Final Project::


For my final project I decided to take photos of traffic at night using a very very slow shutter speed to create these abstract images. I then imported them into iMovie and chose the song "Fireflies" by Owl City to animate. The movement of the images should represent what I felt during the song, so I did not plan or create sketches before hand, but rather edited with 'feeling' to the tempo and beats in the music. 

I truly enjoyed creating this project, because I love the abstract photos, and it was really cool to make an animation from them. Overall, I believe my project was a success and I look forward to exploring this kind of animation more often. 

Here are stills from my animation::







[[Lesson Plans]]

Plan for Computer Equipped Room::

Melissa Kirchoff


Landscape Stop Motion


Grade Level: 4-5th Grade

Time Needed: 5 classes


Focus: This lesson is for students to be introduced to the history and methods of stop motion, and to create a digital story of the transitions in landscapes due to weather.



A. ( Describe the use of elements in media arts such as image, sound, space, time, motion and sequence.

B. ( Students will demonstrate use of a variety of tools, materials and techniques in media arts based on the characteristics of the hardware and software.

C. I would like my students to learn how to use found materials to create a digital media piece.


Motivational Resources:

  • Images of Landscapes 
  • Images of Weather conditions
  • Examples from previous classes or teacher sample
  • Stop motion books
  • Weather/natural disasters book
  • YouTube videos (see links for great references)
    • Stop-Motion Landscapes



  • Classroom equipped with at least 5 computers with Adobe Photoshop CS3 program
  • One to three digital cameras
  • Camera memory cards
  • One to three tripods
  • Table top and backdrop
  • Flash drives or CDs to save work
  • Note cards for storyboarding (20 per group)
  • Colored pencils for storyboarding
  • Tagboard for storyboard matting
  • Tape or glue to matte notecards
  • Grocery bags to put objects in on hike
  • Found objects:
    • Sticks
    • Leaves
    • Rocks
    • Pine needles
    • Pine cones
    • Plants (leaves, stems)
    • Sand
    • Dirt



Introduction to the Lesson:


Stop-motion is an animation technique to make a physically manipulated object(s) to move on its own. The object is moved in small increments between individually photographed frames, creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames is played as a continuous sequence.


Stop motion has been around for a long time and has been heavily associate with film-making. Some of the first stop motions were "The Humpty Dumpty Circus" (1898) and the "Fun in a Bakery Shop" (1902). In 1907 the film "The Haunted Hotel" was successful in the box office  and the stop motion animation was a hit to the audience. Later in 1912, the first successful clay animation movie hit the cinema.


Clay is often used in stop-motion to transform figures. This type of stop-motion is called clay-mation. Although you can use any object to create a stop-motion animation. In this project we will be using found objects in nature such as sticks, rocks, pinecones, and leaves to create a landscape and use the idea of weather to transform the landscape. For example, a huge wave can transform a beach or a volcano can transform a forest into lava.



Instructional Procedure:


Class 1: We will start by having a discussion about the history of stop motion and the techniques used in stop motion. Once we go over the techniques and tools we will get up and take a hike outside around the school. The students will be given a bag and asked to collect sticks, small rocks, sand, leaves, and pinecones. Once the students each collect objects, the class will return to the class room. Now the teacher will explain what we will be doing with the objects. We will discuss the idea of the storyboard and look at the landscape and weather movies and images. The students will be split into groups of 4 or 5 and then be asked to brainstorm their ideas. Once each group decides on a theme, they will begin story boarding their transformation.


Class 2: The students will have time to finish their storyboards at the beginning of class. After all the group's storyboards are finished, the students will be asked to help set up the cameras, tripods and back drops. Once the equipment is set up the groups will start setting up their landscape. I will emphasize the importance of moving the objects very slowly each frame. The students will shoot their landscape transformations.


Class 3: Students will set up and continue with their landscape transitions. All groups will finish capturing their stop-motions in this class period. Once the students are finished taking the photos, they will then upload the images into a singe folder on a computer. The students will open Photoshop and have a tutorial on opening images, selecting all, copying them and pasting the images into a single layered document.


Class 4: Once all the frames are put into a layered document, the students will be instructed to create an animation from the document in Photoshop. This is done in the animation window. Remind the students to save their work often. Once their final animation is complete, the students must export their animation into a Quicktime movie. This final document should be saved on a hard drive or CD.


Class 5: Now we will have our final critique. Students will display their work on their computer screen. In the same groups, students will rotate around the room and view each group's videos. Students will be asked to share one thought about the work being viewed. Students will write down their thoughts and when all the groups are finished viewing everyone's animations we will come together as one group and share what everyone wrote down.




The students will be graded using a rubric. They will be observed throughout the class periods on how they worked with their peers, listened to directions, used equipment with respect (including computers), and participation during critique.



Art Production: We made animations with found objects and digital methods.

Aesthetics: We discussed how stop motion is an animation form and that found objects can be used to create a piece of artwork.

Art History: We discussed the history of stop motion and how it has been used throughout history.

Art Criticism: We held an in class critique.





Reilly, Dermy. A Brief History of Stop Motion Animation. Copyright (c) 2007


Delahoyde, Michael.  Stop-Motion Animation. Washington State University.



Links of Examples:


Examples of Stop Motion



Art Clokey's Gumby and Davey and Goliath



Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer



PES Stop Motion



Stop Motion Animation


Plan for Non Computer Equipped Room::

Melissa Kirchoff


Flip Book Animation


Grade Level: 2-3th Grade

Time Needed: 3 classes


Focus: In this lesson students will create movement using simple flipbook techniques and will be able to define basic animation vocabulary: persistence of vision, registration, key frames, and tweening.



A. (  Identify the tools, materials and techniques from a variety of two- and three-dimensional media such as drawing, printmaking, ceramics or sculpture.

B. ( Compare and contrast the characteristics of a variety of media artworks.

C. I would like my students to create a 2-D flipbook and understand how the method is considered animation.


Motivational Resources:

  • Images for inspiration for the flip book pictures
  • Professional flipbooks
  • YouTube  video
    • Winsor McCay's Gertie the Dinosaur



  • Scrap paper
  • Index cards (30 per student)
  • Pencils, colored pencils, markers
  • Stapler and staples



Introduction to the Lesson:


Animation is about creating an illusion. Flipbooks are a type of animation made with many sheets of paper, that display drawings that gradually change from one page to the next. Flipping the pages creates movement because of vision phenomenon. When the pages are seen in quick succession, they become animated. Flipbooks evolved from thaumatropes, zoetropes from the nineteenth century that utilized for entertainment.


Persistence of vision = As the eye sees a series of still images very quickly, our eyes have sensors that retain each image for a moment, making us perceive the series as one continuous image.


Registration = Flipbooks use the registration system to keep images perfectly aligned. Animation boards, paper, and pegs can be used to make sure each drawing is in line with those preceding and following it so that all parts of the image, including the changing and non-changing shapes, are smoothly coordinated.



Key Frames = Frames containing important changes in the subject of animation; i.e. changes in the drawing, changes in the set up, important stages of movement, etc.


Tween = is actually short for "in-between", and refers to the creation of successive frames of animation between key frames.


Instructional Procedure:


Class 1: We will start by having a discussion about flipbooks and discuss the terminology. Then we will view samples of flipbooks and point out the different characteristics about them. We will also identify the terms we discussed and where you can see them. Once the discussion is finished the students will pick an animal they want to animate and plan the character out on scrap paper.  The students will the be given then index cards and they will number the cards and begin drawing the first image. Remind the students to use color and only slightly changed the action on each page.


Class 2: The students will continue drawing their characters in sequence on the index cards. When all the images are drawn, staple the cards in order along the left side.


Class 3: The students will have a group critique. Each student will partner up and look at eachother's flipbook. When everybody is finished, as a group each student will share what they liked about their partner's flip book. 



The students will be graded using a rubric. They will be observed on how well they worked, listened to directions, used materials with respect, and participation.



Art Production: We made flipbooks with traditional materials.

Aesthetics: We discussed how flipbooks are an animation form.

Art History: We discussed the history and terminology of flipbooks.

Art Criticism: We held an in class critique.






Animation Terms:

Links of Examples:


WinsorMcCay's Gertie the Dinosaur







Project 1:: Digital Collage

[[The Unknown]]

For the first project we were assigned to create a digital collage with images from our classmates. The project required me create a landscape and a creature to move throughout the landscape. 

The project was a great into to revamp my Photoshop skills. I got reacquainted with the tools... like select, resize, transform, crop, paste, saturation, etc. 

I love Photoshop, so I really enjoyed this first project. It introduced me to a new method of using all the tools I already knew how to use in photo editing. Creating a surreal image always adds more creativity to a project, therefore this project allowed my mind to wander. I was unaware of the possibilities of this stop motion like Photoshop animation! The  'puppet' window way of creating a layered document to animate was interesting and complex and made me think a bit, which was actually nice. Overall, this assignment was GREAT to get back into the Photoshop swing of things. 

Project 2:: Moving Images

[[Sand and Paint Animation]]

This assignment was a group presentation that required us to present a type of animation technique to the class using powerpoint and a demonstration. My group did sand and paint animation. The assignment was great because while concentrating on one specific area, we also got to look at several areas and we were getting taught by our peers. I believe this one a unique way to boost participation, and I enjoyed each group's presentation. 

Project 3:: Digital Stories

[[The Ugly Pumpkin]]

Our third project was a digital storytelling assignment but instead of only ourselves working on the project, we held the Digital Art workshop and had middle school students come in and make movies under our leadership. This made the assignment really intense. I worked with two peer mentors and we mentored two students. Our story was called The Ugly Pumpkin and was inspired by The Ugly Duckling and Andy Warhol's pop art style. 

Althought this experience was quite stressful, it was well worth it because we got to work with students. The students were excited about their animations and working on the cool Macs therefore it made it better and easier to teach. Even more so, the final project outcome was more rewarding. I enjoyed working with the students, and all of the hard work paid off!

Project 4:: Media Arts Hands-on Investigation

[[Lights and Sound]]

This assignment was our final one and the objective was to explore elements of Media Arts (sound, light, motion, color) and create an animation.

For my animation, I took photos of traffic at night with a slow shutter speed then put them into iMovie and created a mix to the song 'Fireflies' by Owl City. 
(More to Come...)


Art Education K-12 B.F.A.

UMD Art and Design, Dept of
School of Fine Arts

• Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2010. 
• Required credits to graduate with this degree: 120. 
• Required credits within the major: 101 to 107. 
• Degree: Bachelor of Fine Arts. 

The B.F.A. program in art education K-12 is for students who wish to receive licensure to teach art in Minnesota; it is offered in cooperation with the College of Education and Human Services Professions (CEHSP). The program prepares art teachers for kindergarten through the twelfth grade and provides a foundation in a variety of studio areas, art history, and art education methods. To qualify for this program, pre-art education students must pass a portfolio review (ART 0903). In addition to completing liberal education and art courses, each student must gain admission to the Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP) licensure program during the junior year to complete the education courses required by the State Department of Education and Board of Teaching. 

Click HERE to view the Art Ed B.F.A. requirements.


UMD Art + Design

The University of Minnesota Duluth Presents:



On Campus Resource::


About the Tweed Museum


With a permanent collection of over 6,000 art objects representing a range of cultures and periods of art history, the Tweed Museum of Art on the campus of the University of Minnesota Duluth is a major cultural and educational resource for the Upper Midwest.


In the 1920s and early 1930s, George P. Tweed and his wife Alice began collecting 19th and early 20th century European and American painting, including examples of the French Barbizon School and Impressionist influenced American Landscape painting. After the death of Mr. Tweed in 1946, Mrs. Tweed saw the potential of the Tweed Collection as an educational resource for the community and the University. She generously developed the funding for the present building which was dedicated in 1958.


Museum Hours:

Tuesday 9:00am - 8:00pm 
Wednesday - Friday 9:00am - 4:30pm 
Saturday and Sunday 1:00pm - 5:00pm 
Closed Mondays and University Holidays


218.726.8222 or 218.726.7823
Museum Store





Tweed Museum of Art
University of Minnesota Duluth
1201 Ordean Court
Duluth, MN 55812-2496 

My Class::

::Digital Methods In Art Education::

Joellyn Rock
UMD Department Art & Design

This course is required for all Art Education majors at the University of MN.

[[Artist Lecture: Todd Shanafelt]]

UMD has visiting artists lectures throughout the school year and today, November 30th, 2009, ceramic artist Todd Shanafelt visited!

Todd is a magnificent ceramics artist that's currently an associate professor at Minnesota State University in Mankato. During Todd's visit at UMD I got the opportunity to attend his workshop where he demonstrated some of his techniques and uses of mixed media.  After the workshop Todd gave a lecture explaining his background and art works using a carousel projector. The workshop was AWESOME experience to see different techniques that Todd uses, like using under and over glazes to screen print and put decals on wet clay. Todd also threw some small pieces to make a finished piece. He talked about the use of found objects, particularly metal, that he uses in his pieces.

To me, Todd's works seem to represent an implied functional object, sometimes with an aspect of anatomy. The use of steel in an organic matter like clay makes Todd's work very appealing to me. Overall, Todd's modern take on his work with clay is something to really check out!

Here is a link to his website::

Todd Shanafelt

[[Digital ART Workshop]]

Each Tuesday for 6 weeks our Digital Methods class is hosting a Digital Art Workshop. We are teaching the students about many different animation techniques.

Day 1 The first day we experimented in Photoshop and made a quick little animations. I was a mentor to one student, which was nice because I could give all my attention to one person and it made it less hectic. First we went through a Photoshop how-to on how to make an animation using a picture of your face that was taken in Photobooth and then using the paintbrush along with other tools in Photoshop. The students took a photo using the built in camera on the Macs and then opened it in Photoshop. The students all used the tools to transform their faces into magical creatures. The demonstrations worked really well and was a quick and efficient way to show the students what to do.

Day 2 We begun our on-going Animation Project! Between workshop days one and two I brainstormed an animation project idea and came up with a a story based our off the classic fairy tale "The Ugly Duckling". To make the story more interesting, I change it to be a tale of "The Ugly Pumpkin". I got the idea because I as on Long Island this weekend and went Pumpkin picking in a huge pumpkin patch.

The story is about an Ugly Pumpkin that doesn't get picked because it is different and unique.The pumpkins in the patch alienate the 'Ugly Pumpkin' and overnight he turns into a huge pretty pumpkin and then into a  Jack-O-Lantern. We presented a visual plan that showed out Andy Warhol pop art style we wanted to create.


On Day 2 we presented the story to the students, and started making a storyboard and designing our characters. We looked at photos of pumpkins online for inspiration and used filters from Photoshop to get the pop art look. The students were quite shy and hesitant this day and it was hard to get reactions and opinions out of them, but after some time and working through ideas we figured everything out!

Day 3 was really productive! Us mentors divided the animation work between the two students. One student worked on creating the pumpkin patch and all the pumpkins, and the other student worked on creating the ugly pumpkin and making it grow over night. Both students worked really well in photoshop with the assistance of the mentors when needed. One of our students even started putting his images into iMovie! I was quite happy with the effort put into day 3, but I knew we still had a lot of work ahead of us in iMovie.

[[Here is our Ugly Pumpkin!]]
goose_bumps_180dpi.jpgDay 4 Was special because we got to do stop motion! Before our students got into the room we set up a green screen and spot lights. We had gourds and mini pumpkins as objects and our plan was to move the pumpkins across the area to gang up on the 'ugly pumpkin'. Our students came into the room and we explained our goals for day 4. Our students seemed excited to experiment with this new kind of animation technique. Both students took turns and moved the pumpkins and took the photos of the scene. The end product turned out really good and I think we were all really proud. Once we got done doing stop motion we went back to the computers and worked hard in iMovie bringing the animation to life. In addition both of the students collaborated to make the final scene of our animation::: The Jack-O-Lanterns. Each student took a few photos of themselves with funny faces and then in Photoshop they layered their faces on top of the pumpkin and applied filters to make the final product. The students then created a flip book like animation in Photoshop and then sent it to iMovie to add visual effects and sound. Both students finished some iMovie sequences which helped us stay on track!

pumpkin_patch.jpgDay 5 Was our final day to complete our animation. We had two halfs of the animation, each done by one student, that we had to make into one final animation. Each student continued to work in iMovie selecting sounds and music and transitions to make the animation whole. Both students did great in picking effects and neither overused or underused them. The students were able to move around in iMovie and use all the different tools with efficiency. Garageband was also introduced on day 5. Having no background in Garageband it was fun learning from our students, they knew more than I did! On day 5 our group was able to finish our final version of our animation. We did have a few sound editing issues to complete after the students left, but most of the work was completed by the students in class! This was great because it showed the awesome effort by our students! Overall the experience was exhausting, but very very educational. It was a great opportunity to have hands on experience teaching students animation techniques and software.

[[Take a Look at "The Ugly Pumpkin"]]

The Ugly

In Class Paint Animaion Video

Following our Sand and Paint Animation Presentation, we had the class participate in a Paint Animation Demo. We animated the Seasons, starting with Summer.

Here is the Video:::