Animation Unit Study: Part 2

Drawing Movement

Day 2:

Teacher’s Guide Series: Animation from the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences (i.e the Oscars people!)

Using these materials as a spring-board, today we learned about cel animation.  This was not as elaborate as our first lesson, but my son had a lot more to add to the discussion, questions, comparisons/connections and observations.  We read the intro to the lesson HERE, and then watched this:

Unscripted Science Lesson: How photocopiers work.

How photocopier machines work.

Part A (Art)



This is  where I kind of fell down.  Thinking that it would be more fun to draw the activity LARGER, I folded some paper into four squares and asked him to animate in the squares.  I guess I didn’t explain it well enough, because this was the result:


Activity 1IMG_1345

This is not what I had in mind. But I praised him for his originality and creativity. He really did put a lot of thought into it. This is where I sometimes forget how black and white my kid thinks (he has ASD).  Moving on…we used what he did to talk about estimating how many stop motion cels it would take to animate his drawing which is what they suggested as the supplementary activity.

Part B

The next part was about methods that animators use to give characters personality and to show movement.  One of these is called  “squash and stretch.”  We watched this video to learn more about it.

Then we looked at examples of characters that are drawn to help imply personality:

Bluto from Popeye, example of “Dumb Bully”

Mort from Madegascar: Example of "cute"

Mort from Madegascar: Example of “cute”

Supplemental Activity

We talked about this:

Discuss with your students what animator Norman McLaren meant by the statement,”Animation is not the art of drawings-that-move but rather the art of movements-that-are-drawn.”

And we watched the video below, Wall-E meets Eve to identify emotions in the characters and what the body language and facial expressions were to show that they were feeling these emotions.  This is particularly challenging for kids with ASD, but he got it!

We’ve got two more activities to go, and so far he is LOVING this.

Library books: Further study

Getting Ready for a Career as a Computer Animator by Bill Lund

Computer Animation by Darcy Lockman

Worksheet activity

More to come, so stay tuned…



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