Week 9 – Animate Me, Scratch Jr Pressure Test, Adobe Animate CC & Shots On Film Pt3

This week the Preps had more fun with Animate Me, the Gr 1-2s did a Scratch Pressure Test, I introduced Adobe Animate CC to the Gr 3-4s and the Gr 5-6s finished their Shots on Film project.

Animate Me #2

Well since the Preps were denied doing Stop Motion and doing Scratch Jr, for this last lesson of the term we went back on to Animate Me. In the interim between classes, I had coughed up the few bucks or whatever it cost to release the other characters and let the students play around with them. Each character is different as far as how they move.

Again, I don’t have any examples, but I would recommend this as an easy to use animation tool that young people can get to grips with quite easily. They seem to have a lot of fun doing it.

Scratch Jr Pressure Test

Like the Gr 3-4s did previously, I set up the younger Gr 1-2s with a pressure test. They had 20 minutes to recreate the “recipe” I have them. Most of them did quite well and finished within the time, although I had put in a little obstactle they had to figure out.

As you see from the first page, there is a red block that tells the script to jump to the next scene. Problem is, you won’t see a block like that until you actually create the new scene. So it’s something you have to do in retrospect. It was about 50-50 between the kids who figured it out on their own, to the kids who got sent back after making their mistake and worked out what to do from there.

But the kids certainly had a lot of fun, and learned about some of the other blocks they hadn’t used before.

Adobe Animate CC

Previously called Adobe Flash Professional, Adobe Animate CC is the newly rebranded version of essentially the same program. There are of course some new tweaks (mainly in how it can be published) but most of the tutorials for Adobe Flash you see online could be adapted for Animate CC, and vice versa.

As part of my ethos to expose the students to real, industry standard programs, I wanted to give at least one session to exploring how the “adults” do it. I found this simple tutorial on youTube over at https://youtu.be/8eHfIIeoi0E (which, bizarrely, is silent) and adapted it for my own class. As I said to the students, the bouncing ball animation is one of those classics you learn when you first start studying animation, so it made sense to do it here.

The concept of frame by frame animation was, of course, not new to them, so they just had to adapt to this new environment, which wasn’t hard. What was hard was drawing and then manipulating the oval “ball” so it looked as close to the sketch as possible. As I explained to the students as I went around helping them, its like anything – it takes practise.

Here is my tutorial of how I introduced Adobe Animate CC to the Gr 3-4s.

 

Shots On Film – Part 3

For the final part of this project, we added titles (including a credit roll) and music and also got them to nest a sequence inside another sequence, which personally I always find useful in my workflow when the movie is all cut together, and you just need to add the titles and music. Initially, this was a bit confusing for them to understand, but when I explained they were “packaging” all their clips, lower thirds and effects into a “box” – the box being the new sequence, they got it just fine.

Here is my final tutorial on this part of the project.

And here are some examples of it all done! Very proud of my students getting it all finished like this!

That’s it for this term!

Next term, the Prep – Grade 4s will start their unit on Video Production (much of it will be similar to what the senior students did, I’m sure) and the Grade 5-6s will do some post production work with Premiere Pro, Audition and After Effects. Oh, and having fun with a green screen as well.

Until then . . .

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Week 8 – Scratch Jr, Scratch and Shots On Film Pt2

Again no Preps this week. The Gr 1-2s were introduced to Scratch in the form of Scratch Jr, the Gr 3-4s finished their Scratch projects and the Gr 5-6s continued editing their Shots on Film projects.

SCRATCH JR

Scratch Jr is the simpler iPad version of Scratch that I have been working on with the Gr3-4s. This was definiately more appropriate for the Gr 1-2s. Again, like with the Stop Motion, I decided to hold off on this with the Preps. I feel that the majority of them are not developmentally ready to do anything on Scratch with much complexity. Nvermind, they’ll get their chance next year.

The interface is a lot simpler, but most of the functionality is still there. Again, like with the older kids using Scratch, I gave them a quick overview with a fun little presentation I did. You can find a recording of that down below.

Kids got a kick out of being given free range to play with the program and discovering what the blocks could do. I had a lot more questions from th 6-7 year olds than I did with the 8-10 year olds (naturally) but the kids learned very quickly and came up with all sorts of quirky animations.

Unfortunately one downside to the app is there is no way to publish the projects and share them online. I suppose this is a consequence of it being for younger kids, but it’s a shame that there is no way I can save these and put them on portfolios like I can with proper Scratch.

Next week, we will be doing a Scratch pressure test, just like I did with the older kids last week.

SCRATCH – THE FINAL PROJECT

So this week the students in Gr 3-4s finished their Scratch projects and sent me the link. One of the problems of the students working in pairs – as the number of devices dictates – is that when they share a joint project, you can never be really sure how much was done by one (if any). Certainly, there are a few students who are more than happy to sit back and let their partner do all the work, and I have made notes of those students and might mention something in their report comments about needing to be more actively involved, but for most students, this isn’t an issue. Sharing the devices equally can be a bit of a challenge for the younger kids who are still learning their social skills, but most do it quite amicably.

In any case, here are a couple of stand out examples that I thought I would share.

//scratch.mit.edu/projects/embed/118995185/?autostart=false
//scratch.mit.edu/projects/embed/118812067/?autostart=false

Shots On Film – Editing Part 2

In part two on this unit of editing their Shots on Film project, students were asked to import their Photoshop file as individual layers and match them up in the sequence with their corresponding clip. Once that was done, they had to add transition effects. The second part of the tutorial is here below:

Next week, the students will finish it off and add titles (including rolling credits) and music. They will also learn how to nest a composition inside another composition. Sounds complicated? We’ll see . . .