Stop Motion Animation as a Home Learning Activity
Stop motion animation is an accessible, fun, creative activity for children of all ages and easily achievable at home, it encourages and incorporates high levels of creative problem solving, art and design, numeracy and literacy skills.
1- You need a Stop Motion Animation App
Two of the best iPhone and iPad apps are both free and excellent. I’ve used them a lot with both teachers and students of all ages. There are plenty more to choose from on the app stores.
Smoovie for iPad only, is a paid app and will take you to the next level. Use Green Screens and more in this pro level app.
Stop Motion Studio for iPhone and iPad
iMotion for iPad and iPhone
Smoovie for iPad Only
2- Ideas for your Animation Films
Animators tell stories that would be trickier to achieve with real live actors, on the kitchen table. Animators can bring animals, aliens, dinosaurs, historical characters and so much more to life. The job of the animator is to give life to models, objects, lego and anything that you can get your hands on.
Tell short fun stories or share your understanding of a process, a poem, a piece of text or something crazy from your amazing imaginations.
The examples were all made by children in schools.
How to Make A Mummy – Explains a process, making an Egyptian Mummy…
How to Make a Pig – Making a simple model from plasticine…
3- Animation Ideas
- Animate toys, lego and objects
- Teddy bears are great fun and easy to animate, see the film example above , Big Ted Gets Stuck. Ensure the teddy bear isn’t too floppy. The arms need to be able to hold themselves up and the head should have some resistance when its moved and not flop all over the place. Adapt a popular bear story.
- Animate a popular nursery rhyme. Add the voice-over in iMovie.
- Animate Duplo or Lego bricks and characters.
- Animate toy cars and make a road safety film.
Big Ted Gets Stuck – Adapt a favourite story using toys…
4- Using the free iPad and iPhone app – Stop Motion Studio
5- Stop Motion Animation Recording Tips
- Set the app to record at 12 FPS – For each second of film you need to take 12 shots/photos. If you want a ball to roll across the screen for 3 seconds, how many shots are required?
- Separate action with pauses. Pauses are a form of visual punctuation and help the viewer make sense of what they’re watching. A half second pause in-between the action would last how long in seconds?
- Animate a ball as a way of developing an understanding of the principles of animation.
- And finally remember to make a small change to your model/object for each photo.
- Keep the ideas simple. Simple doesn’t boring or unimaginative. Simple ideas are easily achievable.
- Encourage creative problem solving. Solve problems creatively and take your time.
- Keep the number of characters in front of the camera to a minimum, try just two at a time.
- iPads and computers allow learners to make mistakes, learn and have another go.