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  • Does a moving image really move? 
    Are the moving images you see at the cinema, on internet, DVD or TV really moving?  Or do they appear to move? 


    The secret of a moving image is based on a very simple phenomenon:

    We perceive images as constant movement when they depict the individual phases of movement and are seen quickly one after the other. We all have thumbed through little booklets with drawings that seem to move as we flip through the individual pages
    (Flipbooks – examples).






  • Film strips and frames
    The principle is the same. Just as an image moves in a Flipbook so does it on your computer, tablet and TV screens as well as when projected at the cinema. Static figures appear to move when viewed very quickly. How quickly? At a speed of 24 (cinema) or 25 (television) images per second!



    Try calculating how many images are projected when you watch a:
    short one minute film (60 x 25 = 1,500 images)
    one hour  film (60 x 1,500 = 90,000 images).


    Traditionally, a film consists of a series of photographs on a long strip of celluloid film. These photographs are called film frames or stills and are placed one under the other on the celluloid strip. To the right and left you will notice small holes; these enable the projector to move the film forward so that what you actually see are 24 film frames per second!

    Light is projected through each frame and through an optical lens creating the images we see a flat surface, the screen. 

    How of an amateur film projector functions

    A cinema projector

    An experimental film based on the function of a film projector




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  • The basic procedure necessary to create a moving image film is:
    1. Create the figure or image that you want to appear moving in your film.
    2.Photograph the figure or the image in different positions of the movement you want to create.
    3. Your film will consist of your photographs. These photos will be the film frames. You will use the editing software in your computer or tablet to import the photographs and place them in a specific order and define the speed with which they will be seen.
  • Your Story
    Before starting to create your film, you should think about the story you want to tell, your scenario.  
    At the same time you should be thinking about which animation technique suits your idea best.



    Do you want to show story you have though up?
    Do you want to comment on your environment or daily life?
    Do you simply want to improvise with different moving image techniques and discover their potential?



    If you want to make a film with a beginning, middle and end, it is a good idea to keep notes and create a storyboard to guide you.

    At the beginning start simple! As soon as you have more experience with moving image techniques you can start experimenting with more complex ideas and approaches.

 

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  • Most important:  Tons of  PATIENCE !!!
    To create moving images is time consuming. You’ll need motivation and patience to produce your film… but it is worth it!!!

    No matter which moving image technique you decide to use, the separate positions of the movement you will create is very important. Notice that flipbooks drawings differ only slightly from each other. If you want the movement of your film to be smooth, the changes you make from one photograph to the other must be very small! At the bottom each technique chapter there are examples that will help you understand. 



  • Be organised!

    You must plan what you want to photograph in advance and prepare everything you might need. Only then can you concentrate on capturing your images without diversions and getting confused.

    It is a good idea to create a folder with a specific name for your film project. Transfer into this folder everything you will use to create your film. This way, all your files will be easily retrievable when you start the editing process.


     



  • Equipment

    Depending on the moving image technique you choose to apply, you will need to different supplies and materials.  However, the equipment required to create moving images is more or less the same irrelevant of technique.  Your basic equipment is a digital camera and a computer installed with a video editing. There are also various other items that might be helpful… 

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1. Digital camera

You are going to capture your images by making very many photos!
To do this, you will use need a digital camera. To begin, a simple digital camera is all you need.


Battery
Digital cameras need batteries to operate. Make sure that your batteries are fully charged when you start photographing and will not empty before you finish. It is very frustrating when, while capturing your sixty seventh photograph and not having completed your entire sequence, your battery signal starts to blink and you are confronted with a dead battery! It is more or less impossible not to move your camera from its initial position when changing the battery. This will influence the final outcome of your images.  

 




Webcam
Webcams offers an easy and simple solution for capturing your images. It is better you use an external webcam which you can position wherever you like.

Save your webcam shots directly in the project folder in your computer. In the beginning, don’t worry about the resolution of webcam photos. The results of your first trials will be more than good. Later, when you know what you need for a specific result, you can purchase more sophisticated webcam.



 

 

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2. Tripod

Your camera will have to be absolutely steady when capturing the images for your film. The camera should not accidentally move during the entire photographing procedure. You only want your figures, images and objects to move, not their entire background!


The simplest and most effective piece of equipment is a Tripod.
A tripod is a three legged stand (as is described by the word itself). Open the stand’s three legs and place it on the floor or table. At the top there is a mount holder with a screw to connect your camera to the tripod.


The tripod’s legs can be adjusted in a higher or lower position and the camera can be turned to face different directions. These adjustments will help you place your camera so that it faces your image the way you choose best. Once you have decided on the final camera position, make sure that all the adjustments have been screwed tight and that your camera can not move.



prosoxh If you have not used at tripod before, try out various adjustments and play around with the possibilities.  It’s not a bad idea to ask an adult to help you out until you get the hang of it.



















ideaBefore you start making your photos, tape the tripod’s legs onto the floor with masking tape. This is very helpful so that your images don’t unwantedly jolt in case the tripod is accidentally kicked.

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3. Improvised stability

If no tripod is available, you can improvise and secure your camera in many different ways. Certain photographers secure their camera with masking  tape on the table, on bricks or books, wood, etc… Everything goes as long as your camera cannot move!!! 


















Copy stand

A copy stand is an ideal way to secure your camera if you want to photograph facing directly down on to a horizontal surface. It is ideal for photographing drawings and cut out images.  
Unfortunately, copy stands are not easy to come by and are somewhat expensive. A photo enlarger which is no longer in use is ideal to covert in to a copy stand.


A copy stand is very similar to the 'animation stand' used for creating traditional hand drawn animation films.


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4. Lights
Lighting is very important capturing your images. It is important to avoid any change in the lighting while photographing. Therefore, if you work with daylight coming from the window you should make sure the light source is constant. It is not a good idea to work on a day the sun is in and out from behind the clouds. If the indoor lighting is adequate avoid being too close to windows. You can choose to light your images with one or two standing lamps. Notice the way the light and shadows influence your image. Make any necessary adjustments.

The way you light your images will depend on the kind of moving image technique you have chosen to experiment with. You can decide how to light your image after reading about each specific moving image technique.

prosoxhWatch out you for unwanted shadows cast by you or other nearby objects
 

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5. Microphone
If you want to create your own sounds for your film, a microphone may prove useful. You will probably get better quality sound when you use an external microphone. 

At the beginning it might be easier to create your images first and then consider what sort of sound might suit them. As you gain experience, you can work on your image and sound at the same time, adjusting the one to the other.


Using a microphone which you can connect to your computer, you can record narration, dialogues, music and sound effects and save them in your project folder. Your computer should have a sound recording application to help you to do this.  When it’s time to edit your film, you will import these sounds in the video editing project in the same way as you import your photos. 



prosoxhAsk for help if you can’t find the sound recording application in your computer. You might have to change the sound settings of your computer so that the microphone can record your sound.

 

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6. Computer with video editing software

Editing a film means that we actually put together, combine, all the images and sound effects, music and dialogues, titles and credits that we have created and saved in our project folder. Editing is a very exciting part of the production of your own film because this is where you almost immediately get a glimpse of the end result, and at the same time you can change things to work in ways you might not have initially thought of. For some film makers, editing is just as a creative and challenging process as creating the initial material for the film



Editing a film means that we actually put together, combine, all the images and sound effects, music and dialogues, titles and credits that we have created and saved in our project folder. Editing is a very exciting part of the production of your own film because this is where you almost immediately get a glimpse of the end result, and at the same time you can change things to work in ways you might not have initially thought of. For some film makers, editing is just as a creative and challenging process as creating the initial material for the film



prosoxh  You’ll probably need some help when you first start editing.by someone who has done it before and understands the basic principles.  It is a good idea to edit your first film together with someone more experienced that you.

Basic procedure
Most editing software is similar in its basic procedures:
You import all the photos and sound files you plan to use in your film into a window at the top left of your screen.  

Then you place your material on the timeline, the images on the video track and the sound on the sound track. The timeline is the most characteristic and determining factor of an editing program.  On this timeline you will create your film by determining the sequence of each photo and its duration by placing the sound so that it corresponds to the images.


Usually, we start by setting the duration of each of your photographs. This means that you define the fraction of a second that will be the duration you choose for the majority of your images. Then, place all your photos in the order you have decided on the video track of the timeline. In the beginning, go for approximately for a 6 - 7 photos per second rhythm. .

While working on your project you can to view what you have already done in the top right window on your screen. Rhythm is a very important element in animation films. As you become more experienced you will become more accurate and successful with the duration of your images.



Changing the rhythm
You will probably want to make changes after viewing the first raw edit.  At various points you will probably adjust the duration of certain images. Some examples::

    1. At one point of your film, you might want to create a pause, meaning a slight stop in the movement.  At this point you shall increase the duration of the photo.
    2. Somewhere else, you might wish to increase or decrease the speed of the actual movement.  Accordingly, you will increase or decrease the duration of the photos in this part of the film.

      For all above, you can experiment with a ‘trial by error’ approach until you achieve the rhythm you like.
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Sound
Import the sound files in to your editing project from your project file.
Place them on the timeline sound track according to where you want each sound effect, music of voice. You can adjust the duration of the sounds to fit with the images.

Some video editing software includes a sound recording application.  This is another way to create sound for your film. Sometimes, it is more convenient to create sound while you are editing.

prosoxhYou might need help by someone who has already worked with sound and who can guide you with the sound recording and how to position it on your timeline. 


Editing options
Editing options are almost endless! Start with what is simple and absolutely necessary for the making your film and later you can experiment and discover the many possibilities.

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The following websites present moving images and projects by children.  Check out more ideas, techniques and information!!!  Watching other’s films is always a source of inspiration!!!

AAVS / Animation Films made by Children

Spyros Siakas Animation

i-create - educational television, Greece

Animate and Create Workshop

Anim8ed

Animation Workshop Group ASIFA

 

Send your moving image films to FESTIVALS that screen films made by children!
Here are a few:

Camera Zizanio

Be There

Kids for Kids International

VAFI

Pynto y Raya Junior

 

 

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