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7001EDN Task 1 - Stop-Motion Animation

Teachers often ask students to complete tasks in the classroom without understanding the difficulties and challenges that the students will encounter. Complete this Challenge in a team of up to three as if you you were students assigned the task.

Courtney Crabtree

on 13 April 2013

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Transcript of 7001EDN Task 1 - Stop-Motion Animation

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 Planning and Group Forming Storyboarding Set Construction Filming Editing and Post Production Premiere Step 7 Reflection Meet as a team and decide what your animation will be about and how you will represent the rule or process. The team consists of Alex Douglas and Courtney Crabtree. The theme of our animation will be electrical safety and we will undertake it using Lego. Write down in one or two sentences which safety rule your animation will represent Our stop-motion animation will be teaching young children not to place objects into electrical power points and the dangers of doing so. What sets are there and what action takes place? The animation is set in a typical room that contains an electrical power point. A child puts their hand into an electrical outlet and it results in them being electrocuted. On a blank page, list the numbers 1 to 10 (or 1 to 30) down the left-hand side. These are going to represent what happens in each second of your animation. Now, beside each number, write in words what will happen. Appoint one person in your team as timekeeper, then act out your story. Use a table to form your storyboards. Each cell is to contain a drawing of a key frame for each second. Build your set and construct or gather your ‘characters’. Check the proportions are right of both set and characters. Start filming. Take turns using camera and moving props. Remember to keep camera steady and make sure you have enough light. Review Questions 1. How is the illusion of movement created in stop-motion animation? 2.What is the most time-consuming component of stop-motion animation? 3.How do groups form and what strategies do they use to manage complex projects? 4.What did you and your group do that you would advise others against? 5.What did you and your group do that you would recommend to others? Teachers often ask students to complete tasks in the classroom without understanding the difficulties and challenges that the students will encounter. Complete this Challenge in a team of up to three as if you were students assigned the task of creating a 10-30 second Stop-Motion animation, conveying a safety message to children. Join me as I run you through the steps of Stop-Motion. First, let's find out what the assignment was about. 1.Female character enters scene from the left
2.Female character walks forward toward the powerpoint
3.Female character turns off the powerpoint
4.Female character walks back to the desk
5.Male character enters scene from the right
6.Male character walks forward to the desk; waves to the female character
7.Male and female character stand around desk; talk about electrical safety
8.Male and female character stand around desk; talk about electrical safety
9.Male character walks forward toward the powerpoint; turns on the powerpoint
10.Male character gets electrocuted after playing with the powerpoint
11.Male character gets electrocuted; female character walks toward the powerpoint to help the male character
12.Male and female character move toward the desk; talk about electrical safety
13.Male and female character move toward the desk; talk about electrical safety
14.Male character leaves scene to the right; female character walks around table
15.Male character leaves scene to the right; female character walks around table
16.Female character delivers a safety message to the audience
17.Female character delivers a safety message to the audience
18.Female character delivers a safety message to the audience
19.Female character delivers a safety message to the audience
20.Female character waves goodbye to the audience Steps 1, 2 and 3 all come together to then form step 4. Now let's reflect on steps 1 to 6. References I hope you learned something about Stop-Motion throughout our journey today! The illusion of movement is created by taking an image of a set, moving an object within the set slightly then taking another image. This process is performed several times until hundreds of images have been taken. After the images have been shot they are compiled (generally 10-15 images per second) to form a short-film. Having 10-15 images per second tricks our brains into believing the objects within the set are actually moving. Our brains are tricked due to a sensation called persistence of vision, which allows our brains to form the illusion of movement because our brain does not have enough time to process every image (Animatedrelated, 2013). Tuckman’s theory has four different stages, Forming, Storming, Norming and Performing which can be used when working in groups on complex projects ("Tuckman’s team development model," 2013). Groups can be formed in many ways by the teacher, by interests and by skills required for the project. Alex and I formed our group as we were sitting beside each other in class which is stage one, Forming. We used stages 2 and 3 (Storming and Norming) to help with managing the project as they allowed us to complete Steps 1, 2 and 3 of the stop-motion assignment. Lastly we implemented Performing throughout the project offering each other assistance and encouragement.

Other strategies apart from Tuckman’s theory we used were keeping in communication with one another, coming to work together on the project weekly, and keeping to a strict timeline so if we needed more time closer to the due date we had the flexibility of having time then to finalise whatever was needed. The use of a tripod is essential for this project, as you need to make sure the camera is in the same position for each image that you take. If we were not to use a tripod the film would have been wonky and shaky. This was also a great asset to use as it took over 2 hours to take the hundreds of images we needed for the 20 second short-film. Therefore I would high recommend that other groups use a tripod when completing this project. These were the steps that Alex and I went through to create our Stop-motion safety film:
1. Firstly we edited all photos using Photoshop to make them a tad bit brighter
2. Imported all images into Movie Maker and made sure the image length was one tenth of a second for each image
3. Exported images to create a video
4. Imported video, background music, sound effects that where found on the internet or recorded and our recorded voice over for the Lego characters into Premiere Pro
5. Time was then spent editing. For example: when there should be a foot step sound, making sure the voice overs were in the correct position and most importantly checking to hear if the volume levels of all the different tracks were working in sync with each other.
6. Once all editing had been completed the short-film was exported into a .avi file which was then uploaded onto YouTube for future viewing. For my group the most time-consuming component was step 5, editing and post production. This was because it took a considerable amount of time to edit/compile the images and record the voice over for the Lego characters. If we were to have used a different method of filming for example clay, step 4 filming, would have been the most time-consuming. Therefore I feel, step 4 and 5 are the most time-consuming depending on what processes a group uses to form their stop-motion short-film. I found that Windows Movie Maker was a very easy to use program if you had photographed all your images and just need a program to edit them together. I would however try to find the setting when exporting to make sure the video was not as heavily compressed as I found it reduced the quality of our end film. The images that Alex and I took where high quality clear images and we ended up with a product that is rather grainy due to this compression within Windows Movie Maker.
When filming the stop-motion sequence my group needed to take into consideration the design elements and principles of character selection, lighting, shadowing, positioning, colouring, space, size and distance from the camera to get the right images to form the stop-motion short-film. We implemented these principles by making sure there was sufficient lighting with minimal shadowing. Additionally making sure the camera was an appropriate distance from the set so the size of the characters looked realistic. Then finally making sure we had all of the required set design within the camera frame for shooting.

There were different genre conventions that we also used throughout planning of our stop-motion. These consisted of thinking about how the characters needed to appeal to both male and female viewers and be easily relatable to the younger target audience. Therefore we decided to go with Lego as we felt confident in the fact that the majority of 3-6 year olds would be familiar with Lego products. It also allowed us to move the characters around the set smoothly and easily.

The main technical constraint for us was the time limit of 10-30seconds to convey a safety message. Our short-film can be used as a tool that parents or teachers can use to demonstrate the effects of the safety message in a way that the target audience can understand. Other technical constraints consisted of: finding a program to compile the images into a short-film, understanding and knowing different programs to use when editing and recoding sounds and having a fast enough computer to process all of our editing needs. Describe how you used design elements and principles, genre conventions and technical constraints to meet the needs of your audience. Justify how and why you used the design elements that you chose. How did you achieve unity, balance, contrast and proportion in your completed movie? Were there problems with achieving a convincing graphic sequence? We used the previously mentioned design elements when planning and filming so as to make the stop-motion short-film more appealing to watch. If we did not take these elements into consideration the short-film might have ended up dark and hard to view. This then could have had the audience confused and in turn not understanding the safety message which was the whole point behind creating this stop-motion short-film.

We achieved unity, balance, contrast and proportion in our short-film as we made sure our planning took into account the effects that might come from an unorganised filming session. Although we did not understand just how many images we needed to take for the shot-film during planning. Therefore while filming we set out a method to make sure we took enough images and took turns moving the characters around the set. The method consisted of marking down when we took an image to which worked as a tally recorded. It also helped by allowing us to see if we were on track in the timeline of the story. We came to this conclusion after the first shoot of the short-film as it was realised we had not taken sufficient images to complete the project.

One main problem we found while trying to create a convincing graphic sequence was, once all the images were compiled and played back the scene jumped around slightly. This could have been due to bumping the tripod or set design itself while filming the short-film. I do feel this does have an impact on creating a convincing graphic sequence but the safety message is still being clearly conveyed.
Evaluate the effectiveness of the use of design elements and principles and genre conventions in relation to technical constraints in your animation. What was the reaction from your audience? I felt the use of our design elements/principles and genre conventions did not have an effect on our technical constraints as they contained different components of the project within them. The design elements/principles and genre conventions where mainly considered throughout the planning, set construction and short-filming (steps 1, 3 & 4). On the other hand the technical constraints where found to be formed and dealt with in the editing and post production (step 5).

I showed our short-film to several people all to which enjoyed and felt the safety message was clearly conveyed within the short-film. However there could have been more to the message. Due to the projects time constraints, Alex and I were not able to embed more elements of the safety message but still feel this short-film can be used as a tool for a teacher or parent. In saying this my research was using anecdotal evidence which means it does not give a true understanding or insight into what the target audience thinks of the short-film. As I did not have access to the correct demographic sample group of young children to appropriately gauge a pole on their opinion of the short-film. Digital Technologies under the new ACARA Curriculums can be found in both The Arts (ACARA, 2012) and Technologies (ACARA, 2013). This is where schools need to decide which department teaches which classes as Media Arts, under The Arts can also be classified as a Digital Technology.

This project aligns in with the ACARA Curriculum, The Arts Foundation to Year 10 focusing on Media Art. This is due to the curriculum outlining what Middle year students prior knowledge must be to complete this project as well as the different essential learning’s (EL’s) that they must have covered by the time of completing year 10. Each grade bracket for example 7-8 or 9-10 EL’s are broken up into two sections, Making and Responding (ACARA, 2012). Linking back to the Stop-motion project Making includes Steps 1-6 and Responding includes Step 7. Below is a table that outlines all of the EL’s that Middle year students should already know to complete this project, alongside with the EL’s that they will be informed of after completing this project (ACARA, 2012). Referring to the Table 1.0 the first column Grades F-6 (Prior Knowledge) outlines all the knowledge that Middle year students should have covered throughout Primary school, which will equip them with the tools to complete the Stop-motion project. For example 2.3 EL talks about “capturing images for a familiar audience that represent a chosen topic for an audience” (ACARA, 2012) this clearly links in with the Stop-motion project as Middle year students should be aware of how to take images for a targeted audience, in the case of the project young children. Another example includes 6.1 EL talks about “creating a short digital sequence, making decisions about which camera angles, such as close ups and medium close ups will arouse a particular response in their chosen audience recording an animated sequence demonstrating skill in accurately manipulating objects” (ACARA, 2012) this additionally links in with the Stop-motion project as Middle year students should know the foundations of design elements and principles, and how they relate of the target audience of the project.

Referring to the Table 1.0 both columns Grade 7-8 and Grade 9-10 are a list of the entire EL’s that Middle year students will learn and gain from completing this Stop-motion project. For example 8.4 EL talks about “making a storyboard that includes a visual representation of each frame to be captured, describing the camera angle to be used and any additional directional instructions, such as dialogue, special effects and editing” (ACARA, 2012) this can be linked back to step 2, Storyboarding of the Stop-motion project and how Middle year students must form a storyboard of their short-film. Another example EL 10.7 talks about “viewing and discussing their own film work and the film work of others to identify and explain how codes and conventions, such as camera techniques…” (ACARA, 2012) this can be linked back to step 7, Reflection questions as they ask the Middle years student to describe, justify and evaluate the effectiveness of their short-film.

Therefore if this project was to be conducted within a Middle year’s classroom, students would gain an understanding of six out of ten EL’s for that grade bracket whether it be given to any grade seven to ten. I personally feel this kind of project would be more suited towards the Grade 7-8 bracket to expand on their prior knowledge from Primary school.
Table 1.0 Explain how this task could align with the ACARA Digital Technologies subject learning area. ACARA. (2012). Australian curriculum: the arts foundation to year 10. Retrieved from http://www.acara.edu.au/verve/_resources/DRAFT_Australian_Curriculum_The_Arts_Foundation_to_Year_10_July_2012.pdf.

ACARA. (2013). Draft australian curriculum: technologies. Retrieved from http://consultation.australiancurriculum.edu.au/Static/docs/Technologies/Draft%20Australian%20Curriculum%20Technologies%20-%20February%202013.pdf.

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