Exploring Narrative through Cut Out Animation
Grade Level: 5th Grade
Time Needed: 4-5 class Periods, 45 minutes each
Focus: To understand and appreciate the process of cut out animation.
1. The student will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of cut out animation through a group collaborative project.
2. The student will show an understanding and comprehension of the cut out animation process by creating a narrative.
1. You tube video clips of Lotte Reiniger's works.
a. The Adventures of Prince Achmed
b. Hansel and Gretel
2. You tube video clips of Terry Gilliam's works.
a. The Miracle of Flight
b. Quintessential Gilliam
3. Historical imagery of animation from cave paintings, and Egyptian drawings.
4. Old animation techniques imagery of zoetrope's, thaumatropes and flipbooks.
1. Scratch paper or sketchbooks
3. Colored pencils
6. Pin tabs for joints on characters
Introduction to the Lesson:
Animation has been around for hundreds of years; some of the first known animations were cave paintings and murals in the Egyptian culture. Animation was used as a means of telling a story about an event, time or place. In the cave paintings they showed animals with multiple legs as if to show the animals in motion. The murals in the Egyptian culture showed images of men wrestling frame by frame; they depicted the movement of the men by drawing each step in the fight sequence. These are only some of the early examples of what animation was like without the help of technology. Animation does not have to be made by using a computer like what we see today, some of the early processes used were incredibly simple and easy to make.
The thaumatrope was one of the first non-technology based animations used. It was first created as a magic trick used on stage for the magician as on optical illusion. It was a simple device that had two images on either side of a circle cut out, attached to both ends were strings that you wiggle between your fingers to make it spin back and forth. The images blurred together when moved quickly which created a uniform image. (show an example of a thaumatrope) Another device that was used was the zoetrope, a more advanced optical illusion that was very much like the drawings found in the Egyptian buildings. Each part of the zoetrope was a drawing done in sequential order to show movement from one step to the next. (show the example of the zoetrope) another simple form of animation that I am sure many of you have seen are flip books. Flip books are really a fun and simple way to create pictures in movement, by placing layers of paper together and drawing sequential drawings on each piece of paper you can flip the pages super fast to make those images move. All of these forms were used as a means of entertainment when they first came out.
The power of animation is unending and can be taken to multiple levels. Many artists that choose to use animation use it to their advantage by adding a certain level of creativity and liveliness to their work. There are two artist that I would like to draw your attention to that uses technique called cut out animation. Cut out animation is a process that involves 2D paper cut out characters. Each movement is placed then taken by a camera until all shots are compiled to make a moving picture. It may take over 200 shots to make 30 seconds of a movie. The process requires patience and creativity.
Lotte Reiniger was a female cut out animator who created vibrant and detailed cut out animation movies. We will be looking into her works to better understand the elements of cut out animation and how we can use this technique to inspire creative animation. Her animations are meticulous, detailed and dramatic. She brings intensity to the subject matter that reflects beyond the story; she creates energy and life within her animations. Her animations may be classified as cut out animation but it can also be called silhouette animation because she takes her cut outs and uses them behind a screen with a light to reflect the shadows. (Show example) One of her famous animations is the story "The Adventures of Prince Achmed" done in 1926. This animation is a prime example of her ability to create narrative using the process of cut out animation.
Another artist that uses cut out animation is Terry Gilliam who is a famous writer/director, created comical animations for the movie "mighty python and the holy grail," and other pieces such as, "the miracle of flight." Each of his pieces share a similar comical expression which he creates by appropriating images from old paintings or photos. He has a very distinct flair and style to his animations; they are somewhat cartoon characters that he creates. By looking at both of these artists we will have a better understanding of the cut out animation process and it can really add to a narrative and give it a creative flow.
Instructional Procedure for Art Making:
After introducing the lesson show the students a PowerPoint of imagery illustrating the ideas described from the opening introduction. Ask the students some opening questions about what they see, and what they find interesting. Introduce the lesson and what the criteria is for the assignment. Students will be creating a cut out animation using one of themes from the list given to them: Magic, Knights, Fairy tale, Heroes, Monsters, Love, Animals, Nature, Voyage or Other (whatever they can think of that was not on the list), however, it needs to be approved by the teacher in regards to appropriateness and versatility for a narrative.
The goal here is for students to create a narrative that illustrates their chosen theme. Students will get into groups of about 3-4 (depending on class size, group evenly) and in the groups the students will collaborate together on a story line that they will create. Students will create a narrative using the simple format of a beginning, middle and end. To help jump start their thinking they are required to have the characters complete a task, that task is entirely up to them or they can use the worksheet provided to help give them ideas.
Criteria for Assignment:
· Students must create a storyboard showing the events of their narrative. At least 15 frames.
· The narrative has a clear task being performed.
· There are at least 2 characters in the narrative.
· Students use the materials effectively to create their characters.
· Students must use time well and effectively in order to get their narrative done.
· Students successfully downloaded and saved all material for their work and compiled it into I-movie.
Today the students will begin to create their storyboard now that they have their ideas in place. Students are required to have at minimum 15 frames to complete their narrative, 5 for each component of the story (beginning, middle and ending). This is just the minimum, I do require that students take more time into their work and make more frames. It is important to have many frames to create a continuous story line, too short and the narrative will not flow.
Today the students will be working on creating their animation by setting up their stations as demonstrated by the teacher. Students are expected to work as a team to get the project done. They will more than likely not be able to finish their work on the first day of production, so they will have today and tomorrow to work on creating their animation. It is important to have cameras ready for each team, and each camera will be numbered. Each student must check out the same camera each time so that they can leave any pictures that they had on there previously but they do need to back up their images onto the classroom flash drive.
Students will continue to work on their projects. They are expected to stay on task and if they have any questions to please ask. It is important that they finish taking all their pictures for their project so that they can save them onto the classroom flash drive and save on the computer.
Students will now take their files and place them into i-movie where they will compile the photos in order to create their animation. Once that is done, students can now experiment with sounds and filters to enhance their cut out animation project. All sounds and filters must be relevant to the task and the overall narrative that they chose. They must thoroughly think through and be critical of how they put together their project. Today is the last day to work on this project, however, if necessary we can add a work day.
Evaluation! Students will present their work to the rest of the class.
1. When the students are finished with their projects they will present it to the classroom
a. Questions to ask:
1. How did you use the information about Lotte Reiniger and Terry Gilliam's work into yours?
2. What about your project did you find to be successful?
3. What about your project was unsuccessful?
4. What did you find creative in the other projects?
5. Do you think you successfully showed us the narrative and the task that was being made? Did you produce enough frames?
2. When discussing the projects make sure to incorporate the influence of Lotte Reiniger and Terry Gilliam's work. How did the students show what they learned from the lesson? Does it show in their work? If so, how? what did they do?
3. Hand out the final reflection sheet to the students and have them fill one out. Since this was a group project, students will be able to reflect on their progress and the progress of others. This will allow for a sufficient analysis of the group as a whole.
Art History: Students look at the works of Lotte Reiniger and Terry Gilliam.
Art Curriculum: Students will have a self-reflection sheet and group discussion.
Art Production: Students will create an I-movie cut out animation narrative.
Aesthetics: Students will discuss the works of Lotte Reiniger and Terry Gilliam.
"The Adventures of Prince Achmed." You Tube. Web. 14 Dec 2009. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvU55CUw5Ck&feature=related>.
"History of Animation." Wikipedia. Web. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_animation>.
"The Miracle of Flight." You Tube. Web. 14 Dec 2009. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMpXUd_kesA&feature=related
Moritze, William. "Lotte Reiniger." Animation World Network (1996): n. pag. Web. 14 Dec 2009. <http://www.awn.com/mag/issue1.3/articles/moritz1.3.html>.
Inner Reflection: Fantasy Portraits
Grade Level: 9th
Time Needed: 5-7 Class Periods, 45 minutes each
Focus: To learn and to understand the importance of identity and the role it plays in our daily lives through the creation of digital fantasy portraits, an exploration into identity.
1. Students will be able to create a digital portrait using symbols to illustrate their identity. (Productive)
2. To demonstrate ability to conceptualize object/image placement using the design principles of composition. (Critical)
3. To develop appreciation for one's own and other's works. (Aesthetics)
4. To develop skill and demonstrate ability in digital collage building techniques. (Productive)
5. Incorporate the style of a particular artist that shows understanding of color, technique and harmony. (Productive)
1. Works by various digital artists that manipulate portrait art into digital art.
a. Maciej Hajnrich
b. Jerico Santander "Nereid" & "Own World"
c. Nik Ainley "Stranger," "Mystic," "Oracle," & "Dream Machine"
2. Works by famous artists that have a specific style and technique.
a. Monet b. Van Gogh c. Georges Braque d. Warhol
e. Picasso f. Matisse
3. Symbols Worksheet, and a symbol Power Point illustrating how symbols are used within an artwork to create deep meaning and purpose.
4. Identity Worksheet to help guide them in creating their symbols.
1. Computers and Photoshop software
Introduction to the Lesson:
Identity is a one of the most importance things when discovering who we are as individuals. Many artists use identity in their artworks to convey a message or to express a feeling or mood. Identity is what describes who we are through the means of several elements such as family, friends, hobbies, interests, likes/dislikes, religion, heritage, culture, values/beliefs etc. It is through looking at all the components of ourselves that we can translate who we are onto paper. Identity plays a very important role in our daily lives, it tells others who we are, and it is our essence of our individualism.
Identity in artwork can be seen in multiple ways, such as portraits. Portraits have been around for many years and were once solely used for the purpose of showing who we were to others after we had passed away. Now in today's culture portraits are everywhere and can be seen anywhere. Portraits can be taken and made with just one touch of the button, but what it lacks is the essence of the person. Portraits do not need to stand alone they can be brought to life by creating imagery that surrounds the image to give it a message or purpose.
One way to give meaning or purpose to a work of art is to add symbolism. Symbolism is the use of symbols to represent ideas, thoughts or emotions and can be used in a wide variety of ways. Symbols in artwork has played a key component in portraiture, for instance, in the renaissance period portrait artists would add symbolism to the painting to either tell the onlooker the position or rank of the person, what their career was, where they lived, etc. The artist could also put hidden meaning about the person in the artwork, like adding a crow to symbolism death, or a lily to symbolize eternal beauty. Using symbols is a creative way to say what you want yet keeps it secretive and hidden with the painting.
Another way to add additional symbolism is color choice. Each color in the past has had a unique connotation to an emotion or feeling. Color can represent a person just as literally as an object or words. Color choice is essential when creating a portrait, it sets the mood of the painting, and it tells the reader what to feel and how to respond. Even the clashing of two colors can symbolism dichotomy of differences; good versus bad, rain versus snow, anger versus love etc.
Portraits can also hold additional meaning and purpose by the way the artist paints the person. Very distinct techniques or characteristics of the painting can give rise to new meaning and a new outlook towards the person we are viewing. Many famous artists such as Monet, Matisse, Van Gogh, or Warhol are all artists that have a very particular and unique technique. It is obvious to see and feel the differences of each style of painting when applied to a portrait. By adding symbolism through color, symbols/objects and painting techniques we can create a strong sense of self when making our portraits. By having so many variations to work with we increase our chances of creating a work of art that truly mirrors our inner selves.
Instructional Procedure for Art Making:
Today the students will be taking what they learned about identity and begin applying it to their ideas. Here the students are asked to consider some symbols that would be fitting for their imagery by filling out the symbol worksheet (identity worksheet). There will be a Power Point given to demonstrate the meaning and purpose of symbolism in artwork. Once they have seen and talked about symbols they are asked to begin sketching out ideas and start working on creating symbols for their work.
Students need to be able to follow the criteria given to them for this assignment. They will be challenged to think critically and aesthetically. The goal for this assignment is to take a simple idea like portraiture and push it beyond itself to make the portrait move and come to life with meaning and purpose.
· Students will have at least 5 symbols used in their portrait.
· Students will use the elements and principles of design to create a cohesive and well thought out composition.
· Implement subtle techniques of famous artists to enhance their work. This can be done by either a filter or hand done, whichever works best for achieving this goal.
· Incorporates different techniques in Photoshop to achieve their goal.
Today the students will be investigating famous artists and how they used different techniques to add or enhance their work. These famous artists used various techniques to give their portraits further meaning and purpose, which is the focus of this assignment. Once the students have looked into other artists they will now re-visit their sketches and play with how to incorporate this into their work.
If the students managed to get to the point of working in Photoshop then they will be allowed to go ahead and start working on the computer.
Students will now and should be working on their assignments for today. Follow through with asking them what they remember about creating a project that used the elements and principles of design and what ways they plan on incorporating this into their work.
Go around the room and ask each student what their plan is and how they plan to achieve the above goal. If there are any students that are stuck with any aspect of this assignment help them out with some guiding questions about their ideas.
- What were the symbols that you were planning to use in project?
- What are some characteristics that you used in planning for your symbols?
- What are some of the artworks that you found to be interesting? What would you like to incorporate from that artist into your own art?
- Which famous artist were you drawn to? Why? What about the technique inspires you?
Students will have the opportunity to work on this project for the next 3 days. Again make sure to go around to all the students and reinforce the criteria for this assignment. Let them know that they will be showing their assignments to the class for a final evaluation.
Final Assessment day, all the students should have their work done today.
- Today the students will show their work to the rest of the class. They will discuss the following:
- What are some things that you see that you enjoy about the works of your peers?
- How did the artist create the imagery using the elements and principles of design?
- Does the artist show the importance and value of creating artwork through identity?
- What were some important things that you learned while creating this project about identity? Did you enjoy creating work that reflects who you are?
- Students should be able to go around the room and briefly talk about their work and why they chose to use the colors they did and how they incorporated the works of a famous artist.
- After the students are done discussing they will fill out a personal reflection sheets.
Art History: Students will look at the artwork of digital artists and famous artists
Art Curriculum: Students will have a group discussion and fill out a reflection.
Art Production: Students will create an identity inspired portraits.
Aesthetics: Students will learn to appreciate the role of Identity in their lives.
Ainley, Nik. "Shiny Binary Art." Shiny Binary. 2009. Web. 15 Dec 2009. <http://www.shinybinary.com/>.
Hajnrich, maciej. "Valp Now." Maciej Hajnrich. 2009. Web. 15 Dec 2009. <http://www.nietylko.net/>.
Santander, Jerico. "Jerico Santander." Behance Network. 2009. Web. 15 Dec 2009. <http://www.behance.net/Jerico>.
What Is It?
-Pre camera tactic to create the illusion of movement through a series of images
-Invented in 1826
-Thaumatrope= Turning marvel or wonder turner
-First optical/mechanical toy
How It Works?
-Small disc connected by a string on the sides
-Two images are drawn on either side in a way that when it spins it superimposes both images
-Invented in 1832 by Joseph Plateau
-Also named Spindle viewer
-Developed scientifically soon became amusement for children
How It Works?
-A wheel divided in to equal parts with animation in the center moving outward (like a spiral) with slits on the outside of the circle to view through.
Spin the wheel facing it towards a mirror and look at image through the slits in the mirror
-Invented in 1834 by William Horner
-Also called the wheel of life
-Based on Plaetau's phenakistoscope
How It Works?
-Works the same way as the phenakistiscope
-It was put on the inside of a drum and the viewer would look in the slits and look down on the series of images
-First form of animation in a linear sequence of images
-It was the birth of most cinema
How It Works?
-A book with images on each page
-When the pages are flipped they move in a sequence to create a story line
Transitioning to Film
-Soon these techniques were taken to film by drawing or scratching in a linear motion on a strip of paper or film
-This would then be taped in sequence