Stop-Motion Animation Workshop: Session 1

March 5th 4:30 – 6:00, Making Pictures Move   This is the first of four sessions in this workshop.

Participants begin the first of four workshop sessions with hands-on learning about “key framing” and “frame rates.” In this session they will construct a simple flipbook and view examples of animation at different frame rates. They will also work with teammates to create a story using the digiSTORY Model. From this they will create a storyboard for planning their production.


Urban Region 4-H Energizer Registration

This event is for Kansas City area 4-H’ers and their families.  Come join the fun!  A great day for all family members learning new skills, strengthening 4-H leadership, discovering new ideas, and having fun with 4-H friends!

digiSTORY KC will be featured in Session 1 Workshops from 10:30 – 11:25 a.m.  Learn about multimedia careers and get hands-on experience with fun multimedia activities such as making an animated flipbook, creating Claymation or LEGO® animation sequences, adding dialog and sound effects to an animated story, creating photo tricks with green screen and viewing 3D VR using Google Cardboard.

 


Multimedia Lab Experience

What is it like to be part of a multimedia studio team? Find out in digiSTORY KC’s Multimedia Lab Experience. This two-hour workshop provides the opportunity to select a job role and collaborate with teammates to add the multimedia and text elements for a Claymation production. Select from these job roles and learn about that career in multimedia as you fulfill the project requirements for that position: Director, Actor, Film & Video Editor, Multimedia Animator, Sound Engineering Technician, and Producer. Participants build skills in collaboration as they complete their specific roles for the multimedia team.


Multimedia Lab Experience

What is it like to be part of a multimedia studio team? Find out in digiSTORY KC’s Multimedia Lab Experience. This two-hour workshop provides the opportunity to select a job role and collaborate with teammates to add the multimedia and text elements for a Claymation production. Select from these job roles and learn about that career in multimedia as you fulfill the project requirements for that position: Director, Actor, Film & Video Editor, Multimedia Animator, Sound Engineering Technician, and Producer. Participants build skills in collaboration as they complete their specific roles for the multimedia team.


Animation: Making Pictures Move

​This workshop provides hands-on learning about how animation works.  Concepts include “key framing,”  “frame rates” and how the “persistence of vision” makes still images appear to move to the viewer.  In this session each girl will construct a simple “thaumatrope,” and a “flipbook” that simulates animation.  The girls will view examples of animation at different frame rates and see how animators place images together to create animations. They will also have a brief hands-on experience using ZU3D software and LEGO® characters to piece together a short animated action sequence.

 


Stop-Motion Animation Workshop: Session 1

Stop-motion animation is a classic form of animation that has often been the entry path for artists who have gone on to become successful character animators. Stop-motion animation introduces artists to achieving animated effects by sequencing individual photos of objects into expressive movements that create a story. This requires a basic level of learning about photography, lighting, character expression, audio capture and video editing. Participants in this hands-on workshop will work closely with one or two collaborative partners to develop a short, stop-motion video story.

This workshop for kids and teens consists of four 1.5 hour sessions held on Monday through Thursday, November 6 – 9 from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.   Recommended ages are 9 – 16.

  • Nov. 6th:  Making Pictures Move: Participants begin the first of four workshop sessions with hands-on learning about “key framing” and “frame rates.” In this session they will construct a simple flipbook and view examples of animation at different frame rates. They will also work with team mates to create a story using the digiSTORY Model.  From this they will create a storyboard for planning their production.
  • Nov. 7th:  Stop-Motion Tools: Participants will learn how to record dialog, and will use a webcam and simple lighting with a laptop to capture their stop-motion frames.  Students will also learn how to use Zu3D animation software to create their stop-motion story.
  • Nov. 8th  Image Capture for Stop-Motion: Students will then start photographing the progressive movements of the characters and props in their story at a frame rate of at least 15 frames per second (fps).
  • Nov. 9th:  Editing & Publishing Stop-Motion: Students will then use the features of the animation software to edit images, add sound effects or voiceovers, and edit the video timeline.  Students will add title frames to the beginning of their stories and crawling credits at the end of their stories.  When the stop-motion production piece is final, the student will publish the story to digiSTORY KC’s YouTube channel where links can be shared with family and friends.

Students who successfully complete this workshop can earn digiSTORY KC’s “Stop-Motion Animation” badge. This badge is part of the LRNG-KC badge program.This registration for the November 6th session will cover your enrollment and fees for all four sessions.


digiSTORY KC

 

This video was filmed and produced by Jessica Albina, a senior in Avila University’s Visual Communications program.  Jessica served as a summer intern and supported our summer workshops.  Jessica is a talented digital storyteller with creative ideas and an eye for great camera shots.  Jessica was a great partner during our summer workshops.  She was great at working with children and brought great mentoring and guidance to our summer workshop program.  Thanks, Jessica for your great work this summer.  I hope you will enjoy learning about digiSTORY KC as you view Jessica’s video.


Why Stop-Motion Animation?

Our most popular workshop at digiSTORY KC is stop-motion animation. We offer the course in three formats:
• Stop-Motion Animation
• Claymation
• LEGO Show Time
Stop-motion animation is a form of animation that uses objects rather than drawings to bring life to characters. Stop-motion animators use a wide range of materials to create their characters: clay (Claymation), LEGOs, cut paper, 3 dimensional puppets, fruit, toys—you name it. Any object that can appear to come to life by adding movement and expression can become the material of a skillful animator.

Stop-motion animation is our entry-level course at digiSTORY KC for kids who want to learn more about multimedia production. One reason for this is that students can experience the “Wow” factor of multimedia early in their workshop experience. Using our stop-motion animation software, students capture progressive movements of the objects one photo at a time. Within minutes of starting this process they get to see the cumulative effect of their movements and expressions: their characters are coming to life before their eyes. Not much later in the process they are recording voiceovers and dialog and are adding sound effects and music into their productions. In fact all of the key multimedia elements of standard video editing software programs are part of their stop-motion animation project: working with timelines, audio editing, image editing, chroma-key background replacement, adding titles, credits, etc.

Our students learn the full range of multimedia production in an easy-to-learn and easy-to-use program that doesn’t require exceptional drawing skills or experience in photography and audio technology. They get to complete a full story and enjoy the satisfaction of sharing their creation with others on our YouTube Channel. This experience helps kids become aware of even greater opportunities in multimedia production and helps guide them to other areas for exploration in media.

Our stop-motion animation workshops are offered in two scheduling formats:
• 6-hour after-school workshops during the school year, and
• 16-hour formats during the summer.
The after-school version typically meets one day of the week for four weeks from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. The summer workshop meets for four consecutive days (Monday – Thursday) for 4 hours each day. The summer version is ideal because the students have ample time to create their stories and complete all of the many multimedia tasks to finish their productions. The depth of instruction time is more limited for the after-school format because teams need to use more of the available time to work on their productions. Still, teams create fun and rewarding animations that make them want to come back for more.

As students gain experience with stop-motion, they begin to add levels of sophistication that greatly enrich their stories. They add more sophisticated movements and facial and body expressions. They develop better stories and they add more graphic interest to their scenes through the use of design tools and green screen technology.

Once a student has experienced a successful stop-motion animation production, they have a solid background for exploring drawn animation or video production.

Here’s an overview of what is included in our standard stop-motion animation workshop experience:

Session 1: Participants learn about animation and how it works. They create a flip book and a thaumatrope to see how static pictures appear to move in animation and video. They learn about frames and frame rates for animation and video. They learn digiSTORY KC’s story model and work with teammates to create an original story. They create a storyboard and script for that story. They learn how animators use animatics to plan for voiceovers and other multimedia to pace the image requirements for the story.

Session 2: Teams learn production techniques and ideas for various stop-motion formats (e.g. Claymation, LEGO® figures, etc.). They complete their work adding voiceovers to their production piece. Teams learn about chroma key technology and start planning and preparing backgrounds and props for their production sets. Teams learn about the three phases of the production process, and they learn about careers in digital media. Team members choose from those job roles and begin their camera production work. Teams also learn about the importance of movement and expression for their characters.

Session 3: Teams spend this entire session producing their multimedia story. They are taking photos and adding them to their video timeline. They are adding sound effects, music tracks and special design effects. They are photographing actions against constructed backgrounds, or they are adding backgrounds using chroma key (green screen) technology.

Session 4: Teams complete the filming stage of their production and begin adding all remaining post-production elements: titles, credits, music sound tracks, special effects, etc. When their production is finished, they post the piece to the digiSTORY KC YouTube Channel. Teams end the session by sharing their production pieces with the rest of the teams and discussing their work on the project.

Stop-motion animation workshops are offered throughout the year. View our Events Calendar to see what workshops will be offered soon at digiSTORY KC.


Summer Workshops Are Underway!

June and July are busy months for digiSTORY KC. During this time, digiSTORY KC is offering seven stop-motion animation workshops. Two workshops are open to the general public for kids from ages of 9 – 16: June 19 – 22 and June 26 – 29. The remaining workshops are offered through key program partners:

  • Ivanhoe Neighborhood Center June 6 – 9
  • Mattie Rhodes Art Center June 12 – 15
  • Operation Breakthrough July 17 – 21
  • Urban TEC July 20 – 21
  • Girl Scouts July 24 – 27

 

Ron Green, Executive Director of digiSTORY KC, states that “summer workshops provide more time for kids to complete the full process required to create and publish a good stop-motion story.” The standard format for summer workshops is four days of four hours each day:

  • Day 1: Understanding Animation & story/script development
  • Day 2: Creation of an animatic and recording of dialog & voiceovers
  • Day 3: Photo capture of story actions and character movements & expressions
  • Day 4: Post-production (green screen, titles, credits) and publishing

The same workshop offered in after-school formats during the school year is greatly truncated. Typically the student has only six hours to accomplish the same amount of activity. This requires taking short cuts and unfortunate omission of instruction on important aspects of stop-motion animation production. The summer workshop format gives the student and teammates the opportunity for a more satisfying story production experience.


Maker Faire KC 2017 Was Great!

digiSTORY KC hosted an interactive booth at Kansas City’s Maker Faire held on June 24th & 25th at Union Station. The booth featured a live Claymation artist and lots of hands-on experiences for visitors.https://vimeo.com/223598537

 

The highlight of the exhibit was the opportunity to view artist, Jeff Daly, in action as he sculpted humorous clay characters and photographed successive changes in movement and expression in the Zu3D stop-motion animation software that we use during our workshops. Visitors could observe how these gradual changes in expression would make the character come to life as Jeff played back the frames he had captured to that point. To see the result of Jeff’s work on his bear character on day 1, click here. Jeff also created cute rabbit and bear characters and displayed them in their component pieces so that children could experience the process of creating appealing clay characters. Jeff worked as a humor writer and artist for over forty years at Hallmark Cards. He is a regular contributor to digiSTORY KC programs.

 

Kids could also create paper animation toys that illustrate how single images combine to create the illusion of movement. They could cut out and form a thaumatrope—a paper disk with a picture of a yellow monster on one side and a cage on the opposite side. When they attach a string to each side and spin the thaumatrope, the monster appears to be inside the cage. They could also create a simple flipbook. When the pages are flipped rapidly, the images combine to simulate movement.

 

Kids could also experience 3D virtual reality by viewing popular 3D VR apps through a Google Cardboard viewer.

 

Kids and grownups alike enjoyed digiSTORY’s green screen experience. They could pose against a green screen and superimpose a background that showed them in various interesting scenes. For example, couples could appear to be onstage at Dancing With the Stars, kids could appear to be getting a “Salvy splash” or they could appear next to a large pile of cash.

 

Many kids and their families visited the booth and expressed interest in learning more about digiSTORY KC and its programs. Many signed up to be added to our mailing lists so that they could be notified of upcoming classes and workshops. If you would like to be added to that list, please contact Ron Green at rgreen@digistory.org