schools week 7-11 Feb
www.animatedexeter.co.uk • brochure hotline 01392 265198
2 The Digital Stills Camera Method
To shoot animation using this set up, you need the following:-
A digital stills camera, such as a Sony Mavica. An older model is fine, as long as you have a way of getting images on to a computer.
Some way of fixing the camera: tripod.
A fairly decent computer (Apple Mac or PC) with enough memory.
One of the following software packages:- Adobe Photoshop, (Mac or PC),or Paint Shop Pro.(PC’s only)
Set up your animation station, with the camera framing the model or images. Make sure the camera is fixed either on a tripod or clamped to a table. Take a shot and change the picture (or move the model). Take another shot and change the picture again. Keep going until the memory stick or disk is full. It is best to get the images from the camera without disturbing its position, so remove the memory stick or disk as gently as possible. Even better, try to position the camera close to your computer and transfer the images to a folder on the desktop. (Via a USB cable, the little cable that came with the camera.) Clear the memory stick, and start again. Every time you dump images to the desktop, store them in a new folder, and number each folder. When you have shot your animation, run the program.
In Photoshop, go to the file menu and click on “image ready”. This launches the ‘add-on’ program, which was
designed to create little animations for the Internet. Go to file, and click on “import folder as frames” and select the first of your folders. Keep adding subsequent folders until all your frames are in place. In Paint Shop Pro you are looking for an add-on program called Animation Shop. When you launch it, follow the on screen instructions to open your j-peg files as animations. Both of these programs look confusing when you are starting out, but a little experimentation is all you need to get to grips with the basics. In Paint Shop Pro, you can even add text, special effects and sound (with a little practice). Stop Motion Pro and iStop Motion are specifically designed for animation, consequently really simple to use.
Advantages of this system Most schools have at least one digital camera, and if you can get hold of one with a decent size memory stick, you can shoot a sequence in one go. The final sequence can be saved as a QuickTime file, which most people can read and burned to a disk, or posted on a website.
Disadvantages of this system Unless you are familiar with the software, there is a fairly steep learning curve with this technology. It really helps to be confident with file formats and to have some clue about compression rates, but however confident you are with digital technology and IT you will struggle to get the animations up and running in the classroom during the session. Unless you are in possession of some very hic- tec equipment, it will be impossible to play these animations on a television.
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.