Julie A. Cunningham

Academic Advisor

Colorado History in Stop Motion

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Time: 4- 30 minute Computer Lab sessions

First, I showed students some stop motion videos so they would have a sense of what we were doing in 2D.  (Rather than have the additional elements in three dimensional projects, I elected to limit it by using only two dimensions.)  Students split into teams of 4-6 and decided on a topic in Colorado  History to blend with their showcase.

Day 1- Student teams decide on concept and mock up idea by all drawing in KidPix.

Day 2- Explanation of background.  Teams decide on background image, draw, and print it.

Day 3- Explanation of moving elements.  Teams divide foreground drawing duties among themselves, draw, and print.

Day 4- Film using camera stills from a regular digital camera.

I asked students to take around 100 images, but it quickly became apparent that was a large number for this age group.  The best process was to have each student on the team take 10 photos, and most groups ended up with around 40 images.

Due to our time limitations, I downloaded all the projects into one iMovie file on my computer.  You can easily make Stop Motion on iMovie by adding the images to the project, then selecting all of them.  You must then do two things:  1) Make sure the “Ken Burns/Crop” is off, and the “Fit” is on, and 2) Use the Inspector to change the time per image to something like 0.2 seconds….. that varied by project.  Some I were longer than others.

The biggest challenge for me was stepping back and letting them work out their issues, especially in filming.  Some of the groups moved the camera or didn’t zoom in close enough (thus the table and tape view you see in some of the projects), but it was fully theirs.  I want to empower them to create on their own, and not have their project be my project.  We’ll have a wrap-up discussion later this week when we watch the movies in class.


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