On Wednesday, I delivered my first two hour Geek Squad session at Shipley CE Bradford. The squad consisted of fourteen year 5 and 6 children with one year 4 child. After brief introductions, we discussed the theme for the day animation. The children were quite knowledgeable about how animations were made and the concept of stop frame animation.
We experimented with these tools and created some shapes we also wrote our names in two colours as below.
Over the summer I spent some time researching the use of a stylus / tablet pen on the devices and found a cost effective solution for this in the form of the Ciscle Disc Stylus.
This is a strange looking pen and looks a little cumbersome to use because of the plastic disc on the end of the nib. It has this disc to ensure a big enough surface area to register on the touch screen of the iPad. Because it is clear, you can see the exact drawing point of the brush tool on screen and draw / paint with much more accuracy. These pens cost about £6 each on Amazon and include a couple of spare nibs, they are designed so that the pen nib screws back in to the handle of the pen when not in use to protect it. Other solutions are available but I felt these offered the best value for money for the Geek Squad activities we are undertaking. The children loved them and found them very easy to use.
We used the pens to repeat the task of writing our names with much greater clarity and ease.
Once I was happy the children had mastered the basic tools we discussed animation and how the app creates an animation. We discussed animation being a series of images shown one after the other with a minor change from image to image and discussed the concept of onion skinning. The video below shows a very quick introduction to onion skinning.
The children experimented with the onion skinning tool and the copy frame tool to create some animations of their names as in the example below.
Finally, I asked the children to use the tools they had mastered to create some animated faces. Below are some of their animations.