Lesson 1 – Planning

Learning Outcomes

Objectives:

Must

Make a simple “flickbook animation”
Create Basic plan for animated story.

Should

Draft an idea for an animated story,  understanding the complexity of creating a one minute-long animation.

Could

Come up with a coherent story-idea for a short animation, outlining important moments in the story in the form of a storyboard.

Keywords

Words to learn for this lesson are:  Stop motion, Frame,  Frame rate, Story board.

Starter

Watch this video:

Now try this one:

What do these two videos have in common?  They use a technique called Stop-motion animation.

Main

How does this work?  To understand better, you’ll need to do a quick experiment.  In your book, at the bottom right corner of the page, draw a VERY SMALL circle. Now, turn the page, and in exactly the same page, draw a very slightly larger circle. Repeat this over several pages (Keep the circles quite small).

Look back at the first circle, and flick rapidly with your thumb, looking at the same page.  This will give the illusion, or impression of movement as your brain cannot focus on each image individually – this idea of many slightly different, rapidly repeating images gives us the basis of animation.  Actually, this is the basis for all video as well – A video file is just a bundle of still images, or frames, played at a rate of 26 per second (in Europe using the PAL system) or 29.97 in America, using NTSC.

Which video system you think is better quality? Why?

Here is a slightly more elaborate version of your flick-book:

So now we’re going to plan our own stop-motion animation – exactly like the ones you saw in the first two videos.  These were created simply using models (latex foam, wire, clay and Plasticine are commonly used)  The models are posed, photographed, re-posed, photographed again and again.  This is a painstaking process.

If the frame rate is 24fps  (frames per second),  how many images are needed for just one minute of film?

Because of this, you’ll need to plan your animation carefully.    Your first job is to create a pitch- the first document detailing the main idea for the animation.  This is what you’d take to a studio to get your idea green-lit, or approved.

Here is a template for you to copy and fill in.  You need to make it look as professional as possible!!

 

Plenary

Perhaps you can make a slightly more elaborate flicking animation on the reverse pages of your book (think moving animal, walking person, smiling face)?

Homework