November 2009 Archives


Today was our presentation day.  We had all the parents come and we presented each of our projects.  It was so fun to see everyone's project and see all the different styles that developed. 

The whole workshop was very fun, but also a lot of work.  As mentors, we put a lot of time into these outside of the classroom, which was expected, and a great experience for the future. 

I do agree with some of the changes that we would make to the workshop if we were to do it again.  I liked the idea that students would first create a character and then off of that character they could create a world for it to live in, and then a story from that, and then a soundtrack to go with the story.  This would take a lot of pressure off the kids to make and finish a story. Also, even though our class misunderstood the animation part of the story, I would still like to see students animate a whole story, instead of just the transformation.  However, for my group, maybe to make the animating easier, we could have created our characters in photoshop and animated them that way, and only done one part of the story with stop motion.

This project would be very fun to do again.  If done again I would give it a little more time just so kids could really understand how to use all of the programs and get a chance to work with them.

I had a lot of fun and I know that my students did as well!  I am very proud of what we accomplished!


Today we put the finishing touches on our project!!

Both students worked very hard today to finish everything. One of them got very creative with transitions and putting everything together. Another one took off with garage band and created a whole soundtrack for the end of our animation.

It would have been nice to have a little longer using both iMovie and Garage Band. Even though our students already knew how to use both programs it still seemed like we needed more time.

However, in the end our project turned out great. The students worked very hard to finish it, and we, as mentors, did a little bit more out of class. We all loved the finished product!

The movie is a form of the story Icarus. Icarus and his father get stuck in a tower and to escape the father created wings. Icarus, being a bit ignorant, does not listen when his father tells him not to fly too high or low. In the end Icarus flies too high and the sun melts his wings, and he plunges into the ocean.


Today we made our stop motion animation.  This took a lot longer than we thought it would and there are a lot of things that I would do differently if I were to do this again. 

First of all I would probably make characters that could stand up by themselves.  It was challenging for our students to hold the figures still while we took pictures of each motion.  Also, it was challenging to get the students to understand what the camera could see and where the students could move the figures so they would still be in the frame.  We did use tape to try to help guide the students so they would know where the figures could go, but then if we changed to an up-close scene the box would change.  It was just a very difficult process.



Another thing that was challenging was getting the lighting just right.  I personally wish I would have practiced more with stop motion or learned a little more about the lighting process.  The back screen we had was also paper so you could see the wrinkles in it.  Also, the boys kept looking into the light and I was so worried that they would go blind.  If the characters could have stood up by themselves then the boys wouldn't have had to stand there with the light in their eyes. 



This process was fun at first but I think we all were getting antsy and bored and just wanted it to be over.  It did help that we had already thought up what we would do in each scene so that made the directing process a bit easier. 




Today was a very big learning day.  After doing stop motion once I realize that there are many things that we could have done differently to make it easier and more fun.  At least we had thought everything out before we did it.  That really did make the process alright, still I would change a few things next time. 


Today we created our characters and backgrounds!

Curtis, one of our mentors, brought in a big bucket of nuts, bolts, screws, nails, and little bits and pieces of scrap metal.  With welding gloves we picked through the piles and created our characters.  Using pipe cleaners we strung the pieces together and in the end had some very amusing little figures.  To hold them up we stuck dowel rods in the back of each character. 

One challenge that we faced was how we would create the wings.  We needed the wings to eventually fall apart, so how would we make them?  In the end we finally decided to use steel wool because it would be easy to pull apart. 


Today, we also thought we would get as far as starting the stop motion animation, however we did not anticipate how long it would take the students to create the characters.  Although we did not get as far as we thought we would we still made a lot of progress. If I were to do this again, I think I would use a whole day just for creating the characters, and starting the scenes, and that would be it.

Here is a picture of us working on the characters.

This is a picture of one of our students and his character.

After creating our characters we made our scenes for the backgrounds.

The Ocean

Inside the Prison

The Sky and the Sun

The Tower

This was a very fun and progressive day!


Today we received our groups that we would work with for the rest of the workshop.  I started out at the Tweed checking people in, and since we did not really know how the workshop would go I was not assigned to a group right away.  This kind of hard for me because I was put into a group without really knowing what they wanted for their animation; I did not even really know the story very well. Because I was late in joining the group I had to play catch up.

After I checked everyone in, we all huddled around the board and each of the students got to pick a story that they were interested in transforming.  Each of the college student groups had to present their stories along with a style they wanted to use, an artist they wanted it to be inspired from, and colors that they thought would go well with the story.  I was put into the group of Icarus along with Brent and Curtis, and our two students Dane and Charlie. 

The rest of the day we planned out exactly how we were going to animate and transform our story.  We decided to create the characters, Icarus and Daedalus, from screws, nails, bolts, and scraps of metal, giving our animation an industrial type feel, inspired after Tim Burton's "9" movie.


The backgrounds we also decided to use odds and ends of metal and industrial-like images.  To finish the day we started to story board our story and figure out what sequence we wanted it to go in.   



Digital Workshop: A collaboration with secondary school students and college students


On our first day working with the kids we introduced Photoshop.  Using Photo Booth they each took a picture of themselves and brought it into Photoshop to transform.  Students would some how alter their picture and then create a new layer, alter, create a new layer, alter, create a new layer, and so on.  After they felt finished with their transformation we created an animation from teh layers.


Each of the students I worked with already knew how to use Photoshop so it was fairly easy to work with them.  It was also fun for me because I was able to show them some more advanced tools that they could use to transform their pictures.


The students really seemed to enjoy this experiment.  They were free to transform themselves into anything that they wanted.  This was good and bad in some cases.  With so much freedom one of my students didn't knwo what to do to transform herself, I gave her ideas but she was shy and unsure of what she was doing.  Maybe, if I were to do this again I would give some guidance, such as "transform yourself into an animal".  Yet, I really liked what other students came up with. 




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This page is an archive of entries from November 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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