This is my second animation summer school at the CLC and I decided I wanted to push the participants a bit further, away from the 20 second claymation towards a more creative animation, hence the name “Beyond Plasticine”. Unfortunately we only had two attendees on the summer school, possibly due to the higher age limit this year (12+), but it was still a worthwhile 3 days.
I began by showing them some examples of animation using photos, people, post it notes, t-shirt etcs, to get them thinking. Examples:
The two lads then spent the rest of the morning talking about what kind of animation they wanted to do and planning the storyline. They came up with a really good idea to animate a Nintendo DS game and have the characters escape the console and chase after them both. At this point it became clear that plasticine was the best way to go for the characters, so I allowed a bit of modelling.
It was really hard work getting a finished storyboard from the pair, as they had ideas in their heads but preferred to talk through it than get it down on paper. In the end we compromised and they storyboarded sections, then animated those sections, to break up the process a bit.
They were also given plenty of breaks to help ensure they remained focussed up to the end of the day, as it is such painstaking work. One of the pair had previously done a lot of lego animation, using a still camera, so he was very good at envisaging the action and knowing how to move the characters, props and camera (though I helped with the latter).
Once all the animation was completed, they each created their own version of the film in Adobe Premiere Pro (required to get the DS game in the right place) and Windows Movie Maker.