Make you own 3D stop motion animation

How to Make your Own 3D Stop Motion Animation

Suitable for age 8 and up.

Hello! In this activity I’m going to show you how to make your own 3D stop motion animation using a mobile phone, the brilliant and easy-to-use Stop Motion Studio App, plus a few things you have around the house!

3D means “three dimensional”, which means that you can see round the sides of the characters and objects you’re filming. The Wallace and Gromit animations are a great example of 3D stop motion animation.

If you were making a “flat” animation, say like the Simpsons, where the characters and objects are drawn on a flat surface and you can’t see round the sides, this would be a 2D (two dimensional) animation.

You will need…

Equipment/software

A smart phone (iphone or android work fine)

A desk lamp (don’t worry if you don’t have one, it’s not essential)

The Stop Motion Studio App – go to the App Store on your mobile and download it for free. Look for this logo:

A stand for your phone. If you don’t have one you can make one – here’s a video with some ideas: The coffee cup one works really well 🙂

 

Materials

If this is your first 3D animation you can use lego characters, sylvanian families, or any little ready-made dolls or figures you have at home.

You can also make your own using plasticine or playdough. Plasticine is also called “modelling clay”.

Or you can get creative and improvise: Sea shells, stones, fruit and veg, acorns or pine cones can be adapted to make simple characters too 🙂

You can also make a simple background by drawing it onto a piece of paper

Have a look at my example below using a  piece of paper, some card  and a cone for a hedgehog:

 

Make your animation!

Open Stop Motion Studio on your phone and click on the box called New Movie (it has a small cross in the middle) to start  creating your animation

Pop a few pieces of blue/white tack on the base of your stand to keep it stable and stick it to a table, worktop or shelf

Put your phone on your stand

Put your character on the table in front of your phone so you can see it on your screen

Click on the red button twice on the right of the screen. (Clicking twice slows down the speed of your animation, so if you want your characters to go fast, just click once)

Well done! You have just captured the first move of your animation.

Move your character a little bit (say 0.5 cm).

Click on the red button twice to take your second move.

Move your chacter a little bit and click the red button twice again. Then just carry on: move-click-click, move-click-click, move-click-click until you’ve finished filming what you character is doing.

To play back click the arrow under the red button. You have just made your first animation!

To see all the brilliant things you can do with this app, click on the ? button in the bottom right hand corner of the screen, also go to the settings logo, which is a cog-shaped icon.

Things you can do now: Save your film then send it to your friends!

Here’s a photo of the setup I used to make my animation – I used an ipad mini to make mine as my smart phone isn’t too smart!! :/ But it works the same.

I folded an A3 sheet of paper in half and drew a background on the top half and the ground on the bottom half, then used white tack to stick it to a big book to make it stand up.

I made a hedgehog from a cone, with stuck-on eyes and nose, then put a bit of white tack on the hedgehog’s bottom to make it stay upright.

I also made some trees from pieces of folded cardboard which I coloured in. They aren’t in this photo, have a look at the animation to see them)

Here’s my final animation – “Hedgehog in the Woods” 🙂 It’s a bit wobbly in places, so see if you can do better.

Stay well, stay home, have fun and make an animation! 🙂

 

The Andean Bears of “Darkest Peru”

Creative learning activity suitable for 8 years and up.

I’ve been trying to draw bears a lot recently. There’s something so cuddly about them – like teddy bears – but that’s not at all true, and I wouldn’t like to meet one up close – that’s a fact! :/

Here’s a great article about real-life, factual avocado-eating Andean Bears in the Andean Forest – or “Darkest Peru” as Paddington Bear, the best-known fictional Andean Bear would call it 😉

They’re also called “Spectacled Bears”, and if you have a look at their face, you can see why.

You can have a look at the article here::

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/mar/21/rare-andean-bears-flock-to-cloud-forest-to-feast-on-wild-avocados-aoe

Now over to you…

1. Research: read the article – there are a lot of long words in it, but don’t worry if you don’t understand them all. Look up Andean Bears (or Spectacled Bears) on the internet, see what you can find out. Here’s a description of the bears by the people at San Diego Zoo in California that is a bit easier to read!

https://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/andean-spectacled-bear

2. Write down all the cool stuff you have found out about the bears – use pen and paper or your computer/tablet. Where do they live? What do they eat? Are they easy to find? Are they endangered?

3. Do you know what “fictional” means? If not, then look it up and find out, and then draw or write (or both!) a story about a fictional bear. This means you can use your imagination. Maybe this fictional bear doesn’t live in the Andes, but in a flat in the city, or a cottage in the countryside. Maybe it is a bank manager or a PE teacher, or even an astronaut!

It’s up to you – this story can be as imaginative and fun as you like!

Finally, here he is, the world’s most famous fictional Andean bear in a clip from the first Paddington film. And don’t forget, he was originally created by author Michael Bond in a series of books for children. Maybe you have some already? If not keep a look out for them, they are great!

Make Your Own – Rocket Comic Book!

Make Your Own

Rocket Comic Book!

 

This latest downloadable make is now up on my DIY page

It’s a simple creative make for kids 7 and up, using basic, inexpensive materials. Click  to go to the DIY page and click on the Rocket Comic Book heading to download.

This fun make can be used to explore Science and Outer Space themes with children. Here’s a link to the NASA website to get you going!

 

I ran this workshop last year at a library. Here are some pics from the day – more inspiration! 🙂

Samurai Warrior Costume

Here’s another make you can do at home. To find out how to make it, go to to my DIY page  and download the instructions there.

Have fun!

Make Your Own

Samurai Warrior Costume!

 

 

Easy make. Some help with stapling and cutting from a grownup required.

Suitable for ages 5 and up.

If you are educating at home, then use this fun activity to do research into Japan and Japanese culture. Here’s the Wikipedia link to get yopu going. Have fun and learn LOTS!

 

Just to let you know, there were women samurai warriors too. Go girls!

 

 

 

 

 

Puppets in Exeter

I was very lucky to get the opportunity to sit in on some undergraduate puppetry sessions at Exeter University recently. Led by the brilliant Cariad  Astles, I got a real insight into performing with puppets and working out what makes a good performance and puppetry piece.

Really interesting, and extremely useful for a kids puppet show project I have got on the bubble… I managed to sketch some of the students rehearsing with their puppets, great body poses and faces. Here they are, and pictures of the puppets they were using.

Interactive Digital Media at Magic Carpet

An art-technology mashup!

First, the guys drew a jungle-forest backgound, and then, separately, created some fierce  animal characters which we cut out and animated against a green screen.

Then, through the magic of digital media, we overlayed the animation on the background, and projected the whole thing onto a screen and, as you can see,! had a lot of fun interacting with our scary creations!

The animation we made:

Plus some pics of an interactive shadow puppet and projection workshop I ran with the same group at the end of 2018, but didn’t get time to post.. The guys made drawings of scenes from the Nativity story and black card shadow puppet characters, then I projected their drawings and they reenacted the story with their puppets on the big screen. We also made animal hats so participants could interact with the screen as a shadow puppet themselves. This was all done in a day – interactive digital media can make for very magical experiences for people.

Rocket Comics At Teignmouth Library!

TOMORROW!! Come down at 11am and make a rocket comic with me! £2 per child we’re running till 12.30pm. Hope to see you there!

What a brilliant, creative workshop! Thanks to Cathy and Caroline for helping out and to the children and their families for coming and getiing into the activity so enthusiastically,. And the result was some rather lovely, unique rocket comics 🙂

Making the animation for Shimmer and Disappear by Pram

I was very chuffed when Pram asked me to make an animation for a track from their new LP Across the Meridian. I took some pictures while making, so here they are below…

The whole process from a-z was great fun, even when everything fell over :), and it’s a brilliant track too.

Pram’s new album is out on Domino Records on 20th July and available for pre-order here