There are many ways to make simple home-made animations. Easy animations are made by drawing figures onto separate pages in flickbooks. You can also make shadow puppets and a shadow theatre.
Keep an eye out for our programme of holiday Family Fun Days. We often hold animation workshops for the whole family, and make short films using stop-motion techniques. See some finished films below or on the YouTube animation playlist
Have fun making flick book animations
Flick-books are perhaps the easiest way to animate. Have a go and create your own animation…
- Start with a blank book. Begin on the back page, near to the edge of the paper (this is the part you’ll see when you flick the pages).
- Think of a simple object or character that could move. For example, a ball bouncing, a person waving, a flower growing.
- Draw a picture on the back page. Then draw a slightly different picture on the next page, in the same position. Keep changing the picture very slightly for each page.
- When you have finished the book, use your thumb to flick through the pages, and watch your animation come to life!
Have fun making shadow puppets for a shadow theatre
Create your own shadow puppet and try it out on a shadow screen…
- Have a look at our example puppets, and see how they work on the shadow screen. Have a go at operating them and see how you can make them move.
- Decide on a design for your puppet.
- If you are making your own puppet, think about where you would like the moving parts, for example, a waving arm, or a kicking leg. Keep it simple, as it is hard to move lots of different parts.
- Draw the puppet onto the card. Draw each part separately, as you will join them together once they are cut out. Ask for help if you’re not sure how to do it.
- Carefully cut out the separate pieces of the puppet.
- If you want to make your puppets colourful, you can cut out sections in the middle and tape coloured cellophane over these areas. When you use them on the shadow screen, the light will shine through the cellophane and show up as colours.
- To make the joints of the puppet, cut out holes with a hole punch, then attach two pieces together using a paper fastener. Make sure the joint is not too tight.
- When the whole puppet is joined up, attach sticks to the back of the puppet using masking tape. You will use these sticks to make the puppet move, so attach one to the main body, and one to any moving parts.
- If you want to, you can decorate your puppet, but remember you will only see the shadow through the screen. You could try taping bits to the edges, e.g. a feather on a puppet’s head.