While most students are anxiously counting the days left until summer break, something special is happening in Rich Stachon’s art class. A teacher at Glen Crest Middle School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, Rich uses iStopMotion to create short stop motion animations with his middle school students.
The process for their stop motion animation lessons is broken into three stages: preproduction, production and postproduction. Rich fosters his students’ creativity by putting the control in their hands. Students brainstorm ideas for their own stories and create detailed storyboards to plan out the ideal shot/camera angle. Then they use iStopMotion for iPad to take hundreds of photos and bring their ideas to life. In the final stage the students add title frames and create sound effects and voiceovers.
“Technology rapidly streamlines the entire learning process,” Rich says. “With technology like the iPad and apps like iStopMotion, students can create, view, change and share their animations within a class period or two. In the past, that entire process would take a week or two.”
Rich’s art class particularly loves iStopMotion’s camera overlay feature, which allows for smoother animating. The students love that they can see the last photo they took in the background in order to determine the best image to use next. Rich favors the focus feature within the camera setting because it lets students play with the depth of field and overlook of their animation.
“Communicating an idea or story in a short amount of time is a difficult task, but my students were up for it,” Rich says with pride. And he should be proud – these are some of the most talented animators we’ve seen.
Check out more of the students’ art class creations on Rich’s Twitter account here and take a full look at all of their impressive creations!