Children at The Downs have been making stop-motion animations for many years. They are lots of fun to make, but they need a bit of patience as they can take up a lot of your time! Here's an example:

Getting Started:

a) The Animation Process

  1. Think of an idea for the animation.
  2. Write a 'story board'. This can be a set of simple drawings or a cartoon type strip.
  3. If possible add the script to the 'story board'. It is helpful to have the words for the major points of the film.
  4. Get all of your characters together and identify who will be the voice of each character.
  5. Set up the stage. Do you need: a sea for boats, a castle, a haunted house, a road, etc. Use coloured card to make a nice background or foreground.
  6. Put the characters on the set for the opening scene.
  7. Put the camera onto the tripod.
  8. Plug the camera into the computer. Plug the camera into the mains socket.
  9. Now you can switch on the computer and start the 'I Can Animate' software.
  10. Switch on the camera and position it so that the whole stage can be seen on the computer. Remember you can zoom the camera in and out.
  11. Click on 'Camera' at the top of the computer screen.
  12. Take the first photo of the animation. You can click on the camera in the middle of the screen or press 1 on the number keyboard. It is better to use the number keyboard as you can take up to 9 pictures with one keystroke and you do not have to move he mouse.
  13. Save your project. Click 'File' then click on 'Save'. In the 'Save As' box type your name(s) and in the 'Where' box choose Desktop then click 'Save'.
  14. Move the characters according to your storyboard. Remember small movements are the best.
  15. Take the next photo of the animation sequence.
  16. Move the characters again as per the storyboard.
  17. You repeat steps 14 and 15 until your animation is complete and save your project for the final time.
Note: During the animation stage you are not recordiing any of the sounds just the movements. Also remember to keep saving your work.

b) Share the animation.

  1. Click on 'File' and then 'Share' then compress the movie for 'Fulll Quality DV' and 'Save.
  2. You should find a 'Q Movie' icon with your name on the desktop

Remember to add your information to the Register when you have finished!

Ideas and Challenges to Try:
  • Can you recreate a scene from your favourite film?
  • Try to retell a story that you already know using animation.
  • Can you make a silent movie... make your animation, but don't add any sound? Will your plot be clear for the viewer?
  • Try to make an animation which teaches people how to do something.
  • Try to create an animation with only two characters.