Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Stop Motion Animation for Kids: Little Horse that is Walking

Cartooning is one of the elements of the Girl Scout Entertainment Technology badge for Juniors. This is why Will built her thaumotrope, and why she spent one happy morning creating this tiny little masterpiece of stop motion animation:

Both kids have played with stop motion animation their entire lives at one hands-on science museum or the other (off the top of my head, I could give you a list of the exhibits that seemingly EVERY hands-on science museum owns: stop motion animation station, fog tornado, giant bubble making, coin funnel, building block earthquake demonstration, etc.), but the ipad app, MyCreate, that Will used for this project is much more versatile and ripe with creative possibilities. Will did this particular project independently, while Syd and I were playing elsewhere, so I definitely need to set aside a few moments to teach Syd how to use the app, as well. As much as she plays with dolls and toy animals and building blocks, I think she'd LOVE this!

Other activities and resources that we've enjoyed while exploring the science and art of animation:
  • We watched all three Toy Story films films. The first one was part of activities for the Birthday Week fun patch, as the first full-length computer-animated film. As we watched that one, we made a point to notice and evaluate all the details of the animation. We watched Toy Story 2 directly after, and were immediately able to notice the improvements made in those details, and in other effects the animators were now able to achieve. Toy Story 3 didn't offer much visible improvement over Toy Story 2, but again, its improvement in animation quality over Toy Story was drastic.
  • We own a little zoetrope. Drawing the images for it is a little tricky, but if you do it just right, you can pop it into the zoetrope and watch your animation! 
  • The kids and I watched Nightmare before Christmas as an example of real stop motion animation done to perfection. 
  • We utilized the following books:

I'm actually not that pleased with the resources that I found; I would have liked something on the history of animation, and some more modern works about animation for children, perhaps with more hands-on project tutorials, biographies of cartoonists other than Disney, and something fictional.

Ah, well... at least library research is one of my favorite hobbies, so I'll just have to keep at it!


Tina said...

Great job Willow!

This is something we will be playing with for the next who-knows-how-long, so I am excited to see what resources you find. Our library has nothing.

Emma's been asking to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas for the last few days. Might have to add that to our weekend plans.

Oh, and Emma wants to know what the foals name is.

julie said...

Nightmare before Christmas is kind of scary! I was worried that it would be too scary--Will has a history of freaking out during even mild films, and for years would only watch documentaries--but they were fine. For the past couple of years, though, Syd's been interested in superheroes, so we've watched a lot of the Avengers, etc. movies, which I think have desensitized them. I *want* to be bothered that I've desensitized them to scary images on TV, but really it makes my life much easier when we can watch a movie together in peace.


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