In the first term of the second year we had to prepare a project proposal which will be created in the last term of year 2.

I decided I wanted to create a stop motion animation using a puppet that I had started to create.

This first puppet was rather awful so as I was now serious in creating an animation with this puppet I decided to remake the whole thing using a ball & socket jointed armature.

I’ve been keeping a blog on the process which will eventually be attached to it’s own website – click Clara’s Animated World to visit my blog.

As Clara thinks she is a live (!?!) she has also started her own blog which you can find here: Clara’s Blog – all photographs by Lenny Carter – RunnyCustard.co.uk

How Digital Media can aid self-expression

Integrative Project Proposal by Lenny Carter

Introduction

In using Digital Media as a means of self-expression will raise awareness of how a person can bring their dreams and personal thoughts into reality. This can be educational as well as a possible aid to personal development. The process of creating such work can create skills that could be used in the future, for example: better job prospects and career choices. This could also bring a greater self-awareness towards personal goals, and desires.

Whilst Digital Media cannot itself solve the issue of stress or self-fulfillment of dreams etc, but it can be used as a tool, just like pens, paints and music can help towards stress relief and this has become much more accessible to people since Digital software and computer equipment has become less expensive especially to the young or who have limited budgets.

Aims

The project will consist of a stop motion animated film that features a young teenager character that shows how she escapes from her problems (or the attempt to understand and reconcile the effects of them) by using a personal item (a toy that becomes her friend and mentor) by dreaming imaginative scenarios.  The characters will be seen in ‘real life’ and a partial sequence of her dream sequence. It will also have the main character re-create this dream world using digital media.  The viewer of the animation will see the character teach her-self new skills, and could then try the same techniques themselves. The results of the animated film created by the character can be posted onto a social website, like youtube.com, Facebook, MySpace or flickr etc.

This project is educational in the development of new skills of Digital Media tools and also interplays with Art Therapy. John Harley and Kelly McWilliam’s book, Story Circle: Digital Storytelling Around the World, write about how ‘people are taught to use digital media to create short audio-video stories, usually about their own lives. The idea is that this puts the universal human delight in narrative and self-expression into the hands of everyone’, again regardless of budget and skills this is a possibility in today’s technological environment.

Cheaper computers or using computer at libraries (for free) means that creating self-expression art works with digital media is now available to a lot of people. Most computers now come with a web camera, and software can be downloaded for free (especially open source software, i.e.: Gimp is a well known free alternative to Adobe PhotoShop Photo Editing Suite).

Objectives and Research Methodology

  • Storyboarding of animated sequence.
  • Primary Research and secondary research will feature questionnaires on Facebook to the general public and a poll on Deviant Arts aimed at similar types of self-expressionist work using Digital Media software and equipment. Relevant books and Magazines on the subject will also be researched.
  • Research of costs of making an animated film (free versions of software, equipment etc) analysing and researching the techniques of stop motion and animation, including timing and to convincingly move a wired armature, building props and sets, sound techniques, storyboarding, and how to create mood and atmosphere with software and positioning of props and lights etc.
  • Website Design – Platform creation for Animated Film. The site will contain links to useful sites that will aid viewers to make their own animated, alternative realities themselves and to stress the importance of accessibility and that this type of project can be created in the viewers home – specialist equipment or skills is not necessarily needed to create their own self-expressed ideas in animation.
  • Art therapy similar organisations on how self-expression can deal with stress and personal development? Also to research similar websites that use Art therapy to aid self expression in the creative arts and to whether there are any current sites that cover these areas using stop motion animation.

Resources for Project

This project will be completed in a home environment using an iMac, Digital SLR (entry level), or Camcorder (depending on research and software used), and the website will stress the aspect.

The film will feature a homemade stop motion character that is glued and sewn (It will contain a wired body and the main character will feature a ball and socket joined doll (these are now within the amateurs budget – the wired version is the cheapest and more accessible type to use for those on a very limited budget), both options will be used and information given on ease of use.

Software which will either be PhotoShop, After Effects, Final Cut Pro, SoundBooth, and a stop motion software package (i.e.: iStopMotionPro), PC or Mac.

Free options will be featured on the website so that viewers to the site can see that stop motion is accessible to the young and those who do not have the funds to explore what used to be a specialist or professionals hobby. Free options to include are Gimp (similar to Photoshop), Audacity (sound), and Window’s moviemaker or iMovie on a Mac.

just baked face on the scanner.

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Bibliography

Ross, C. (2006)

The Aesthetics of Disengagement, Contemporary Art and Depression (2006), University of Minnesota.

Hartley, J. McWilliams, K. (2009),

Story Circle: Digital Storytelling Around the World, (2009), Wiley Blackwell, England.

Murphy, M. (2008),

Get started in Animation, (2008), A & C Black Publishers Ltd, England.

Online sources

‘Stories for Change is a website that encourages digital storytelling and individuals can add their own self-expressions in all formats’:

Stories for Change, (s.d.) [Internet], available from [accessed 18th October 2009]

MindTools, Imagery – Mental stress Management, (s.d.) [Internet], available from [accessed 9th November 2009]

Eliminate Stress with Imagination. By ‘Linc2010’, (s.d.), [internet], available from [accessed 9th November 2009]

Teen Metal Health (s.d.), [internet], available from [accessed 9th November 2009]

Art therapy with adolescents, Western Journal of Medicine, (200?), [internet], available from [accessed 9th November 2009]

Web Sources for Stop Motion Animation information:

Stop Motion Animation, information and forum for help from other animators. [Internet], available from

Stop Motion Pro, Information and forum for help from other animators. [Internet], available from

Stop Motion Works, Information and forum for help from other animators. [Internet], available from

Stop Motion Central, Information and forum for help from other animators. [Internet], available from

Wikihowto, (s.d), Simple stop motion for amateurs, [Internet], available from [accessed 26th November 2009]

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