Let's get animated resource
Types of animation
If pairs or small groups can work on computers, download either the Keynote (Mac) or Powerpoint (Windows) worksheet.
There are three different animation types listed, stop-motion animation, hand-drawn traditional animation, and computer animation. Students can research the animation types, categorise the examples provided and find more examples online and add images and GIFs to their worksheet.
There is also a PDF that can be printed out, with examples to categorise. Students can also add the titles or even drawings of other examples they know of.
Teachers: here are some famous examples of each you can have up your sleeve:
Stop motion animation
- Claymation (Wallace and Gromit, Pingu, Shaun the Sheep)
- Using objects and toys like Lego (lots of fan-made ones on YouTube)
Traditional animation (hand-drawn)
- Pre-2000's Disney, so the original The Lion King, Cinderella, Mulan, The Little Mermaid.
- Many of these were cel-animations, and there are the old Looney Tunes and Blinky Bill cartoons. So static backgrounds were illustrated, with moving characters and objects animated on cellulose acetate sheets that were transparent, placed on top.
- Studio Ghibli films like Ponyo, My Neighbour Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle.
- Won't be hard for them to think of examples! But would be interesting if they know that many 2D animations are made on computers these days, including The Simpsons and Bluey.
What do you know about animation?
Your class might have varying experiences of animation, some may have made an animation, some not. But we expect they all have seen an animation sometime in their life, so they will know something!
- Get students into groups, mixed experience or knowledge if animation amongst the groups is fine.
- Ask them to brainstorm everything they know about making an animation. This could range from the equipment they’d need, what things they could animate with, the process of making an animation, techniques tips and tricks they might know.
Bring the class back as a whole and complete one super whole-class brainstorm where they collate all their knowledge. Please take a photo of the brainstorm or hang onto it if it's a poster to share during the virtual lesson.
Preparing for the lesson
Acknowledgement of country
At the start of each lesson, ACMI Educators acknowledgement the traditional custodians of the land we're on.
We encourage participating schools to acknowledge the land they are on. This could come in the form of a proper acknowledgement, or by letting ACMI Educators know the land your school is on.
Find out more about acknowledgements and view the Traditional Owners map on the Aboriginal Victoria website.
Immediately after the lesson, ask students to individually answer or discuss in groups:
Something they learnt
Something they already knew
Something they found surprising
The first thing you can try out is moving objects and characters and getting a feel more how large or small certain movements should be.
All animation software has ‘onion-skinning’ and this just means you can tell the app or the program to show you what the camera sees, and this ghost image of the last frame you shot. This helps you judge the next movement and whether it’s too small or too big. You can adjust the strength of onion skinning in Stop Motion Studio, but we recommend leaving it around the halfway mark.
When you’re starting out, we recommend starting your projects at 12 frames per second, so each time you capture a photo, that’s 1/12th of a second.
In Stop Motion Studio, find the settings icon, and then adjust the slider to 12 frames per second.
Select the 'speedometre icon' and move the slider to 12 frames per second.
Try out this activity
Set up a project at 12 frames per second.
Get an object or a character and have it move or walk across from one edge of your camera frame to the other.
It's important the camera device stays steady and still, so if you have a stand to keep the device steady, use it!
Playback and assess if it felt right, and try again if you felt it moved too fast or too slow for a walk.
Do it again and this time have the character or object run or speed past. Playback and assess.
Try having your character or object go from being still, to running, and stopping again. So accelerate, and then de-accelerate. Playback and assess.
Remember us talking about how you can animate people, and have them do impossible things?
Here are a few challenges. Get into a small group of three (can do in a pair if you like).
Using the Stop Motion Studio app, try out these challenges. If you don't have a tripod or stand, you might have to try and hold the camera device as steady as possible
Use your friend like a skateboard (but be sensible of course, being careful about putting pressure on someone's back/spine!)
See if you can levitate for two seconds (so get someone to jump in the air, and capture frames when they're off the ground - repeat)
Have a quick go-kart race using just your bodies
Your own idea: think about an action or a way of someone moving that's possible with stop-motion animation
Wanting to delve deeper into the history of animation and stop-motion animation?
We've two learning resources to help.