5th graders have been studying the magical animations of Evan Hilton to try to understand how they are made. We looked frame by frame at his ideas and a couple ideas from Andy Martin that used clay and other objects in a progression of stages to make things melt, shrink, grow, change, and other magical things. I gave my students these think sheets to help them make a plan for an animation using objects from the art room and model magic clay. Each student will be the director of their short stop-motion animation so, they have to be able to clearly communicate their vision to their animators and photographer when it's their turn to make the magic happen.
Results: students' illusions
Feedback from our inspiration:
Finished Clay Sculptures: view on Artsonia
Digital Extension: March of the Penguins
Students are going to use stop motion animation to make it look like their penguins can waddle around. (fingers crossed!)
The WRAP-UP movie:
This movie features all four groups of stop motion animations and some behind the scenes peeks at how these adorable penguins were created.
I had the privilege of leading an iPad workshop with art teachers, technology specialists, and administrators using the lessons I've developed for my students at Dryden. I love knowing that the things we are doing in our art room can influence and maybe inspire other young artists and their teachers. I taught from my growing collection of 222+ STEAM art lessons found here. You download my presentation. When you see numbers next to a lesson it refers back to the number in my STEAM art lessons collection where you will find resources, student examples, tutorials, and/or handouts.
Digital Carpet Painting:
Before you can go on a magic carpet ride like Aladdin, you need your digital carpet painting in perspective so that you can view it from the side so you can climb aboard. I added my painting into the superimpose app over a plain color background. I found the tool mode for the foreground layer and chose perspective (the default). The configuration needed could be pulled and stretched by grabbing the handles on the image or you can chose a pre-created configuration at the bottom of the screen. I chose the one all the way on the right. Then, chose the checkmark to apply.
Fly on carpet (using still images)
This simple method will get your students up and flying without animating a background. They could pose as if they are riding their magic carpet paintings, use the superimpose app to layer their photo onto the carpet, and take it for a ride using the Do Ink Animation app over a background photo (like clouds). This would also create a fun still image for students' Artsonia gallery.
Moving Background Video:
One really fun way to extend this lesson into geographic/cultural studies is to have each student draw a landmark that they could fly over: Eiffel Tower, Big Ben, Statue of Liberty, Mt. Rushmore, The Pyramids, Great Wall of China, Stonehenge Grand Canyon, Red Woods, Golden Gate Bridge, Taj Mahal, Hohenzollern Castle, The Leaning Tower of Pisa, etc. See this list of 15o famous landmarks.
Film the Green Screen:
Paper Cut Version:
BACKGROUND: This version of the magic carpet ride lesson includes a paper cut landscape that shows foreground, middle ground, background in paper pieces. These will be animated traveling across the field of view through stop motion animation. It would be a great opportunity for students to show an understanding of foreground, middle ground, and background in the pieces they create and how they animate the scene.
GROUP ANIMATION: I'm thinking that the background animation would be a group project. Each group would work on designing, drawing, cutting, and animating their landmark landscape. Each student would make their own magic carpet video of themselves flying over their group landmark landscape. Therefore, the class compilation video will only have six backgrounds but 24 videos.
MAGIC CARPET MADE FROM PAPER: A digital magic carpet wouldn't look right with a paper cut background. So, they would need to make a paper carpet in perspective. This is a great opportunity to teach students about a vanishing point, converging lines, and how pattern would be small in the back and large in the front (relative size).
Since you are not going to use stop motion for the carpet, I just took a digital picture of the paper drawing and erased the background in the Superimpose app. It needs to be digital for the green screen effect where a student rides the carpet.
Student Results: view the paintings on Artsonia
Finished: Riding over Landmarks
This link takes you to a travel website featuring 150 famous landmarks. Every student can feature a different landmark in the background video/animation. This would make the class video even more exciting as they fly over scenes from around the world.
View this safeshare.TV link of the "Whole New World" scene from Aladdin.
Update: SchoolArts Magazine Article
I wrote up this lesson for the March 2019 Edition of School Arts Magazine. View it here.
Connections: Kinetic Art & Automations
Thanks to Caren Long for sharing this movie. See her post and how she plans to make Whirligigs with her students HERE.
Make a Whirly-bird: plan
The challenge is to make a bird from cardboard that has moveable parts. There is a clear connection between drawing a bird and designing a whirly-bird since you just have to break everything down into shapes: head, beak, eye, legs, body, wings, tail. Each shape can be a piece to add back to the whole bird with brads instead of glue. The brads keep the pieces of the bird moveable like a whirligig. However, this whirligig isn't going to be able to move with the wind. It will move through the magic of stop-motion animation.
Since I work with 100 students in each grade level, I have to figure out a way to manage resources and materials efficiently. This guide (below) can be printed on 8.5'x11" paper to help students make good choices for size, shape, and placement of holes/brads. This may help avoid mistakes from misplaced holes, working too small, or wasting valuable space on their cardboard sheet. I will encourage students to create their own designs and not use my sheet as a tracer so I will need to provide extra cardboard for their ideas.
Build a Whirly-bird: lay out and attach
Paint: prime, balance color, add pattern
Assemble & test: add brads & try it out
Whirly-bird ideas: dance & weathervane
I wrote a post about using this app for a collaborative dance video. It's very similar, so it can help you through the steps of using Do Ink, layering video, and organizing files.
This project would teach SO many concepts: silhouette, landscape, atmospheric effects, monochromatic, size, movement, pattern, balance, stop motion animation, and layering. I have a post and tutorial for creating a digital appalachian mountain landscape here.
This same concept translates well as an insect too. If students made a whirlygig insect then the lesson can have a science component to learn about the parts of an insect as they build. No, that's not a tail-it's a stinger. Sorry for the confusion.
See the finished STILL image gallery
Working on Stop Motion Animation
Our finished stop motion animations needed a way to be shared collectively and into a class movie. Some classes might have enough time to put their whirligig into a frame with a layered project in the Do Ink green screen app. We would put the animation in the background layer, a room with frame in the middle ground (using green inside the frame), and a green screen video of the artist with smock and brush in hand on the foreground layer. Here is what it would look like:
When I had students come before the green screen for their artist video, I wondered how to inspire them to come up with a quick movement or response for the camera. Well, I was all wrong about them needing encouragement. They jumped in front of the camera and gave me the silliest and most expressive videos I've ever seen.
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)
A little tiny hand written chapter book by second grader Sofia was presented to me (Mrs. Fuglestad) one day in early February. I LOVED it. It was so full of visual imagery and imagination that I thought it would be the perfect story to try to animate with a technique I've seen but never tried, paper cut stop motion. I talked to Sofia and she recruited Lindsay to meet with me during lunch recess to design, color, cut, animate, narrate, and edit this fanciful story. After 6 weeks we are happy to present, Strange Magic below or here.
I set out a set of supplies for each table to create these snowmen in a progression.
Class Movie with all the finished animations:
Resources: Behind the scenes of plasticine rhythm
Other ideas for progression animations:
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.