Art of Animation resource page
Preparing for the online session
Hopefully, by the time you read this, your package of animation materials from Zart Art has reached you (or isn't far off).
As we mentioned on the event page, to actively participate in the session you'll need a tablet (iPad or other) and Stop Motion Studio app. You can use your smart phone in a pinch if you don't have a tablet.
Please note we are getting the free version, not the paid version of Stop Motion Studio.
Please download the app ahead of time and ensure it's working on your device.
We're not going to tell you not to open your package from Zart Art when it arrives (I mean, who could resist?) however we will ask you to please hang onto the cardboard box!
Before or on the day you can cut out the top and one of the front panels to create your own animation station.
Don’t forget to bring a roll of aluminium foil to use with the Zart materials to help build your animated characters. A bigger cardboard box may be useful too – it’ll give you more room to move your characters around ‘on set’.
Zart Art have also generously offered 15% off orders of these materials until 23/4/2021. You'll find all the materials listed here. The promo code to use upon checkout is: ZACMI21
Making a stand
As in an actual stand, not standing up against something (although we encourage that too).
To animate properly it's essential your tablet stays upright (well, upright-ish, a slight lean is OK) and still. We'll also want to animate landscape (16:9) not portrait.
You may have to put together a DIY stand before the session. The video below has some nifty suggestions. Lego/Duplo we find works particularly well as you can get a nice vertical position going, with the option of changing to experiment with angles with your device.
Here is Dee Zabel from Zart Art's incredible resource for character creation, material use and animation
If you haven't received animation resources from Zart Art, don't worry you can still participate, however, it will be more rewarding if you can rustle up the following materials and equipment yourself:
Plasticine / modelling clay. If you don't have time to source, something malleable like putty, or loads of blu-tac might suffice to make a small clay-less claymation character. Otherwise, find a figurine you can use on the day and perhaps design over with materials in some way.
Cardboard box (medium to large size)
Coloured pencils or textas
Satay sticks or matchsticks
Wire (even an old coat-hanger will work)
Frame rate activities
Watch Dee Zabel from Zart Art's detailed video on set design, character creation, and materials.
Here's a PDF copy of the presentation for reference:
Up until 2019 ACMI ran an annual film, game and animation competition for Australian school students.
Unfortunately 'Screen It' is no longer, but we still have a wealth of student works to help inspire students in their animation endeavours.
When it comes time to tackling an animation unit in your classroom, feel free to use these examples for students to watch and 'analyse'.
When we say analyse, it can be as simple as students discussing what the filmmakers/animators did well, what stood out about each animation, what was interesting etc.
The school in question Yarraville Primary produced so many wonderful animations over the years for Screen It, and their incredible sets, well constructed characters, and camera work was always top notch. Notice how characters are in focus and background is out of focus like a normal film? This is because they took time to adjust the focus of their camera, and they always put incredible effort into their sets.
You won't notice much if any flickering light, this is because they blacked out the windows and used special lights to create their own animation studio.
My Cat Has Issues
This one is a favourite of ours. It has a simple yet engaging story, and Kelvin the Cat's slight movements suit his personality. Notice that we never see Kelvin walk? Totally fine! He is expressive in other ways. We can only assume the animator and filmmakers on this one decided they would design Kelvin to just suit his character, and that they would just move his ears, head, and tail (and eyes) and leave it at that.
A great example of how you can use non-clay materials to produce wonderful stop-motion animation characters. Encourage students to experiment with different materials along with clay.