Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Animation and Digital Cameras

I worked with a group of children and a teacher today showing them how they can make a simple animation. They are studying Maori Culture and Protocols on a Marae. Their focus is on Karanga (Welcoming onto the Marae), Hongi (greeting) and Wero (the challenge). The teacher would like them to show their understandings of these protocols by creating animations, so the class is divided into 3 groups each going to depict the 3 different foci.

Team Members
Each group needs to have a
- camera person
- tripod holder
- set designer
- several people in charge of animating and moving the characters

- research, gather information
- storyboard
- write script
- collect animation objects and set material
- animate using cameras
- edit adding text and music
- publish as movie, DVD or slideshow

Set Design
It is important to have an inanimate object like a tree or a building so that it really looks like the characters are moving. I have suggested coloured fabric for ground cover and sky. Students will also collect small rocks, sticks and stones.

We discussed what the characters could be made our of and these are some of the choices
- plasticine
- pipe cleaners and pegs
- small dolls
- Lego

- the tripod needs to be steady and all bolts and handles screwed securely
- the camera needs to be securely set into the 'foot' of the tripod
- one person operates the camera, one person holds the tripod
- one person animates their own characters
- the photos must be 'framed' within the Set (we don't want to see what is behind or above the set)
- all characters need to be firmly secured with blu-tak so they don't move

- download all photos to iPhoto or My Pictures, put them in a folder so that they are easy to find
- upload photos to iMovie or MovieMaker
- before dragging the first photo down to the movie tray, set the speed (0.01) and in iMovie (turn of Ken Burns)
- drag rest of photos down to the Movie tray (Ctrl - A for Win, Command-A for Mac)
- if the photos are not the right speed then highlight them all as above and adjust the timing
- add a Title slide at the beginning, then a credits at the end
- finally add music, crop if necessary
- save Movie file and then export to your computer and/or to a blog or a wiki

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