Make Your Own Animation

Have you ever wondered how to make an animation?

We have made several animations as part of our homeschooling. It is very easy, and doesn't need any expensive equipment.

This article will explain how to make your own animation in two ways, and I have added some extra links and ideas for inspiration. Both methods are very easy to do at home so perfect for homeschooling.

1. Creating Animations using Software

One way of creating animations is to use software that will create the characters for you. This can either be downloaded onto your PC - or created online. The software then does all the work for you - leaving you to be creative!

There are several different sites and software programs available - see my best animation software page for recommendations.

Make your own animation

2. Stop Motion Animation

Stop Motion Animation is where you take a series of photographs of a scene you have made - then string them together to make a movie. You have seen how this works if you have ever played with flip books.

But today's technology makes it easy for you to make an animation.

  • Gather your equipment. To film your animation you will need a digital camera or webcam - and a tripod would make things a lot easier too. You will also need some animation software to turn your pictures into an animation.

  • Pick a story idea. What will your animation be about? Need some animation ideas?

  • Decide on your method. What type of animation would you like to make? A 2D stop motion animation is a 'flat' version - such as a cartoon or series of drawings. We made our fish animation this way.

    A 3D version is made with models - clay models work well, but lego or other small models can also be used. Here is an example from Kirsten.

  • Make your background. All animations need a background or set. You could draw or paint this, or for 3D versions you could set the scene using clay or paper machie models.

  • Position your characters. Where on the screen will your characters appear in the first frame of the movie?

  • Action!. The camera needs to be pointing at your background and models. After you have taken your first photo of your background and character, move your models very slightly and take another picture. Keep going - slowly acting out your story, and taking a picture of each small movement. The smaller the amount you move things between pictures, the smoother the movie will be. It may take several hundred pictures to make a good movie. My children were too impatient to do this well but they were still pleased with the results!!

  • Use your software to finalize and play your movie. Congratulations. Your movie is complete.

  • Making animations is an easy way to begin film making with children - and can really help them to develop their creativity. For more information and ideas about filmmaking and animations, check out my pinterest board Filmmaking for Kids.

    Make your own animation
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