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animated exeter

7-19 february

schools week 7-11 Feb




www.animatedexeter.co.uk • brochure hotline 01392 265198


The following are a few suggestions for activities or short projects that can be undertaken in the classroom relating to animation. These activities can be linked with visits to films and exhibitions or workshops during Animated Exeter 2005. Activities can take place prior to visits to give a greater appreciation of the films and exhibitions seen or as bigger projects that can build on the experiences of such visits and build on skills learnt during workshops.


  • Study the skeleton, how the limbs are jointed and move, how the muscles change with movement.

  • Make quick sketches of people moving during PE or other activities, which can be developed into flick books and 2D animation.

  • Make studies of different facial expressions, especially eyebrows and the mouth.

  • Draw the same figure from different angles.

  • Draw objects at different times of day. Look at how the colours and shadows change.

  • Research how ‘background’ images can be made more interesting. For example, if the action takes place in a town, look at 5 colours and textures of walls and pavements etc. Collect pictures from colour supplements.

  • Look at other artists work for different treatments of backgrounds.

  • Make a sound library.

  • Work individually, or in teams, with different areas of responsibility.

Cut-out Animation Cut-out animation is simple to produce. Using figures whose limbs are attached with split pins or held together with thread means there can be a range of controlled movement. When you move a character, the actions should be very clear, and 'tell a story'. If you put each 'key' position into silhouette - you should be able to see exactly what is happening. Using black paper cut-outs helps to keep a story simple and gives students a chance to understand the power of composition and the necessity for clarity of movement.

The use of black 'silhouette' cut-out animation was pioneered by German animator Lotte Reiniger, who made

beautiful traditional fairy stories like "Prince Achmed" using this method.

Design a character Working in silhouette is a great way to develop cartoon characters. Animators like to design a character that will be instantly recognisable when you put it into silhouette. Think of Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse or the Simpsons. All of them would be recognisable.

  • Design your own character with a distinctive shape or silhouette.

  • Make a gallery of silhouette characters.

  • Show the character’s personality by their silhouette only. Proud, aggressive, meek and cute.

Young people are keen to copy and imitate the cartoon characters they see on television and at the cinema. This is great drawing practice and to be encouraged as people learn a lot by copying, but it should be discouraged as part of any recorded or filmed project you might want to show publicly. Copyright laws mean that you could get in trouble if trademarked characters are seen designed by anyone else. If you are making a film within your school, you might think this is not relevant, but it is always possible that you might want to publish it on a website, enter it in a film in a festival or invite parents to a public screening. So it is important to encourage students to be original and to create their own characters.

Animated Exeter is an Exeter City Council initiative realised through collaboration with our partners, funders, and sponsors and we would particularly like to thank South West Screen, Arts Council South West, City Screen, Devon Curriculum Services, East Devon District Council, participating venues, local businesses, animation companies, artists and volunteers for their continued support.

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