Here’s something I’m sure every child and teenager (and mother!) would love to learn how to do. It is really easy, doesn’t need much equipment and the results are spectacular. …
The other afternoon Sophie remembered a book I’d given her for her birthday: “Mum, do you think you can help me made an animated movie? Please?” She thrust The Klutz Book of Animation towards me, with a hopeful look on her face.
Normally I ask Duncan to help the girls with these kinds of projects. He’s the movie expert in our family. But Duncan wasn’t home so it was up to me to work everything out.
We needed only three things to get started:
A laptop computer
A video camera (one that allows you to stream video onto your computer) or a webcam.
We downloaded SAM Animation onto my laptop. There is a free demo
version available. We were able to upgrade to the full version
without payment because we own the Klutz book. But we could have bought a full licence
for $30. Downloading was quick and easy.
Callum gave me his (inexpensive) webcam to use as a camera.
We were all set to go.
The SAM program is very easy to use. I found some online tutorials
to help us.
I then read out the instructions from the Klutz book for the first project: The Epic Crawl of Red Blob. It didn’t take long for Sophie and Gemma-Rose to make their very first animated videos.
It really was a simple matter of…
Making a red blob creature out of plasticine, and adding googly eyes.
Connecting the webcam to the laptop computer and aiming it at the floor.
Placing the blob on the floor, at one side of the field of view.
Pressing the ‘capture’ button.
Moving the blob slightly.
Repeating the last two steps until the blob moved out of view.
Saving the movie.
I uploaded the girls’ videos to Youtube so we can share them on our blogs.
Yesterday afternoon, I worked out how to add audio to the animated videos. There’s a tutorial for that too. I downloaded a free zip file
of sound effects. Then I showed the girls how to add them to their creations. It wasn’t difficult and only took a few minutes.
Sophie also had a go at editing the frames of her movie by duplicating them and reversing their order.
Here are a few videos the girls made. Please share them. It won’t take long to view them. They are only 4 seconds long!
There are lots of other animation projects in the Klutz book. The girls want to try all these:
Model Car Mashups
No Handed Eating
The Nightmare Before Breakfast
Clay Hero… and others.
If you’d like to see some examples of Klutz animated videos please visit this page.
I always assumed making animated videos would be a complicated process, needing expensive equipment. But it’s not. Now that the girls know how to use SAM, they will be able to make more videos on their own.
The Klutz Book of Animation is easily available. I bought it from a local shop, but it can be bought from Amazon or direct from Klutz.
As you can see… Anyone can be an animator!