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Workshop Syllabus

Workshop: Stop Motion Animation

Length of workshop: 1 day

Overview: Inspired by films like Wallace & Grommet and the Lego films, kids will use lego figures, plasticine and mini-green screen sets to create their own action/comedy scenes.

In crews of 3-5 participants will create a 30-60 second stop-motion animation film to be shown to parents at the end of the day, in a mini film festival. 

Plasticine will be used to create characters, on mini green screen sets. “Stop Motion” app on the iPads will be used as the capturing tool with iMovie as an additional editing tool.

We set up mini-green screen sets so crews can create their own backgrounds relevant to the story.

Participants will take on specific roles within their crew to learn how to work efficiently in a creative context and tell a simple story. They will be given a process to work with, problem solve and critically reflect on their achievement.

Participants will:

  • To inspire participants to collaborate in making a 30-60 sec stop motion animation film
  • To embed the StarTime Values of Commitment, Collaboration, Courage and Compassion through workshop activities.
  • Understand the process of creating a stop motion animation film in the Stop motion app. with Green Sreen Technology. 4) Students understand and learn essential techniques including: 
    • Ideal Frame rates, Incremental movements,  how to position the camera, Creating, modelling and positioning plasticine characters – storyboard, shoot and edit a simple narrative. Adding music and doing a final mix of their film before showing to a live audience

Session 1

Introducing Stop Motion Animation

WHAT: Introduce and inspire participants to the craft of stop motion animation

HOW:

  • Discuss what stop motion animation is. The meaning of animation and how the technique of stop motion is a form of animation.
  • How with stop motion you need to be very patient, with an attention to detail and  focus on collaboration.
  • Mention some films/programs they might know eg: Shaun the sheep, Wallace and Grommet, Chicken Run etc
  • Show clips of cool stop motion animation: (see resources)

WHY: Participants will:

  • understand what Stop motion is
  • be inspired by what they could achieve today and stories already start taking shape in their heads
  • PRIMED for the skills they’ll need to employ during the day ie: patience and collaboration. 
  • have a frame of reference for what they can achieve
  • APPLE TV for mirroring OR HDMI connection to computer or iPAD
  • Video resources / links
    • Shaun the Sheep Video
    • Cool Stop motion examples:

Head Coach:

  • to lead tutorial 

Coach:

  • to contribute where possible
  • give stars for good listeners and contributors to the conversation

Ask questions of the students to find out their knowledge level and frames of reference around Stop Motion.

PREPARATION of Stop Motion animation set

WHAT:

  • Go through setting up of the Green screen set, the tripod and the camera position
  • Introduce rule of 3rds. ie: using the grid function on camera app to get frame horizontal and and verticals in line

HOW:

  • Demonstrate the set. That before we position the camera we have to set up our green screen cards. (Which the Coaches will do in the break.)Students can choose to shoot from above or cross section (See photos below)
  • Show how when positioning the camera for cross section shooting (ie on the table) The iPad needs to be approximately at just above table height. Therefore the tripod needs to be set up. Demonstrate the way participants will use tripods. Show quick release plate. Show how to adjust height using the tripod next(ie NOT the legs) Must have pan handle on the same side as the screen
  • Once the iPad is on the tripod, mirror using apple TV. Show the grid lines and best position for the iPad, keeping in mind the lens is on the left of the iPad

stop motion animation

WHY:

  • Setting up is vital to filming efficiently. Students will understand how to operate tripod properly and position frame for best results
  • Apple TV or HDMI (with adapter) to TV
  • iPad with STOP MOTION app

Head Coach:

  • to lead tutorial 

Coach:

  • contribute where possible
  • give stars for good listeners and contributors to the conversation
  • Don’t spend too much time on this. Assistant Coach will have tripods set up for them when they are ready to be distributed but the main thing is that when using the tripods, they need to take care of them WITHOUT forcing anything and position the camera to line up with the set.
  • Emphasise for them not to move the camera once set up for a scene.
  • Some set ups might need extra lighting for green screen which is provided in the kit.
THE PROCESS of Shooting STOP MOTION

WHAT:

  • Navigate the app
  • Decode what frame rate is and how it is an important function of understanding stop motion.
  • Demonstrate the filming process by creating a short 5-7 second clip.
  • Creating plasticine characters

HOW:

  • Open the stop motion app and describe the interface, pointing out the main features and how to use them : taking shots / the
  • In this demonstration you will want to prepare a short sequence that has a beginning / middle and end. For eg:
    • A character walks into frame (have your character pre-created) turns and stands looking to camera. A dropping sound appears, it looks up and has a massive bird poo fall on its head (crude but fun for kids).
  • During this demo you will point out:
    • the incremental movements you make each shot taken
    • Frames per second set at 10fps (this makes it easy to calculate and smooth enough
    • The frame take process – see sheet here
    • Not placing hands in the shot – if there are hands, they can search for and delete the frame/s
    • Not moving the camera once set for the sequence
    • Also make mention of the beginning middle and end of your story/sequence – you want to PRIME the students for creating good stories, so point this out.
  • Once you have demonstrated how to take a shots and manipulate . Do one at 6 fps as opposed to 12 fps. To view a crude example difference between low and high frame rate stop motion click here

WHY:

  • Embed the process and demonstrate what students will be doing during the exercise
  • Students know how to create the smoothest animation
  • iPad with STOP MOTION app 

Head Coach:

  • to float and help groups where necessary 

Coach:

  • float and help groups where necessary

Session 2

Green Screening Process and Crew Roles

WHAT:

Now that the students have understood the process of stop motion, written their storyboards, the last things they need to understand before shooting is how to green screen in the Stop Motion app.

HOW:

  • Prep: Make sure you are familiar with the green screen feature on the app if not, see the tutorial on the app. Show students how the feature works. Explain that its’s important the characters are bold in structure so they are easily keyed. Too much detail and skinny parts may disappear when using green screen. (refer to character)
  • Explain that green screen allows you to change backgrounds to whatever you like. You want to choose backgrounds appropriate for the story and easy to create a good key. (outline) White backgrounds can be problematic. The app provides some backgrounds, however you can import anything that is on the camera roll of the iPad.
  • It’s not essential that groups use green screen backgrounds. They can have the plain green card as background if they choose.
  • Once the basics of the green screen feature has been demonstrated, set up the first shot to show how the crew roles work.
  • Choose volunteers from the students who will do a good job demonstrating the different crew roles. Be sure to explain that the “modellers” can be creating the characters as the others in their crew begin filming. (hand out crew call cards)

WHY:

  • Students imaginations are further inspired and might add/change to existing ideas
  • Students are confident with Green Screen feature and how to choose appropriate backgrounds and can apply as efficiently as possible
  • Crewing: Students are each given roles to enhance the collaborative process. They understand each role is important to contribute to the film’s completion
  • Green Screen Set
  • iPad with Stop MOTION app and green screen feature ready
  • Example Story ready to go
  • Crew call sheet / process, click here

Head Coach:

  • Lead tutorial 

Coach:

  • Assist and give stars to participants where possible for good listening etc

Get the kids involved as much possible. It will add to the engagement of the demo.

Filming session on green screen

WHAT:

Crews start to film their stories on Green Screen sets, shot by shot.

HOW:

  • Allocate each crew to a “set” in the room
  • Ask one person from each crew to collect and mark down their iPad number on the iPad allocation sheet. This will be their groups iPad for the remainder of the workshop
  • When allocating iPads have the tripod positioned at the right height for them and give a reminder about how to use pan handle to tilt up and down (turn handle anti clockwise to move and clockwise to lock) and the pan dial (on right) to pan left and right
  • Hand out Stop Motion crew call sheet to each group and get them to allocate roles amongst themselves. Encourage them to change roles every 100 frames or so
  • Hand out each groups plasticine ration (This is all they get)

WHY:

  • Process of filming is managed orderly and efficiently
  • Students deal with equipment appropriately and know how to manoeuvre without the help of Coaches
  • Crew cards offer reminders of how the collaborative process works in this context to efficiently create the best shots possible.
  • Having a limit on the amount of plasticine encourages them to engage creative problem solving skills.
  • 1 x tripod mount and iPad / PER GROUP
  • 2 x A3 (bright digital Green) Card / PER GROUP
  • 1 x Plastecine container PER GROUP: 4 x chunks of colours & 1 x small piece of white & Black
  • iPad allocation sheet

Head Coach:

  • Lead tutorial 

  • Float and assist group during session

Coach:

  • Prepare iPads on tripods ready for distribution. 
  • Distribute plasticine
  • Float and assist group during session
  • Older or more advanced students can work out how many frames they need to take for each “scene.” ie: when the dog enters to sit in the middle of the set, it should take 2 seconds – equivalent to 20 Frames shooting at 10 fps. This way they can plan their film more accurately
  • Remind students to make their characters with solid legs for stability. Anything too detailed or small will be lost when trying to Green Screen.

Session 3

EDITING – adding titles, music and SFX

WHAT:

As groups start to finish you can perform a simple editing tutorial showing how to add music, sound effects and voice over.

HOW:

  • Hook up an iPad to the monitor/projector and mirror the tutorial
  • Show the music and sound effects feature in the STOP MOTION app
  • Show how to add titles at the beginning and end of the film
  • Show how to add voice over using the voice over feature

WHY:

  • Students understand how music and the voice of music can significantly effect the mood and emotion of their film
  • Students understand how VO and sound effects help to bring the characters to life and engage the audience
  • 1 x tripod mount and iPad / PER GROUP
  • 2 x A3 (bright digital Green) Card / PER GROUP
  • 1 x Plastecine container PER GROUP: 4 x chunks of colours & 1 x small piece of white & Black
  • iPad allocation sheet

Head Coach:

  • Lead tutorial 

  • Float and assist students in completing the task

Coach:

  • Float and assist students in completing the task
  • Pack away filming sets (plastecine  & green card) where possible. Keep plastecine in the same segmented containers where possible
  • Some groups will take longer than others – especially some younger ones. The priority is to have at least 30 second film to show at the exhibition for parents. So, the majority need to have at least 30 second film with a music track added to it. VO, Titles and SFX can be added for advanced group and those who have time
  • When groups create VO be sure to find a quiet area to record and use a mic where possible. Advise that they should use voices appropriate for their character
  • With enough time, some groups can be directed to create subtitles and or motion graphic title using the “intricate app.”
Mini Film festival

WHAT:

Prepare students to present their films to family and friends at the end of workshop film festival!

HOW:

  • Leaving ample time, check connections and sound of the AV system to play videos from the iPad or computer
  • Referring to the iPad allocation sheet be sure to prepare a running order in which to show the films
  • Save films from the app to the camera roll (ready for export and upload to StarTime YouTube, post workshop)
  • Once the order of the showing has been established, have iPads ready and students ready to rehearse
  • As per the StarTime Workshop Framework, students run the show as much as possible. Prepare them by getting each group to come up in front of the audience to:
    • Each student introduce themselves: Title and brief description of what its about..
    • One thing each that they loved, learned or enjoyed during the workshop.
    • Get them to come up with a sign off: eg: “Sit back, relax and enjoy our Quirky little film!”

WHY:

  • By making sure checks are completed in AMPLE Time, we reduce the risk of a film not playing properly during the presentation
  • Films are kept in an orderly way so its easy to find them and show for the film festival: (remember, they’ll need to be uploaded to StarTime’s Youtube page.
  • Students have the thrill of seeing their creations come to life in front of a live audience. They will understand better, how the choices in the film they made affect an audience, emotionally.
  • StarTime looks world class!
  • 1 x tripod mount and iPad / PER GROUP
  • 2 x A3 (bright digital Green) Card / PER GROUP
  • 1 x Plastecine container PER GROUP: 4 x chunks of colours & 1 x small piece of white & Black
  • iPad allocation sheet

Head Coach:

  • Check AV is working with iPads 

Coach:

  • Work with groups to rehearse for show

The AV check is vital. It’s recommended you do this at lunchtime, so you have time to fix it should there be problems with it