Saturday, April 18, 2009

Whiteboard Stop Motion Animation

I’ve been working with the 7th grade science class on their Evolution Movie project.  Essentially the students had to pick an animal and show how it evolved.  I introduced the project by showing students lots of examples of different movie styles they might want to use and by far the biggest hit was whiteboard stop motion animation. 

Here are two examples I showed:

 

I wasn’t sure exactly how we were going to do it but through some trial and error we figured it out.  Here is what we found works:

  1. Students first created a storyboard of what their completed animation would look like.
  2. Students then setup a camera on a tripod focused on the big whiteboard in the center of the room.  Some students decided to use a smaller whiteboard that was the size of a laptop.  This enabled those groups to rotate the entire board if needed – especially useful when the mammoth was hit by a boulder and did a 360.
  3. Students drew on the whiteboard a box showing the areas the camera was picking up.
  4. Students then drew within that area their animation.  A lot of problem solving went into when to erase an area, how to move the camera to make the scene move, and what to add and when. 
  5. Students then added their pictures to WMM changing the duration of the pictures to .125 or .25 seconds.  To do this go to Tools – Options – Advanced tab – Picture duration.  Make sure to do this before adding your pictures to the storyboard. 
  6. Students then narrated their animation to explain how their animal evolved. 

Students were so creative with this project.  Groups had brown bears changing to white in the snow, people riding elephants, giraffes necks getting longer, etc.  It was a great project and the tools and supplies you need are minimal.  Really you just need cameras, tripods, whiteboards (some groups used the little whiteboards), and whiteboard pens. 

I’ve done a lot of claymation projects in the past and I have to say that this whiteboard animation was a million times easier.  The project also took a lot less time then claymation as there is hardly any prep that goes into getting ready to create the animation. 

<---Cross post from Katie Christo's Edublogs site--->

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