Computing session 2 – Digital images and Animation

I’m sure we all know the basic idea behind an animation, but have you ever created one?

Below is one I made with three friends.


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My animation using the concept of model animation, however there are four different types on animation, and all are just as good as each other.

Drawn animation

This is where one drawing is replaced by another in a sequence, where each drawing is slightly different from the one before. It works the way a flip book does.

Cut-out animation

This is where cut-out shapes are moved around or replaced by other cut-outs. Flat objects like buttons, matchsticks and string can also be used in this form of animation. Cut-outs can also be laid on top of drawings.

Model or stop-motion animation

This involves the filming of three-dimensional models. The puppets are positioned and filmed before being moved ever so slightly and filmed again. These shots are put together as a piece of film and will give the impression of the models moving.

Computer animation or Computer Generated Imagery (CGI)

This refers to the drawing of three-dimensional models and sets on the computer. These models are scanned into the computer as wire-frame models, which are gradually built up into a coloured and textured form.

 

Creating an animation isn’t quite as hard as it may first seem.
Get the children to take pictures of their scene and characters using a webcam, move them ever so slightly, take another picture and so on and so forth, until they have enough images that their animation will work.
Music can be added as well as captions and credits and there you have it – an animation!
I used Monkey Jam and Music Maker but any animation software will be fine.
Check out Miss C’s website about animations – really helpful and simple.

As a cross curricular link, children could create an animation of a historical event, or you could ask pupils what animated film and television they watch and what kind of animation it is. Introduce them to stills of some animation they might be unfamiliar with. Are they drawn, cut-out, stop-motion or CGI?

Prezi is a cloud based presentation software that opens up a new world between whiteboards and slides. … “Prezi is helping reinvent the art of presentation”. Prezi is the next step on from powerpoint and is FREE to sign up to!

Below is a Prezi that I have created based on the retelling of the story of the Good Samaritan.

 

My mini step-by-step guide on how to create a Prezi:

  • Click on ‘new Prezi’
  • Select a frame
  • Input text and images as you would do on powerpoint
  • Arrange slides in order (on left hand side) similar to how you would on powerpoint
  • Click Save (top of page)

When you have your Prezi up with your class, it allows much more freedom of movement. At any time, you can return to the main home page (which shows the entirety of your Prezi) and you can go to any cloud of information from wherever you are – unlike powerpoint where you must go through the slides in the set out order.

It can be slightly tricky to work out how to change the size of the text and where the pictures are in each section, but once you grasp this, you will be flying through creating Prezi’s constantly. It really is as i have said, the next best thing from powerpoint.

It can actually be used with older children for them to create their own. You could do a research based topic, whereby their end of topic piece of work could be presented in the form of a Prezi. It would require you to teach the children how the software works, but I am sure if I know children of today, that they will be finding their way around the software exceedingly quick.

Photo peach is a very simple piece of software which allows you to have a range of pictures and quiz type questions that can be used as an great introduction to the lesson or as a plenary to confirm that learning has occured.

Below I have created a photo peach for the 6 keys religions and their symbols. It is an interactive software whereby the children have to work together to answer the questions presented on the screen.

Religions on PhotoPeach

There is great freedom for teachers to be able to use this for ANY topic/subject. You input the images you want along with the questions and the given answers (albeit you have to have it as multiple choice, but you could put some trick answers in there)

I personally think it is a really great, simple (which is great for me) and interactive piece of software that can aid the consolidation of learning.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Animoto, it is basically a software that allows you to create videos using music, pictures/photos and text.

The software itself has a selection of designs on there already. This allows you to select the design (I chose the firework design for the video below) and then you can add in you images and text in any order you wish. The design has music with it already, however this can be changed if necessary.

I have created a video based on Bonfire Night and Guy Fawkes (hence the use of the firework design) and then another one based on Chanukkah (the festival of light) and finally one of the town of Upton (in Northampton), which I used in a university Geography session.


Animoto is something that can be used to introduce children to new topic, or as a summary of a topic and all of the things they have learnt.

It is even something that the children could use themselves. The software is so simple, that the children could create their own video summarising what they have learnt in a topic. It therefore has numerous cross curricular links. The video can be based on any topic from any subject in the curriculum and obviously links to ICT – a big tick in the box!

You would have to be careful, to make sure that the children aren’t spending all of their time gathering images and that they are actually adding some content into the video, but so long as the expectations are set out from the start, I shouldn’t think that would be a big issue.

Just as a final thought, before you give this activity to your class, it may be worth you finding a select few websites that have good information on and that is relevant to the children’s age and ability, so that they do not spend most of their time searching through the internet in an attempt to find some information that they understand. This also helps with internet safety, to make sure that what they are looking at is appropriate.

Try making your own quick video, perhaps try it in class, and let me know how it goes 🙂

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