Stop Motion Movies

Name ______________________________________
Date ______________
Class __________________
Stop Motion Movies
E.Q.: How can you make a movie without a movie camera, actors or hand drawn
Focus Questions:
- Why do we make movies?
- What elements make up a compelling story?
- What are alternative ways to create a narrative film?
- How are different camera angles important in telling a story?
- How can we create an interesting character from an inanimate object?
Lesson 1:
Blueprint for the Arts
- 1. Art-Making
- 3. Making Connections
- 5. Careers and Lifelong Learning
Activity One:
Luxo Jr. is the mascot of the Pixar company. He was created in 1986, when the artists
at Pixar were looking to try their brand new 3D animation techniques. Legendary
animator John Lasseter was fascinated by the personality that he could imbue a flexible
Luxo Lamp with. Lasseter used the principles passed down from experiments done by
the Nine Old Men, who had given distinct emotions to a sack of flour, to bring the baby
lamp to life.
Consider the limits of giving life to an inanimate object. If a book came to life, for
example, how would it behave? Would it be a know-it-all? Would it be romantic?
Perhaps it depends what kind of book it is. How would a book stand if it were scared?
Angry? Flirtatious? On a blank sheet of paper, choose an object around the classroom,
or in your bag, and draw that object in three different poses that showcase their
personality and / or emotion.
Activity Two:
Your Mission: Now you’ve experimented with sequential photography on your iPad,
and drawn an inanimate object being given a personality. It’s time to combine the two.
Take out your iPads and your inanimate object. Take at least twelve photos of the
object performing a sequence. Remember to consider the personality of your object. If
it’s a pencil, how does it move? Does it bounce on it’s eraser? Does it roll from point A
to point B? Is the pencil brave, and excited to explore a new area? Is the pencil a showoff that wants to roll around the room quickly?
In the space below, write your intentions for your object animation, and remember to
justify the motivations of your character. We don’t just want a story - we want a story
with a character we care about! Once you’ve finished your plot line, take your twelve
Lesson 2:
Blueprints for the Arts
- 1. Art Making
- 2. Literacy in the Visual Arts
- 3. Making Connections
- 5. Careers and Lifelong Learning
Motion Picture - a series of still images which, when shown on a screen in rapid
succession, creates the illusion of moving images.
Phenakistoscope - an early animation device that utilized persistence of vision and a
spinning disc to create the illusion of motion.
Zoetrope - an animation device similar to the phenakistoscope, but utilizing a cylinder
Praxiniscope - the successor to the zoetrope, but much larger and using mirrors so that
the viewer could stand around it without having to observe the animation through slits in
the cylinder, and eventually projected onto a screen.
Eadward Muybridge - an English photographer that used sequential photography in
rapid succession to prove that a horse, while galloping, would eventually have all four
legs off the ground. This became the theory of filmmaking.
Stop Motion - an animation technique that physically manipulates an object that appears
to move on it’s own
Claymation - stop motion animation using plasticine
Inspiration Board - a collage consisting of images, text and samples in the composition
and theme of choice
Beats - a bulleted list of plot points in the film
Storyboard - graphic organizer in the form of illustrations or images displayed in
sequence for the purpose of pre-visualizing a motion picture, animation, motion graphic
or interactive media sequence
Your Mission: Create a 20-second stop-motion film!
1. Using the shots studied in class, and handout provided, take ten photos of yourself or
a friend completing a sequence to tell a story (for example, your morning routine
getting to school). You may only use each type of shot one time.
2. Create your story in beats. Remember, each beat should appear as a different shot in
final form.
3. Create your storyboard on the paper provided. The storyboard should more or less
resemble your beats in visual form.
4. Download “Stop Motion” app
5. Using your storyboard, prepare to film your movie.
a. Be sure to keep your shots as consistent with the storyboard as you can.
b. Remember that each of the movements must be subtle, or will appear jumpy in
the final film.
c. Keep the lighting consistent throughout - if you change the lighting, the entire shot
will appear jumpy.
3. You may include other characters, but remember that the movie should tell a story
about a character we’re invested in - how quickly can we become invested in many
characters in just thirty seconds?
4. You MUST use at least five different shots, unless otherwise agreed upon with
5. You MUST include a title and credit line!
6. You MUST submit the final film in rendered format.
Must Include:
Storyboard Paper
Writing Instrument
Lesson 3:
Blueprints for the Arts
- 2. Literacy in the Visual Arts
- 3. Making Connections
- 5. Careers and Lifelong Learning
1. The following elements should be present in your final work:
a. Does the final film tell a complete story?
b. Does the final film contain at least five different camera angles?
c. Is the final film consistent with the storyboard?
d. Does the lead character display emotions, a personality, or a consistent goal?
e. Is the final film at least twenty seconds? Does it contain titles and credits?
2. Following the completion of the project, the students’ work will be screened in class
and discussed, with the conversation being led with the questions: “What did we learn
about the character?” and “How did the director successfully use the camera to tell
the story?”’