I thought a nice introduction for my Year 9's into animation was to create a Flip Book that we would turn into an animated Gif using Adobe Photoshop. Im sure that everyone of us has a nostalgic memory or two of creating these at some time or another at school by using the corners of one of our exercise books. I figured it would be a good task to teach the process of traditional frame by frame stop motion animation.
Here is a cool Youtube video which explains traditional Cel Animation which is a form of Stop Motion.
First we looked up some existing Flip Book designs on youtube for some design inspiration. There were a lot of really neat books to look at which are very clever and creative. Secondly, the students had to draw each frame of their Flip Books on small pieces of paper of roughly the same size.
We then used our mobile phones to photograph each frame (drawing) and uploaded the images to Google Drive and then downloaded the images to the desktop computers. The next step was to follow my video tutorial on creating an animated Gif in Photoshop using photographs which I have embedded below.
Most students spent two lessons on the task but a few took another lesson as they spent more time refining their drawings. Some chose to work with a partner on this which was great news but I insisted that each person animate their work individually so that they learnt the technique. As they all had varying drawing abilities I stressed to them that the digital process was more important than their drawing ability. I didnt care if they drew stick figures!
We did encounter a couple of minor problems in the process. The first one was the excess space in the photographs of their drawings. We solved this in Photoshop by using the crop tool which trimmed the canvas. Another problem was that some students work was a bit too jumpy as they had moved the position of their drawn frames a bit too much when they were recording their images with their mobile phone cameras. The other problem was that some of their images came into Photoshop with the wrong orientation. We solved this by rotating each image 90 degrees to the right or left.
Overall i'm pleased with the results and it is certainly a lesson that I will run again next year with a few minor adjustments.