#MSET 2010 Session 1: 411: Easy Animation for Time-starved Classrooms on a Shoestring Budget

Presented by Diane Boarman, Howard County

This is possibly one of the smallest rooms I’ve ever been in, and there are few if any empty chairs.  Meanwhile the walls are doing little to block out the noise of convention center staff moving things around.  Nevertheless, the show must go on.

  • Created her first animation using Layers in Photoshop, but her school didn’t have Photoshop.
  • Switched to placing images in PowerPoint.
  • Suggests PlayDoh for claymation.  If the lesson takes a while the PlayDoh can dry out, even with sealing it regularly though.  Parafin based clays can be purchased at craft stores and never dry out.
  • Make sure slides are imported in order – some programs have a fit and put slide 10 in front of slide 2 because 1 is more than 2, right?  Watch for that.
  • Still suggesting Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.  On a shoestring budget I’ll use GIMP.org or SUMOPaint.com.
  • Images not in the rectangle for a PowerPoint slide will not show up.  GREAT way to organise elements that will be moving in or out of the frame later.
  • “Insert -> Duplicate Slide, then move something.” Repeat ad nausium, but it WORKS and students can understand it.
  • What’s also good about this is if students make the switch to Frames these skills should carry over.  Frames is more powerful than PowerPoint but PowerPoint will get the job done with most of the tools you need.
  • PowerPoint 2008 no longer supports photo editing?  Ugh, didn’t they learn when Apple cut features out of iMovie?  Hm, apparently they did but they learned the wrong lesson.
  • Word Art to make titles for your animation – more flexibility than using the built in title generator in iMovie or MovieMaker.
  • “Save As -> Select JPEG.”  Check “Save All” and change the name to prevent overwriting.  A simple “ver1,ver2, ver3” is enough.
  • “Save often.”  Good advice for almost any lesson.
  • When you import your slides in set the timing for as short as possible and turn Ken Burns Effect off!  Honestly, that effect is overused and makes your animation into an earthquake simulation.
  • You don’t need to use clip art – you can draw things with Autoshapes, also.
  • Animations imported into PowerPoint will not be animated when exported as JPEG files.  Don’t bother playing with transitions in PowerPoint.
  • “Do we have enough time?” We have 20 minutes left.  She breezed through.
  • The video she’s showing is very amusing and a mix of live action and animation.
  • Did she just call GIMP “Free shareware?”  She did.  It’s not shareware.  It’s just free.