Monday, July 31, 2017

Challenging Student Creativity with Great Results: iPad Camp at ACOA

Artwork created in Procreate by iPad Camp student
The last full week in July was iPad Camp at the Academy Center of the Arts in Lynchburg. This was an especially wonderful group of kids. There were 3 boys and 3 girls. That turns out to be a great balance of energy and skills. The girls were older and more focused, the boys were younger and higher energy.  These camps provide kids with an opportunity to challenge their creative problem solving skills by learning media production tools in a non-structured environment. I am most appreciative of ACOA efforts to develop arts/technology programming.

I was very impressed with the work these students were able to do during the week. I have been teaching iPad workshops for a number of years and of course each has its own unique characteristics. The tools we use are Animatic by Inkboard, Animation & Drawing by Do Ink, Procreate, iMovie and Composer Pro.

I love to start my iPad Camp with this question, what does "to animate" mean? I'm looking for the dictionary definition, ie to make come to life. Our conversation gets there eventually but it provides an opportunity to talk about how exciting an animator's world is; we get to bring whatever we want to life, be it a lamp, a leaf or or a can of soda. 

We start working with Animatic. I have yet to find a kid who does not love it. In fact these students went back to Animatic even after I introduced a more sophisticated animation program that requires a bit more focus, Animation and Drawing by Do Ink. Animatic presents in a very accessible way to learn the basics of animation; time line, frames and adjustable frame rate. This is the work of one of the youngest campers.

This year I wanted to guide the students to focus on animated/storytelling about nature. My current media production project, Anim8Nature focuses on animated life cycles. I wanted to see how the students responded to mixing science and art. A number of them took the challenge and this is what they came up with. I was so pleased and I know they were too.

Our grand finale on the last day of camp was to do an AnimaJam...a what? I was introduced to this concept thru the Animators Roundtable I facilitate for Women in Film & VideoDC. We made one a few years ago. Every animator/student must start their short animation from the same image/frame and end it on that same frame. Each clip is then put together in one animation. Hence we have a film that cycles seamlessly from one short to another.  This is what the iPad Camp students did.

I had a ball and look forward to many more iPad Camps in the future. It is really a unique opportunity to get 3 hours each day/5 days in a row to develop these skills. Thanks ACOA and parents for making this possible

Our next iPad program at the Academy in August 5th. Please stay tuned to learn more.

Learn more about my work and other opportunities for tech workshops on my website, KristinHarrisDesign.com  Twitter @Anim8Nature

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