Monday, March 11, 2019

Animated Swing Scenes with Stop Motion Studio

Second grade artists learned to take their art to the next level with this digital extension of their Swing Scenes.  Learn all about how they created these whimsical self-portraits here!

Second grade artists used this project to become young animators - and they LOVED seeing their art literally come to life.  For this animation we used Stop Motion Studio.  They have a free and paid version.  I have had success teaching students to animate from Kindergarten through upper elementary with this app - it is very user friendly!
Image result for stop motion studio app
After much trial and error, I figured out how to have each students box set up for them like a mini movie set.  This required ALOT of prep!

First I attached a wire to each swing that ran through the back of the box.  This would allow each animator to move their swing to one of 3 positions.
Next, I created a set for each swing scene.  We needed to be able to hide the student animator standing behind the box and block out the background environment around the box. The box is also taped to the base paper so that it can't be moved.  Finally, I also tape the base paper to the table so that can't move!  We took many precautionary steps so that all students could be successful!
Best case scenario is to have the tables set up before the class walks in the door. However, there are days that I have back to back classes and this isn't possible. 
In the cases where I can't have the tables set, I pre-tape the boxes as in the picture above and then set up the iPads and iPad stands on trays to quickly distribute.
Students worked in pairs and each student had one of two jobs, director or animator.  
The director controls the iPad, and the animator is in charge of moving the swing.
Before any animating took place - all students took an oath: 
"I will not move my box, I will not pick up my iPad"
(disclaimer: even though we took that oath - their were definitely boxes and iPads moved!)

The director now opens up the Stop Motion App, and sets up their iPad and iPad stand. Once their camera was centered in the correct position, the used the 2 strips of take to secure their iPad stand. Again a good precaution!
Ok, students were now ready to animate.
We took the first pictures step by step as a group. 

These movies are made up of a rotation of 3 swing positions.  First step, animators marked position 1 by making making sharpie mark on their wire when the swing is in position 1 or the base position. After marking position 1, the director takes 1 picture. Animators now move the swing to position 2 by pushing the wire into the box about 1-2 inches and again marking the wire with sharpie. Once swings where in position, the director takes 1 picture.  The same process for position 3.  Then animators come back down following these steps for position 2 and then back to 1. 
After completing this cycle as a group, I let student teams go on and finish by themselves. 
They needed to repeat the process 2 more times.  At the end, movies will be made up of approximately 14-16 pictures.  
These young animators were so excited to see their movies finished!  
Take a look at each classes' finished animations.  

Mrs. Begin and Mrs. Frey's Class

Mrs. Kennedy's Class

Mrs. LeVangie's Class

Mrs. Mulligan's Class

Mrs. Polom's Class

Do these movies bring you as much joy as they do me?!

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