Recently in Project 2 > Moving Images Category

Chalk and Whiteboard Animation

Honey pot.jpg

For our second project Jillian and myself were instructed to research chalk and whiteboard animation.  We really enjoyed this and found it to be an exciting and very accessible way to introduce children to animation.  We ended up using this technique in class with our peers to create an animation of a bear turning into a honey pot.  We chose the idea of morphing one object into another because the medium lends itself well to this process.  The animation was short but pretty successful for a first attempt.  You can take a look through the first link of this paragraph.  The rest of our research is included in the following:

What is chalk and whiteboard animation?
Chalk and Whiteboard animation i
s created by adding and subtracting lines and images to the artist?s initial drawing.  This can be accomplished on a chalkboard, whiteboard, buildings, streets, and about any flat surface you can draw on.  The actual animation is developed by capturing the imagery through stop motion throughout your drawing process.

How did it develop?
Chalk and whiteboard animation can be traced back drawn animation, line animation, and stop motion animation.  If you look specifically at early line animation such as Harold and the Purple Crayon you can see the similarities between line animation and whiteboard and chalk animation.

Who are some artists working with this style of animation?
Artist from Argentina whose subject matter is based on the development of man and the influence man has on his surroundings.  This is shown by the continual morphing used throughout his work.

Robin Rhodes
Artist from South Africa who is trying to communicate the struggles of living a place surrounded by poverty, crime, and social tension.

Remember that often times you can't re-edit once your imagery is erased so think about how you want to capture it.

Try to capitalize on this mediums ability show morphing and be creative with surface use and interaction with the piece.

Ideas for teaching students
Focus on the ideas of motion and morphing. Have the class pick an animal and object. Explain that throughout the animation the animal will have to turn into the object.  The animal/object will also have to move across the picture plane.  This type of animation lends itself well to illustrating ideas such as:
        -the life cycle
        -the food chain
        -movement patterns (movement of animals, people, etc)

COMBO a collaborative animation by Blu and David Ellis (2 times loop) from blu on Vimeo.

Project 1> Digital Collage


For this project each member of our class was asked to collect a
digital image that would fit each category including animal, mechanical, face,
landscape, and texture.  Then we were instructed to create a monster in a
landscape by collageing the digital images together in Photoshop.  Last we
created another Photoshop file where we built up a series of layers that we
used to change the position of our characters to create an animation.  I
chose to make an alien like character using dog fur and a flamingo body and
placed it in a Mountain climate, which is made from actual mountains, a
butterfly, clouds, and a sculpture. 

I tried to really dissect the photographs and change the coloring so they weren't recognizable and to create a cartoon like atmosphere.  The choice of the snowy climate allowed me to make the background black and white so my character would be more visible.

 I also like the extra addition of the snow falling to add interest to the
animation.  I chose to leave the head and body of my character in two different
layers so they could move separately to add subtle interest and corkiness to my
character, but with such limited time it was hard to portray this when I
actually created the movie.  This was definitely my first attempt at an
animation so it is very rough and short, but I am excited about the knowledge
I've gained through this project and the possibilities it could offer in the
future.  You can take a look at the animation through the link at the beginning of this paragraph.

Some ideas for working with this method of animation in a classroom include:

  • Having the kids use this type of animation in combination with a creative writing project so they could narrate their own monster movie, or whatever subject they choose to use.
  • You could have kids make an animation with a photo of them self and use the concept of collage for the background scenery where they could create their own imaginary world.
  • You could use this collage technique to create a landscape over a photo of your students head.  You could then document this process gradually through an animation that shows the different steps the student took to change their face into a landscape.