Lesson Plan 1 :: Photoshop Animation :: Telling a Short Story

Here is my first lesson plan for digital arts, it is designed for a full computer lab setting were each student would create your own animation to tell a story.

Digital Art Lesson Plan 1.docx
Digital Art Lesson Plan 1.doc
Digital Art Lesson Plan 1.pdf

Lorena Sell
ART 3814
December 15, 2009

Photoshop Animation: Telling a Short Story
(With Full Computer Lab)

Grade Level/Age: Grade 6 to 8; 11 to 14 years old
Time Needed:  8 Class Periods

Focus: The students will learn about the history of animation and animation in Photoshop; and will be asked to create their own story to animate.

a. Demonstrate use of variety of tools, materials and techniques in media arts based on the characteristics of the hardware and software.
b. Analyze the elements in media arts such as image, sound, space, time, motion and sequence.
c. Students will create a story of their own and will design an animation to tell their story.

Motivational Resources:
    Video Examples   
My own Animation: "Light Bulb Bugs"
        "Beauty and the Horse" Transformation Story Animation
        "Mermaid" Additive Animation Example
        "Creature Animation" Example
    Demos of Photoshop Tools and Techniques
    Hand Out about Photoshop Tools and What They Do (See Attachment)

Art Materials:
    Mac Computers or PCs (if they have the right programs)
        Photoshop CS3
        iMovie HD
        Garage Band
    Scanner and Printer
    Pencils and Erasers
    Note Cards
Poster Board
    Color Pencils or Markers
    Wacom Drawing Pads (if available)
    Flash Drives, External Hard Drives and/or Blank CDs
    Permanent Markers

Introduction to the Lesson:
    The Art of Animation History has been around for a long time. Some of these are telling a story through moving images.  There have been connects from ancient Egyptian was drawings back in 2000 B.C. that look like what we would call comic strips now.  A connect can also be made to Leonardo da Vinci's "Vitruvian Man" is early form of showing motion as the arms and legs would move. Many people in history have always tried to capture movement in their artwork. But in order to achieve animation there needed to be an understanding of how the human eye works. The first step towards the animation that we know today came by a Frenchman, Paul Roget in 1828 created an invention called the thaumatrope. This item as simply on a disc with a string or peg attached to both sides. For example, there is an image of a bird on one side and an image of a cage on the other. When twirling the string or sticks, to the eye it looks like bird is in the cage. Around that some time, two other inventions come along that also helped the exploration of animation. In 1826, Joseph Plateau invented the phenakistoscope (a circular card with slits around the edge, using a mirror the viewer looked thought the slits at the card and as the object moving). Later in 1860, Pierre Desvignes used a simple idea to create is zoetrope (inserting a paper strip into a drum like cylinder and twirled, the view looked thought the slits at the top of the drum to see the animation).
    With the invention of the motion camera and projector by Thomas Edison, it opened a wider field of possibilities for animation. Stuart Blackton in 1906 make a film where he drew faces on a blackboard and photographed them, and erased them and would draw the next stage of the expression. This would later be known as "stop-motion animation".  In the 1920's animated illustrations came out to over power the old ways, like Winsor McCay's "Gertie the Dinosaur" (1914) and Otto Messmer's "Felix the Cat" (1913).  Once these were used as a mere form of entertainment would later become a means of propaganda in the World Wars.  After the 1920's, Animation takes off with a bang. People like Walt Disney come into the picture and gives us wonder animated stories like "Steam Boat Willie".  Warner Brother's would be right behind Disney in creating cartoon animations for people to fall in love with.
    After about 60 years or so of hand-drawn animation, the first full computer animation film comes out by Pixar and Disney,  "Toy Story" (1995). Animation in the form of the method of using a computer has now been very popular in the last 15 years. Many more films have been released with using this technique. There have even been some that have used live action and animation to create films. But all of these are doing one main thing and that is to tell a story using artistic means and animation. With the knowledge of how to use Photoshop and your own creative power of creating a story, you will come up with your own animation to tell the story.

Instructional Procedure for Art Making:
Class 1: During the first day of class, students will be introduced to a brief history of animation and story telling. Examples will be shown of animation styles and of Photoshop animation. Students will be given the task of come up and writing a short story that they could make a short animation out of that story.

Class 2: Students will be introduced with Photoshop and will be given a handout about the different Photoshop tools. There will be time for students to get to know the tools to be able to get comfortable with them.  After the students have time to get to know Photoshop and their story is written students need to sketch ideas of backgrounds, characters, and will create a story board of how their animation will turn out.

Class 3-5: Once students have a plan for how they are going to tell their story, students will begin to use their knowledge of Photoshop to create a layer animation to tell their story

Class 6-7: After all of the main animation is done, students will be introduced to iMovie and Garage Band to put final touches on their animations by editing it, adding credits, titles, transitions, and music.

Class 8: After all of the animation and editing has taken place, students will take part in a critique/showing of all of their movies. Students will be asked to share what their inspiration for their story was, where they choice their style from, etc.

    On the last day of the class students will take part in a critique and showing of all of the movies that were created in the last several class times. Students will be graded and evaluated on how well they met the requirements and have kept in focused in class and also how they participate in critique.

DBEA Checklist
Art Production: Student create their own Photoshop animations.
Aesthetics: Students will be asked to use a central theme of colors, etc.
Art History: Students will learn the history behind animation.
Art Criticism: Students will take part in a final critique of the project


Photoshop CS3 Tool JPEG Source

My YouTube Channel
    "Mermaid Animation"
    "Digital Art Workshop :: Beauty and the Horse"
    "Creature Animation"

My Blog

"History of Animation The Early Years: Before Disney" Patrick James. 15 December 2009.

"A Rather Incomplete But Still Fascinating History of Animation" Dan McLaughlin. 2001. 15 December 2009. <http://animation.filmtv.ucla.edu/NewSite/WebPages/Histories.html>

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This page contains a single entry by sell0237 published on December 15, 2009 2:09 PM.

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