Animation, although difficult to introduce and needing lots of time to complete, can be very successful if given the chance. It allows understanding of materials, of composition, of movement and team working, that other units cannot provide. Like all introductions to group design, it should be explored with brainstorming, mind mapping and exchanging ideas.
After the brainstorming, an idea is decided upon, then storyboards and character development is explored.
When the characters are developed, they can be made in the chosen material, scenery needs to be created and any effects that will add to the atmosphere and the feeling of the short film. After all that and 30 mins of animation, I ended up with this:
As you can see, it’s a small input to what was technically 3 hours work, though now that the elements have been made, it should be easy to carry on and finalise. This is exactly how the unit will work in class, the first few sessions will be terrible and stressful, though after pupils have their ideas and animating elements, you’ll find that you are no longer needed. You can just stand back, give some advice and admire your pupils’ great work.