Sunday, December 7, 2008

Advanced animation ideas

Here are the outcomes from the advanced animation course for teachers held at the Institute of Education on 5th December.

The day long course was intended for teachers who have been using animation in the classroom and wanted to discover new ideas and practice they can use with their students.

So the day included the following:

1-Chroma Keying with I can animate and a green screen.

2-The use of different shots, long shots, mid shots and close ups.

3-Reaction to action. This really brings characters to life!

4-Pausing the action and creating beats within the animation, links to the above point.

5-Using multiple sound effects and music to give added depth to the animations, animation is 60% sound.

6- And finally creating much simpler story ideas, reducing the ideas down to a raw essence, keeping it painfully simple. Simple doesn't mean boring and unimaginative.

So there was quite a lot to do in one day! The participants worked in small groups of four and each group came up with a fun simple idea. Only one group could do the chroma keying as I only have one green screen. The green screen cloth was sourced from Kudlian Soft.

In the past I have worked with students using a large piece of green paper from the art department which provided a perfect key. (Traditionally green and blue screens are used in the film industry because there are no blue or green hues/colours in our skin tones.)

Remember when making your models don't include any green modeling clay if you're using a green screen.

The key to a successful chroma key is light, an even spread of light on your green/blue screen.

The chroma key in the animation below isn't great because of the poor light, also I think using a video camera will generate better results, both films were shot with webcams.

I like the sound effects in the Christmas surprise and the reaction to action by both the Christmas tree and the bird. The sound effects were sourced from

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