Lesson Plan IN Computer Lab: Lego Animation

Lego Animation: The Study of Stop-Motion Animation with
Emphasis on Individual Editing

Grade 6-8
Seven Classes

Focus: Children will learn the process of stop-motion animation. Through space, time, motion, light and sound each student will experiment and execute an individual project with the editing process.


a) Analyze the elements in media arts such as image, sound, space, time, motion and sequence (
b) Select a variety of software such as photo-, video- and sound-editing software, to create original products for expressive intent (
c) Create an original work of art in the editing process from a collective animation piece created by the class.

Motivational Resources: Animation shorts, Pez website with stop-motion animations, ie : Western Spaghetti, Human skateboard; 8 Bit Trip lego animation on Youtube, classic stop-motion pieces, examples of Teacher's previous made stop-motion animations

Art Materials: Digital camera, Tripod, Photoshop software, iMovie HD software, Lab of Mac Computers, Lego's, masking tape

Introduction to Lesson:
an·i·ma·tion (n): The act, process or result of imparting life, interest, spirit, motion, or activity.

Stop motion is a technique used to physically manipulate objects to make them appear as thought they move on their own. It is used as a frame-by-frame process where the object(s) are moved in small increments and each frame is photographed. Playing the frames as a whole sequence, the frame-by-frame creates an illusion of continuous motion. There are many types of Stop Motion Animation. And all are widely used today.

Different types of Stop Motion:

Object animation: involves moving animation of any non-drawn objects such as toys, blocks, dolls, etc. and are not as malleable as clay or wax. Object Animation is not meant to look like any type of 'character' being animal or human.

Direct manipulation animation: is a simplified graphic animation where the artist adds or subtracts to a drawing documenting the frame-by-frame image.

Clay animation: where each animated piece is a character made out of a malleable substance of clay, usually Plasticine clay.

Cel animation: is the original animation where each frame is traditionally drawn by hand.

Puppet animation: form of performance in which the artist manipulates puppets.

Time-lapse: is a cinematography technique where the frame is captured at a slower rate than play back. When replayed at normal speed time appears much faster and thus lapsing. i.e.: watching a fast pace flower bud bloom.

Variations of Stop Motion Include:

Stereoscopic: is a technique capable of recording three-dimensional visual information or
creating the illusion of depth in an image. Basically when you have to wear the 3D
glasses to watch something. The first all stop motion 3-D feature is Coraline(2009)

Go Motion: Creates a realistic motion blur between each frame, so it is not as choppy.
The main difference is that stop motion is made up of still images where as go motion
takes the frames while the object is in motion. Go motion was used in ET, and is rarely
used today.

Computer-generated imagery: 3D computer graphics, special effects, can be seen in movies,
television, commercials, video games, etc. It has pretty much made stop motion obsolete,
however stop motion is still used because of it's unique look. Example: Robot Chicken

Instructional Procedure for Art Making:

Class one: We will begin our lesson with an introduction to animation by observing Animation shorts from the Pez website with stop-motion animations i.e. : Western Spaghetti and Human skateboard. Our project is loosely based off the 8 Bit Trip Lego animation, this we will also watch. Students will create creatures from Legos in class this day. We will have a discussion of the animation process and what it entails. Topics also covered will be ways to manipulate and shape the Lego pieces to act as how the animator would like.

Class two: In class we will shoot our animation. Students will be reminded of creative ways to move their Lego creatures. The Teacher will mark the area of the frame with masking tape. We will split into groups and each group member will take a quadrant of our working frame area to manipulate. Each group will receive 20 frames to move, and then we will switch to ensure all get the individuals experience creating and manipulating the pieces. Depending on the number of children and amount of work area, each student may be able to dictate their own Lego creature. Students will be encouraged to creatively manipulate Lego pieces within the animation.

Class three: The Teacher would have prepared the animation in Photoshop, so on this day each student would have an individual copy of the class animation. Students will work in iMovie HD. They will import the class animation and begin the editing process. Emphasis will be applied to making individual pieces from the collective animation. Students will be encouraged to experiment with sound as they study motion, light, time and space within the editing component.

Class four: Students have a continual day in iMovie HD to work on their editing.

Class five: They will have yet another day to perfect their edits to really make them their own. Students will need to stay mindful of all aspects to the animation, creating sound effects, adding music, or perhaps turning the piece very abstract. Emphasis is on the individual really making a piece that is creative and uniquely theirs since each child has began with the same piece.

Class six: This is the last class to work on the edits. Students have been given a good amount of time to really work on these and make them their own with intense creativity. The sequence of their animation should be visually stimulating and dynamic.

Class seven: Time on this day will be spent with an Animation Premier. The class will view all the hard work in each-others animations. Each student will get a chance to present his or her animation and give a brief overview. We will have a critique after each piece. What worked in the piece? What did the animator do really well? What stood out? As well as, what could the animator do better? What aspect could use improvement?

Art Production: Students are creating stop motion animation.
Art History: Students are studying animation and its techniques.
Art Criticism: Students critique work of art.
Aesthetics: Students will gain an appreciation for stop motion animation.

35% Participation: being present, participation in stop motion filming, beginning discussion
40% Quality of final animation
20% End evaluation and participation in final critique and viewing
10% Attitude and behavior during work days, willingness to overcome difficulties.


The Art of Stop Motion Animation. http://www.pharosproductions.com/aosma/smhome.html

Stop Motion. http://www.stopmotionanimation.com/

8 Bit Trip animation. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qsWFFuYZYI

Tim Burton's Vincent. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hD8uQzu0IL0

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by melle047 published on December 21, 2009 8:54 PM.

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