Wow your children by showing them how to make their own cartoons and see your kids' drawings come to life in this easy step-by-step guide.
What's more? this is a great way to keep your kids occupied during quarantine or on a rainy day. It's a no-mess DIY activity to last children a good few hours or even days (!) while helping their creativity AND being educational. Oh, and just wait for their lit up faces once they see their creations animated (your family and friends are guaranteed to like it, too)
This activity ticks the following boxes:
What You Need:
B5 or A4 blank paper sheets. Preferably thin for easy see-through. Alternative: regular paper for printer will do, too: kids can draw with black pen and use the sunlight from the window to trace lines for drawing movements to their characters.
Scanner. Alternative: your phone's camera, a box to position the drawings inside and two books of equal thickness to place on the box in a way that you could position your phone on top of them to take photos of the drawings manually, in a straight manner (see photo below).
3. Paint (physical pens/paint or the free software inside your computer)
4. Window's Movie Maker (also free software that's part of the default programs in your computer).
Bonus: Type "Copyright Free Royalty Free" music in Youtube to find some background soundtrack you could use for your kids' animation.
Step-by-step Instruction Guide in 8 Simple Steps:
1. Tell your kids to choose one character and draw it. The simpler the better. For example, it can be an animal or a flower. They can color it manually or color later through a computer software.
2. Tell your kids to think of one or two movements for that character. For example, its mouth can open or close, its hands or legs can move, etc.
*Some simple movements can be later done by Windows' Paint or Photoshop equivalent (we use Paint.net)
3. Explain that in order for the cartoon to "move", every movement needs to be drawn by frames. For example, for a character to open its mouth, they'll need 2 to 3 drawings:
character with closed mouth
character with a bit open mouth (optional)
character with wide open mouth
4. Tell them to trace the character as close as possible to the original drawing, except the part they want to "move". The part they want to move shouldn't be traced, but drawn after the tracing is done.
*They can trace their drawing by placing a blank page on top of the original. If the paper is not thin enough, tell them to lean the papers against the window to see the lines of the original drawing better.
5. Done tracing and drawing the movements? Scan the pages (or do like us and take photos manually with your phone- but this may require some touch-ups later with Photoshop type of app).
6. Open Windows Movie Makes and add the drawings. Click on each frame and set it to last 0.15 or 0.20 Seconds (the less you set the smoother and quicker the total movement will appear). If this is your first trial, you might need a bit of time to "get the feel" of the software, but it's quite easy to use once you get the hang of it.
7. Find on Youtube whichever music you like, just make sure it's not copyrighted. If you type "Copyright Free, Royalty Free", you should get lots of suggestions. You can then download and add the soundtrack to the cartoon, using the Movie Maker.
Save project in Movie Maker and then save it to a video format by choosing "Save Movie" and then clicking the recommended resolution (1080p).
Managed? Post your video in the comments below or publish your own post :)
Follow my account on infoStraight to read more unique ideas to recreate at home with kids.