In 2012, Gabrielino High School’s art teacher Kat Ross introduced her Art in Motion class to stop motion animation when she was inspired by Australian artist Benjamin Ducroz’s stop motion piece, the Möbius Strip. This year, her Art in Motion class continued with their annual tradition of creating a stop motion video to showcase at the Renaissance Rally that occurs at the end of the school year.
Typically shown with clay figures, puppets, and miniatures, stop motion animation is a technique in which animators bring static objects to life by moving said objects in small increments and playing the frames in sequence.
For this year’s video, Ross’ students voted on animal heads as their theme, each of them in charge of creating their own animal head out of papier-mâché to be used in the film.
In order to ensure that everyone’s ideas are heard, each student receives a day in which he or she is able to direct the video. The director can instruct the other students to obtain specific camera angles, act out a particular scene with certain objects involved, or even change the location of the piece to another part of campus.
At the end of the filming process, each student is in charge of editing their own scene, allowing them to add their own personal take to the video.
“It’s difficult to start at first because [we] have a hard time coming up with a concept,” said junior Henry Wilson, “but the best part is when we’re able to play back the footage and see the product come to life.”
Although the movement of the objects in the video may seem simple on film, the process of creating a stop motion animation takes three weeks to two months. However, the other students have commented that the long journey is worth the endeavor, as the video is a culmination of all their hard work.
“From this project, students are able to learn how sounds and visuals correspond,” stated Ross. “As they direct, they discover how to effectively communicate their ideas to other people.”
Other stop motion videos made by Gabrielino students can be found at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEEGo0aeNtZfQUaKjT9Q8DA/featured.