Friday, 27 May 2016

PLG - StopMotion

Today I was carrying on with my side career of becoming a movie maestro with the MDTA cohort learning the basics about Stop Motion Animation.  If you are like me and do not know what this was, here is the general idea:

"Stop motion is an animation technique that physically manipulates an object so that it appears to move on its own.  The object is moved in small increments between individually photographed frames, creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames is played as a continuous sequence."

We were tasked with creating a movie for a concept that would be beneficial for our learners so I chose to create something to help discuss the importance of collaboration when stuck with something in regards to their learning.  At Stonefields School, we are encouraged to celebrate being in the "learning pit" so used this as imagery for part of the film.

This was a great "create" task today and I got to relive some of my childhood and play with Lego for the majority of the day!  A lot of my learners already demonstrate the skill to create animations so I was grateful for the opportunity to have some time to explore this.  It speaks to the pedagogy of our cluster so it was empowering to develop these skills further in preparation for both designing future learning and getting in preparation for the upcoming Manaiakalani Film Festival.

My learners, especially the boys, enjoy using animation in literacy however I have noticed it can be quite time consuming so having a plan or goal in mind is key for undertaking this.  This was my workstation for the majority of the day:

As you could imagine, there is a lot of patience and determination required for this task but I think these are valuable skills to pass onto learners as they move through their school careers.  A break down on this one minute video meant that I spent the following time on elements of the video:

Preparation of materials - 30 minutes
Storyboarding and concept development - 45 minutes
Photography - 1 hour (I took 589 photos)
Editing - 2.5 hours

Factors to consider for next time:
  1. I would spend more time storyboarding, including the design element at the end with my editing - I am not 100% happy with the colour schemes and messages.
  2. I would pay attention to shots - I had to spend a bit of time trying to cut out my thumb in some frames.
  3. I would like to experiment more with using voice overs - I think I am still a bit shy about using my own voice in filming however I do feel that I would make more of a connection with my learners if they could hear my or their own voice in any future videos.  Upon reflection of this video, I used music to help explain the themes so learners could concentrate on watching the video and coming up with their own message (I have done two videos, one without the text to show some of my learners to get their feedback and ideas on the video.)
Here is the finished result, keen to hear your feedback and thoughts:


  1. Heath, this is amazing! I love your creation. The message is awesome, the subtitles are easy to follow, the movement between the shots is smooth, appearing like a short film, and the music topped it off nicely. Well done! :)

    1. Thanks Georgia for the praise and feedback - I really enjoyed this task and glad that it was able to be easily followed! I will let you know how my learners get on with it!

  2. Heath, I really like your movie. I especially like the way you have used all different lego characters to show the different people you can ask for help. Would you be able to show me how you got the lego characters to carry to lego block? Great movie, Well done!

    1. Thanks Clarelle - the learners loved it when I showed them this week. No worries, happy to show you but I got the hints from the lego animation movie Fiona sent as preparation for last week's MDTA session. Will show you this week!

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  4. Stonefields has another Lego animation maestro! The kids will be happy :)

    1. I think I found my niche in my life Dorothy! I was completely in the zone last Friday - can't wait to take these skills to the next level :)

      Kids loved it too :)


Your thoughts and feedback are appreciated.