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Digital Storytelling

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Learning Photoshop

DSCN0500.JPGThe kids in the workshop spent their first day learning Photoshop. They were to first take some photos of themselves using the Photo Booth application on the computer. After saving these to the desktop they opened the images up in Photoshop. Using the paint tool the kids transformed their face. By creating multiple layers after applications they were able to create a short animation. Some were able to bring the animation into Imovie and add sound effects.

From what I observed from the two students I was working with, they seemed to enjoy the project. One child had some experience in Photoshop and was familiar with the paint tool, while another child was not very familiar. Do to this difference I had to change my teaching from general into more personal approaches. I showed the more familiarized one some simple short cuts that would enhance the Photoshop experience. I encouraged the other to stick with the paint tool and showed how to make simple shapes. I encouraged my students to provide numerous layers for a swift animation. Explaining that small changes will produce a sooth video.


Digital Storytelling

sleepy_hollow2-1.jpgOur Digital Story is The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The transformation that we are working on is when the Headless Horseman turns into a skeleton. We are mostly focusing on Washington Irving's tale for inspiration. Our visual influence is styles by Spanish artist Goya. Our color scheme is dark and simple. With our piece we are going to create a great deal of mood.

For this project I am working with Jessalyn and two students. We are telling the tale of Sleepy Hollow. Before we began working on the computer we had the students brainstorm general themes. We discussed mood, characters, and how the transformation will occur. After, the students started to design the characters on the computer. One child did Ichabod while the other worked on the Headless Horseman. The two students decided to work this way and they decided how to divide it. They worked very well together. I helped one child draw free hand on the computer. I showed him how to start with simple shapes then continue to refine the figure using multiple layers.

Digital Storytelling
Tweed Sand Animation
8-.JPGWe spent the first third of class in the Tweed Museum of Art. Here the students learned the art of Sand Animation. They got very inspired during the videos. After we explained to our students that we are going to incorporate sand animation in our Sleepy Hollow video. The sand will make up the sky of the scene. As a group we agreed that our color scheme will be dark. This will go well with our color scheme and also mimic the Goya effect.

The kids really liked this project. They were really inspired by the videos and were excited to work with the sand. To allow freedom but also maintain order we allowed the kids to make changes for seven seconds then they pulled their hands away. At this time Jessalyn took a photo. We did this many times in hopes of getting a interesting animation. There was only one time I had to remind the students to focus on weather. Overall, the activity went smoothly.

Digital Storytelling

hh_case_-thumb-500x400-22219.jpgThis day we spent creating the animation in Photoshop. Due to the time constraints Jessalyn and I had to do a great deal of outside work. I made the horse images, created the forest scenes, and finished the Headless Horseman. Jessalyn created the buildings and recreated Ichabod. In the process of saving on a CD the original file got saved incorrectly and lost. She was able to recreate it to look how the student's original was. After a while the boys got bored of the repeatative process of creating the animation. Jessalyn and I finished the animation in Photoshop out of class.

Movie Making

sleepy_chase_sideview-thumb-500x375-22221.jpgJessalyn and I came to class with a ready animation. We uploaded it to imovie and the students were able to add effects and sound. They decided to just use sound effects instead of music. We let them decide mostly on editing with a little guidance. They chose the aged effect since it fit the theme they wanted. However, do to this effect, it does not translate well on the web. That is a mistake on our part we should have thought of that before hand. This project was so new to me that it was too difficult to prepare for everything. Our students are very pleased with the video and the workshop as a whole. It was a lot of hard work and I think it paid off.

Here is our final movie!!


Big Movie Premiere

Digital Art Workshop / Tales of Transformation / Show and Tell Event
Time : 4:30 - 5:30 PM
Date : Tuesday, November 17
Location : Tweed Museum of Art / Activity Gallery (downstairs) + Lecture Gallery (upstairs)
Open to : Digital Art Workshop students and their families

This was our last day to finish up the workshop. We held an event in the Tweed Museum for parents, students and mentors to view the finished products. It opened with refreshments and activities in the Activity Gallery. Here, we had three stations of animations set up, stop animation, chalkboard animation and sand animation. Parents, kids, and the general public were welcome to experiment with the activities. We also had a movie of the behind the scenes showing where parents can watch the hard work everyone went through. For the premiere we all met in the Lecture Gallery up stairs. A mentor form each group gave a brief summary of our project and the hard working kids involved. I think it was a rather successful evening.
Each family will receive a DVD of the final movies along with the extra footage. 

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

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51FD5X80N4L.jpgThere are many versions of the tale of a Headless Horseman. The most popular version is Washington Irving's story, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." He got inspiration from the German folktale recorded by Karl Musaus.

"The headless horseman was often seen here. An old man who did not believe in ghosts told of meeting the headless horseman coming from his trip into the Hollow. The horseman made him climb up behind. They rode over bushes, hills, and swamps. When they reached the bridge, the horseman suddenly turned into a skeleton. He threw the old man into the brook and sprang away over the treetops with a clap of thunder."

Irving elaborated on this original Dutch folktale. He added main characters such as Ichabod Crane, Katrina Van Tassel and Abraham "Brom Bones" Van Brunt along with the Headless Horseman. Within Irving's tale there is a love triangle between Ichabod, a lanky schoolmaster, Katrina, the beautiful 18 year old daughter and sole child of a wealthy farmer, and Brom Bones, the town bully.

I don't want to give anything away so for a full reading of the story click the link!!!

Here are some more interesting sights I found!

A lesson plan:

Popular Versions

The Adventures of Ichabod Crane and Mr. Toad (Disney1949)
With Narration by Bing Crosby

Sleepy Hollow (Tim Burton1999) (R rated)