These simple activities are designed to help you explore what stopmotion is all about. There are many collections of free websites out there that do a decent job of giving you some experiences with stopmotion. For this activity, we will be using a "bouncing ball" activity from the ABCYa! website.
The bouncing ball activity is simple enough: create a short animation in which the ball bounces across the screen.
You will need to leave here and go to the ABCYa! Animation site.
At the site, use the paint brush to create a ball, and then set the ball in motion by clicking on the numbered frames on the top of the page at the animation site. Notice how the ball will appear to move if you draw the ball in different places?
Go on and experiment a bit at the ABCYa! site. Then come on back here.
- This activity only requires an Internet connection and a web browser.
- If you have screencasting software, you can make a little video of the bouncing ball activity to share out.
Things to Consider:
What did you notice about the frame-by-frame concept as you were building your animation?
Did you try out the "show previous frame" tool? In stopmotion moviemaking, this is known as the "onion skin" and is valuable because it shows you on the screen where the object was last.
Did you use the "copy frame" tool? This is also helpful, because there may be times when you want the movie to hold still on something. You can advance the frames (or time of the movie) but keep the object or character still.
Did you notice how if you draw each ball in each frame close to each other, the final result will be much more fluid and lifelike. If you have a lot of space between each ball in each frame, the video will be jumpy. Remember this lesson when you are doing a larger project.
Challenge: Would you be able to use this animation tool to tell a story?
Note: This activity should give you a basic overview of how stopmotion works.
Create a Simple Animation at the ABCYa! Site
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If you are ready to try something that moves to the next level, download either the freeware Pivot Stickfigure (for PC only) or Stykz (both PC and Mac) software program. Both of these freeware programs allow you to create stopmotion animation programs, using the concept of a stickfigure as the main element.