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Students of my Animation classes tackle many different forms of animation, such as stop motion, claymation, shadow animation and more. I wanted to share cel animation, but not discourage them with a lot of work beyond their capacity or skill level.

Hence, this low-cost rotoscoping-type cel animation was developed and brought into the curriculum. By using their bodies as the framework for the animation, this means they don’t need to be drawing rockstars, they just need to follow the outlines and build off of what is there.

The Process: Students act out creatures in the first class. The video of their performance is printed out on 8×11” printer paper sheets and put into clear sheet protectors. Students then use dry erase markers or permanent markers to add their creature shapes and have their creation come to life. These completed frames are put on a background and captured back into the camera. Using a 3-ring binder to hold the protector sheets in place for the camera is a great idea for keeping everything stable.

Students complete on average 30 frames per creature in a 2 hour class.

I found this method of cel animation to be fun for all ages including those as young as 7 years old. Students finish the project with great results, have lots of fun and learn about the effort involved in cel animation.

Instructor: Danielle King
Taught at the Forum Art Centre in Winnipeg, Canada.
Classes 2013 – 2015. Ages 7-16 years old.

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