
As many of you may already know, Dryden has a project, Rotoscope Animation on iPads, in the running for $15,000 on the McGraw-Hill STEMie Awards. That would buy a lot of iPad for our students! Please help us with your vote. You have to login first with an email then vote. That's all! Thanks so much to all the Tweeple that have been helping to spread the word! See below:
Last Spring Dryden's 5th graders created a collaborative rotoscoped animation on the iPads. It turned out to be so cool that we documented the process and entered it into the McGraw-Hill STEMie Award contest as a Technology and Art project.
Out of the 158 video projects submitted from across the country, they chose 30 finalists. Our Rotoscope Animation on iPads project is one of these finalists.
The next step is a voting round. 30% of our score is determined by voting.
We have until noon on Sept. 19th to get as many people as possible to create a login and submit their vote for our movie. You can only vote once, so please spread the word!
As part of the application process I filled out essays, sent out and collected permission slips, and proposed a plan for how we would use the $15,000 first place award if we won. On this point I wrote that I would like to see the money go towards iPads.
I know that Dryden has iPads, but the teachers do not. Adding new iPads to our collection means that as the iPads rotate through the grade levels each classroom would still have access to one iPad. The one iPad classroom is still a wonderful thing for engagement, quick research, collaboration, and planning.
So, all the kids will win if we win this contest! Please vote and pass this on.
I'm gearing up for the school year by collecting my resources and making them easily available for anyone who wants to learn some of my tips for how to create on the iPad. There are tons of apps in the app store, but I tried to limit my ideas to only a few so that we can work with what we have on our school iPads while I explore other apps and begin writing grants to get them in the future. (100 ipads=$$ for each app purchase) so I'm trying to keep it simple. Below is a screen shot of the new page I added to my website. Visit it here. There are links leading to resources, videos, tutorials, and files that you can download from your iPad and get started playing right away.
I was asked today by Melissa, art teacher in a Cincinnati Jr. High, to relay my experience rotoscoping with my 5th graders on iPads.
I had mapped out a plan a long while back as to how I was going to approach this lesson and found that I did made some modifications along the way.
1. Students created a short video (Learned that adding transitions like fading out doesn't translate well when student did a contour line drawing-skip that next time)
2. Convert the video to jpgs (try using MPEG Stream Clip (free download) Here is my screencast showing you how to do this.
3. Dropped the images into Dropbox (They were all 001-335 already so everything was in order)
4. Assigning images to students (I was taking too much time with this process. I should have just written the image numbers on tickets and have a bucket for them to grab from. Then later when I needed to reject an image, which I did many times on my quality control checks, I would just put the number back into the bucket)
5. Import into layer in Brushes (yes----but they draw in a layer over the photo then hide the photo under the white layer before the turn it in. If they followed directions then it worked. If they drew on the photo layer. they wasted their class time. UGH!)
6. Uniform protocol (We all chose solid black lines size 3, full opacity and decided how to deal with difficult parts of the video together)
7. Turned back the art via email (They wrote their name and image number under the drawing in digital ink in Brushes and used the Subject line of the email to tell me again their name and image number)
8.Collect the images (I grabbed the images from email and renamed them by number and artist ie, "007jessica" Everything neatly stacked up in the folder. So I dropped them all into imovie with .2sec no effects and made the movie. It was too slow at first. So I exported it-reimported it and used the speed adjustments to make it faster. I tried gifninja to make an animation of some in-progress images.
9. Tweak and turn in (we were able to submit it to Rotoball 12 after we cropped it to 15 seconds and added the ball in and ball out as required)
For more information see the post that has all the links for this project here.
Below is our amazing collaborative ipad generated original Rotoscoped animation by 5th graders!
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.