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The chalk animation

During the first semester I was able to do an animation station at UMD. I only had one person show up however that was enough to create a small animation project. Chalk animation seemed to be one of the harder animations for me to work with and accomplish. This is also the shortest animation that I have made since I have been working in animation. The fact that all the shorts had to be drawn individually was a challenge. And another change was making each character the same size as we moved long. The character kind of morphed as the animation went along, so we just went with it and kept changing it. For this animation we did not really focus on a plot we just focused on the movement of tha chalk creatures.


This is my first animation that I have been able to get done from the animation station. I want to do a lot more with it, however for now I just want to get it on the blog so you can see how great the students did. Working in iMovieHD has proven to be a complicated experience.

This was an interesting project to work on. I learned so much about animation just from having to put this one together. It is a little rough, but it was a good first try.

I realized how important it is when you are teaching that you actually have to do. Experience it first so you know exactly what expect for your students.

Chalk animation Review

I was not able to get as many participants a I would have liked, so this animation station was more of a trial and error experience for me. But for the students that did come I was able to get quite a bit of information from.

Because I have been doing this a while, I have forgotten a lot of the things that others may not know right off the bat. For example: If you are having a chalk creature wave at you, you do not need to redraw the whole character in order to make him wave. The student can just move the arm to get that effect.

Since I LOVE lists, I am going to write an outline of things to remember.

1. Students may draw things too small, or their character may shrink as time goes on.
- If you are worried about this happening, have a student create a stencil of their characters body so it can have some consistency through out the animation. This way you can also approve of the size of creature before its drawn on the board.
2. If you are going to have a student in the animation as well as the chalk, be sure you tape the floor where the student will stand is going to be.
- that way your student isn't jumping all around the screen in the final product.
3. Be sure the chalk board is secure, you dont want your animation to look like it is going through an earth quake.
4. Would suggest using this with an older group of students, it is a lot more complex than stop motion.


Thoughts on the Stop motion Lesson

The stop motion lesson went very well. I got there a half an hour early to set up every thing, and arrange the background and supplies. The clay and toy parts were laid out on a table for the participants to choose from and arrange while they waited their turn on the stop motion. Four participant showed up, and they all took turns taking pictures, moving pieces and creating characters to be added in the animation.

I set down the basic plot but they took it to the next level and made huge decisions on where the movie should go. They made suggestion on the sound effects, and made decisions that involved forward thinking. The ages of the group varied for 8 years to 18 years, but they worked together as a team, and did not let the large age difference be a problem. I was very surprised and happy with the maturity that was sown by the group. I think because this was such a Kinesthetic activity, it had their minds and hands busy.

Other Things noticed:
- They treated the stage like a canvas and had to think on the go of how they were going to keep their composition balanced.
- On their own they decided to build with toys I set out, to either make Models of the creature being created in the video or new players to assist the main character.
- Even with a small group you want to have a side activity to keep the others busy. Only a few students can be working on the animation at a time.
- Don't take to much control, it will prevent them from making artistic choices and you could be missing out on great insight from their imagination. Act more like the camera man and less like the director.
- Keep checking your pictures to make sure your images are in focus.
- Show the students the progress as they go, it will get them even more motivated. After I showed them what they had done after the first series of photos, they really began to test how far they could push the animation.

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