Last week I finally had the opportunity to revisit animation with my children and now I feel I have opened Pandora's Box again! I revisited with the children the movies made last year and asked if they would be interested in trying the process for themselves. A large group immediately said they would so I decided to start with a group animation, with those children who were interested. We discussed the processes for creating a story - beginning, middle and end - and then the decision as a group was to create an animation on Pirates sailing to an island to find come treasure and their finding treasure on an island. The group that decided on this was in the majority boys with one girl participant and one girl observer.
I found our pirate models and ship, gave them to the children and set up the camera and lap top. Off with much enthusiasm they went, and I had to explain again how they needed to move the models in very small steps between frames. After reviewing their initial footage they quickly grasped this concept and we started again, this time much more successfully. It was a little tricky making an island for the treasure to be on but this was resolved with a small cane basket.
The movie was photographed against a 'green screen' so we could add a background and we searched for a suitable image of the sea to add later. The boys helped to choose the title, and selected some copyright free music to add to the background before we shared the movie with the whole group at mat time.
A few days later several of the girls approached me and said they wanted to make a "Princess movie". I said they could, and we would do it during the following session.
The girls had obviously spent some time thinking about and discussing how they wanted their movie to look, because when I started to set up the camera and lap top for them, they set straight to work, selecting the models they wanted and demonstrating forethought in the process. They all took turns taking the photos for their movie and decided when they had completed the sequence of moves to create it.
When we were ready to edit the movie they chose the title - "The Princess Wedding," the design of the title, the background picture (a castle - as we had again used a green screen to add a background) and the background music. Ella told me it had to be "pretty music like la la la la" singing the way she wanted the music to be. I managed to find a copyright free piece of music that satisfied her ideas and she was very happy with it. At mat time at the end of the session the girls shared their movie, with pride, to the whole group and then I put their movie onto CD's so they had a copy each to keep.
I now have some of the children who are very keen to create an individual animation, so we will be doing this over the next few weeks.
I have also facilitated workshops on how to use the ‘I Can Animate’ software with a group of teachers – I really enjoy sharing with others in this way.