Friday, June 3, 2011

Students Create their own Films

Susan Roberts, the art teacher for the University of Texas Charter School on the Waco campus, and her students have spent the last six weeks working on an animation film project. This past week the animated short films were played during the lunch period for the whole student body.

The first few weeks of this project were spent viewing a variety of animated films, ranging from cell animation, stop-action filming and digital animation, explained Mrs. Roberts. The students were then assigned the task of making a 15 to 20-second film consisting of at least 100 slides of their characters, with two characters per film. Each film had to consist of a background and storyline including the two characters that were painted on transparencies with acrylic paint.

“The purpose of this assignment was to create an environment of teamwork and to experiment with the art form of cell animation,” Mrs. Roberts said.

As an example of how much work goes into animated movies, there are about 800 cells or frames per second in a typical film. That means a 90-minute feature, similar to Megamind, contains over four million cells or frames.

“The students were proud of their short films,” Mrs. Roberts said. “One film featured two men fishing in a lake. The students quickly learned how meticulous the planning and preparing can be, even for such a short film.”

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