teaching animation...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Lumpy, Oct 30, 2007.

  1. Lumpy

    Lumpy Taylor Swift Actionmaster Super Mod

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    so, i just got hired to teach an animation class at a charter school and wonder if anyone has useful ideas to help me really take this class above and beyond....i really wanna hit everything from classic animation to CGI and everything in between....any advice would be sweet, or good programs i can use to have the kids do their own stuff too....
     
  2. LoC Soundwave

    LoC Soundwave 俺の魂は燃えていない!

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    If you're going to venture into Stopmotion I can only say MonkeyJam.
    Best darn free stopmotion software out there.
     
  3. Lumpy

    Lumpy Taylor Swift Actionmaster Super Mod

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    oh yeah, i totally wanna do stop motion....i love stop motion....

    i'm already thinking of a list of movies i can show too

    nightmare before christmas, both transformers movies, toy story

    who knows what else i'll decide on....
     
  4. Omega Supreme-1

    Omega Supreme-1 Autobot Sentinel

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    Do you know how hard it is to do animation x.x; I'm an art student at a college and 10 weeks is too little to even master a single program...I don't know how much doing and how much showing you are going to do...though if you want to teach a few programs...

    There is Flipbook for traditional animation, which essentially allows you to record frame by frame much like they did in cel animation. You'd need the set up to go along with it though. For 3D Animation, it's pretty much either Maya or 3DSMax which are both rather complicated. Best you can do with 3D animation is have a rigged character ready and just let them experiment once you explain to them how to animate in it.

    There is always rotoscoping and cut out animation which are a bit more on the simple side. Though the easiest animation to do would probably be scratch on film animation. For starters, rotoscoping is taking footage, drawing over it to create an animation; as in literally tracing over it. Cut out animation is a lot like stop motion, since you capture it the same way. You can use pieces of colored paper, and just have them move them just a tiny bit each frame to create an animation. Scratch on film, is done by taking either black film liter or clear liter. You then mark on it with ink, markers, paint, or score it with a sharp object like a key. You then play the liter in a film projector and it looks like a very abstract film piece.

    Another very simple way to do animation, is the Adobe After Effects program. You can use it similiar to cut out animation except in digital form. You can move pieces across the screen, and even do South Park-esque animation with it pretty simply.

    You should make them do some very simple forms of animation, such as the a flipbook (not to be confused with the program). A flipbook is animation, but in a self contained form. Another form of animation is that little disk that has two images on each side. The disk is connected to a string, so when you spin the disk it creates a new image (such as a bird, and a cage turning into a caged bird); I believe they had one of those in one of the Pirates of the Carribean films.

    As far as showing them animation, I would suggest not just limiting to popular films. Show something like "Gerdie the Dinosaur" by Windsor McCay, which has been classified as one of the very first animated pieces; though it's 1 part vaudville act also. For stop motion, "The Lost World" and classic "King Kong" are good examples. I don't suggest showing entire films, just the best clips. Heck for stop motion you could show a lot, any of the Aardman shorts, Jason and the Argonauts, The Empire Strikes Back (for the AT-ATs), Nightmare before Christmas, and many more. How old are your students going to be, because naturally you have to keep that in mind. Personally, if I had access to them I would want to show "Akira" and "Tenshi no Tamago/Angel's Egg" as well as the old Disney WW2 propaganda films; such as "How to make a Nazi". Some really really good examples of independant traditional animation are Bill Plympton's works, which are hilarious! Personally, one 3D animation that has stolen my heart recently is "Kiwi" though it's really sad T_T. For 3D animated movies, Pixar is the way to go rather than Dreamworks or anyone else. Good examples of CGI, would of course be Transformers '07, and the 2 most recent Star Wars films since they are 90 percent computer graphics.
     
  5. Lumpy

    Lumpy Taylor Swift Actionmaster Super Mod

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    yeah, im still not sure entirely what i'll be doing, hence why i need help figuring out what to include in the lesson plans. classic king kong would be great, and i totally wanna do old disney and other old movies i can find. and i definately plan on showing the kids flipbooks, and even maybe windows movie maker, using changing panels to make animation. the kids are all high school and i know there is an immense amount of information, but it will basically be an overview so the kids can see if its for them and if its a career they want to pursue....
     
  6. Team Jetfire

    Team Jetfire Pop-POP!

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    Show the kids the dancing soundwave video.
     
  7. RabidYak

    RabidYak Go Ninja Go Ninja Go

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    They've already seen it, plus Boardwise will ban Lumpy from his job.
     
  8. RoboticPlanet

    RoboticPlanet Exclusively Exclusive

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    Omega Supreme-1 covered it, but here's my $.02

    Maya would be the choice for CGI. It's pretty much the standard from computer animation these days. Everything from South Park to TFTM '07 uses it.

    A good one, if you can get a hold of the software, is Macromedia Flash. It's only obvious use is web animation but it's super easy to use and fun too.

    Another idea I just had, which I admit is a stretch, is Gamemaker. Like the name indicates, it's meant for making games - ranging from PacMan-style to gimpy 3D first-person shooters. It could be good to explain video game animations like sprites, screen scrolling, etc.
     
  9. Boggs6ft7

    Boggs6ft7 TFW2005 Supporter

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    I'm curious, have you ever taught highschool kids before?
     
  10. Omega Supreme-1

    Omega Supreme-1 Autobot Sentinel

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    Yea I kinda forgot about Flash...Flash is what Foster's Home for Imaginery Friends and a lot of contemporary television animation is done in it.
     
  11. Primus

    Primus Beware, the modelers. Veteran

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    Lumpy, do you have any experience with animation?
     
  12. Lumpy

    Lumpy Taylor Swift Actionmaster Super Mod

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    yes, ive taught high school and my experience with animation is limited. hence why i need help. but the person who's doing it now has no clue at all. and i've always been interested so i've got the opportunity to learn more while teaching.
     
  13. Omega Supreme-1

    Omega Supreme-1 Autobot Sentinel

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  14. Primus

    Primus Beware, the modelers. Veteran

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    Cool. This sounds like a class I would have loved to take in HS. I'm sure your best bet would be just to get some books on different animation types and go from there.
     
  15. shibamura_prime

    shibamura_prime Jumpin' Jellyfish! Super Mod

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    Anything Leonard Maltin writes on the subject is gold. I use his books as texts when I teach animation in University courses. ^_^
     
  16. Omega Supreme-1

    Omega Supreme-1 Autobot Sentinel

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    Pixar/Disney's Lasiter is also a great source of source material too. The guy is amazing, and it helps that he's a really nice guy on top of having a passion for animation; or at least I think he seems to. Him and Miyazaki are buddies, so you know you have to be talented to get acknowledged by Hayao. I think he actually said Cars was better than his son's first film "Tales of Earthsea"; though it's pretty well known he doesn't get along with his son :/ Poor Goro...though it's rumored that the rift between them was caused since his son was chosen over him to direct. Though if that's the case, i'm very disappointed with you Hayao...for now you're on my list!

    I know this is probably personal bias speaking, though I think you should show "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya" and "Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann" if you ever want to go over contemporary anime; both of those shows are way better than most of the poorly animated shonen anime that's become so popular lately (honestly, Naruto Shippuuden is completely unwatchable, even though I like the source material). Both of those shows are absolutely amazing when it comes to animation, except for episode 3 of G-L. The full extended outro of Haruhi Suzumiya is some of the nicest animation i've seen in a lot time. The whole show is very clean and well done as well. Though for older and good Japanese animation, I suggest showing clips from "Akira" and if you can find it "Angel's Egg/Tenshi no Tamago". "Angel's Egg was done by Yoshitaka Amano, and it's really breath taking.
     

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