Animation for grades 6-12
This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Collection
Resources in this top level collection a) must have scored Exemplary or Very Good in all five review categories, and must also rate as "Exemplary" in at least three of the five categories. The five categories included in the peer review process are
For more information about the peer review process itself, please see https://serc.carleton.edu/teachearth/activity_review.html .
Learn about the CAM Approach to media projects.
Expand for more detail and links to related resources
Activity Classification and Connections to Related Resources Collapse
Content/concept goals for this activity, high order thinking skills for this activity.
- Researching, evaluation, interpretation of feedbacks in climate systems
- Systems thinking and analysis
- Collaboration in groups to research, plan and produce an animation
Other skills goals for this activity
- Background internet research from vetted sources
- Story boarding
- Animation production techniques
- Filming the animation
- Using animation software to animate and edit their film
- Collaborating on pre-planning, production and animation screening
- Critiques (peer review) of others work
- Present their narrated animations for a class critique.
Context for Use
The Feedbacks in Climate Change Animation lesson is suitable for students in middle school and high school. Examples of content areas in courses, units or lessons that are natural fits for this animation lesson include:
- Climate change
- Ecology, ecosystems and environmental science
- Weather and Climate
- Earth Science
- Media Studies/Journalism
- Systems Thinking
- Societal Issues
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
This Animation activity may be more meaningful for students if they have previously had some background in climate science and media production skills. Feedbacks and systems thinking may be completely new concepts for students - regardless of their age. Teachers will need to spend time having students learn about feedbacks and systems before launching this activity.
How the activity is situated in the unit or course
This animation project is well suited for a culminating project to a unit of study. Alternatively, a unit on climate change and/or systems thinking may be structured around creating this animation. In this approach, the student's ability to research and evaluate climate feedbacks and apply systems thinking strategies to interpret climate feedback science becomes the primary focus for assessment.
Description and Teaching Materials
The climate change feedback animation lesson follows a sequence of activities. Some of the activities can be done for homework. Pre-teaching climate change science content, systems thinking and climate feedbacks will differ from class to class based on age and needs.
- Choose a climate feedback scenario to read, interpret and identify a causal feedback loop which they will then animate.
- Create a storyboard with narration for their causal feedback loop animation.
- Use a still camera and tripod to shoot approximately 150 shots (10 frames per second) for a ~15 second animation accompanied by student-produced narration.
- Use animation software to animate and edit their film.
- Screen their finished animated film with peers in a critique.
CAM Animation Project Handout for Grades 6-12 (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 683kB Dec4 13)
Scenario: Causal Feedback Loop in a Warming Arctic (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 880kB Jan27 14)
Scenario: Causal Feedback Loop in Pine Bark Beetle Infestations of U.S. Western Forests (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 899kB Jan28 14)
Scenario: Causal Feedback Loop(s) in the 2011 Texas Drought (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 946kB Jan28 14)
Scenario: Causal Feedback Loop in a Thawing Permafrost (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 745kB Jan28 14)
CAM Storyboard Template (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 558kB Dec3 13)
CAM Peer Review Form for Video Projects (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 111kB Dec3 13)
CAM Animation Stop Motion Demo
Teaching Notes and Tips
Teaching Tips and Notes:
- This media project assumes that students will have prior knowledge on systems thinking strategies and causal feedback loops before they begin to create their animation. Thus, pre-plan for teaching about systems-thinking and feedbacks before you begin.
- Creating an animation is very student-centered which puts you in the role of facilitator.
- Review the CAM Animation Stop Motion Demo Tutorial Video on Creating Causal Loops . You will show this video to the class at the beginning of the production phase.
- Review the project's student handouts and rubrics with students before they begin pre-production.
- Make sure you spend enough time understanding the equipment and software you will be working with before beginning the animation project.
- It is important to check in with students often to ensure that the science they are presenting is scientifically accurate and rigorous enough for their age group. There are multiple times during pre-production where you can check-in with students to assess whether they are on-track in meeting their learning goals. For example, reviewing students' storyboards will allow you to ask clarifying questions and uncover any science misconceptions before the animation is done.
- Students should critique each others work respectfully and with a collective goal of having all projects in the class be strong. Critiques can be powerful learning tools for students. When critiquing other students' work, students should explicitly acknowledge excellent work by their classmates. Make sure you review ground rules for critiquing other students' work before you begin. Your fellow art teachers would be a good resource for help with critiquing.
- Ask students to consider how they will take their work beyond the classroom.
- The animation storyboard and the narrative can be assessed for clarity, creativity, scientific accuracy and planning
- Final animations offer numerous opportunities to assess the following:
- editing skills
- scientific accuracy
- quality of visual and audio aspects of the video as well as editing of the final cut
- creation and use of audio and visual assets to communicate a key science concept
- public speaking skills (as students explain what they are trying to convey, especially during face-to-face screenings).
- Effective use of specific critique skills
- Peer review of team members can be helpful for students to review each others' roles and contribution to the team effort.
- Group screenings with constructive feedback provided by the audience (classmates, other students, families) offer students an opportunity to refine their climate science knowledge and public speaking skills. A simple form (we have used Google Docs forms) can be used to solicit student feedback on their peers (an example is provided).
References and Resources
CAM Climate Science Resources - good websites for climate science information and images CAM Media Production Resources - print and online tools for creating media projects
See more Bring Student Media Production Into Your Courses »
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An Animation Project Your Students Will Absolutely Love
Home / An Animation Project Your Students Will Absolutely Love
Do you remember the first flip book you made out of a pad of Post-it notes? We’ve all done it, and you’ve probably seen your students do it, too. Why not tap into that interest?
Our students spend their days immersed in animation via social media, television, apps, movies, and video games. Because of this, when you teach them how to animate, it blows their minds. They’re amazed at what they can create with such a simple process!
If you’re looking to explore animation with your students, try bringing everyday objects to life!
In this project, students will record a video clip of an everyday object, then add drawn elements on top in each frame. In this way, they’ll use the idea behind stop-motion animation to make their objects “come to life.” Note: it’s important for your students to have a good working knowledge of Photoshop before beginning this project. They’ll be asked to use layers as well as the brush tool. Check out a finished student example below!
Follow these 4 easy steps to get started.
1. get inspired.
If you don’t follow Sean Charmatz on Instagram, you should start. He is the true master of bringing everyday objects to life. Before you begin this project, inspire your students by watching a few of his “Secret World of Stuff” videos. You’ll find your students laughing along with the videos while developing great ideas for their projects.
2. Record Video Footage
Before students can start bringing their objects to life, they must record a video clip of an everyday object. Using a classroom set of iPads or tablets will do the trick. Allow your students to explore your art room looking for things they never seem to notice. Challenge your students to develop a creative story for an otherwise mundane object like a tape dispenser or stapler.
This type of silly prompt is perfect for middle schoolers. If you’re looking for even more strategies to engage your kids, check out the Pro Learning Pack, “ Strategies for Managing Middle Schoolers !”
Once students have chosen their object, they will need to film it doing something. Encourage your students to work together. One student can record while the other manipulates the object. For example, students might film a paint bottle getting squeezed, a paintbrush painting, or a sponge wiping a table. Video footage should not be very long. A 5-10 second clip is ideal. Once the video clip is recorded, have your students export the file to a computer to get ready for editing.
3. Add Animated Drawn Elements in Photoshop
Once the file is exported to the computer, students can begin adding their animated, drawn elements using the following steps.
Step 1 To begin, open the video file directly in Photoshop. The video will open as a video layer with an icon that looks like a small filmstrip on the bottom left corner. Make sure your students do not rasterize the layer, so it remains a video file.
Step 2 To edit in animation mode, you must open up the Motion workspace. To do this, go to the toolbar and click the “Window” drop-down feature. From here select “Workspace” and click “Motion.”
After the Motion workspace is selected, a timeline window will open below the main workspace. See the image below to make sure you have opened the animation timeline correctly.
Step 3 Before students begin editing, go to the options panel in the top right corner of the Animation timeline window. From here, have your students select “enable onion mode.” This will allow students to see the drawings they made on the previous frame. From here, your students will be able to edit the video file.
Step 4 To begin editing, create a new layer. Because it is not a video layer, the layer will show up as purple in the animation timeline, whereas any video layers will be blue. Make sure the purple layers are above the blue so no parts of the drawing are hidden.
Start drawing on the new layer directly above the segment of the video. When you are ready to move onto the next frame of the video, click the “next frame” button located by the “plan” button. From here, students can use the brush tool to continue drawing over the next frame of the animation. For a quicker result, encourage your students to simply duplicate the previous layer and make slight edits on the next frame, just like they would in a stop-motion animation. Students will repeat these steps to finish their video animation.
4. Export and Enjoy
Finally, students will need to export their video file. To do this go to File>Export>Render Video. From here, select “render” and a progress bar will appear. Depending on the file size, this can take a bit of time. Following these saving steps are very important so students have a moving video file! For an added bonus, encourage your students to add sound. They can do this through the Photoshop feature or by uploading their file into iMovie.
Teaching your students to animate is a wonderful way for students to think methodically and critically. You will be shocked with the creative ideas your students develop. To see more examples of how this project can work in your classroom, check out these student examples !
Do you teach animation in your classroom? What method do you use?
Have you ever animated in Photoshop? What tips can you add?
Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.
Abby Schukei, a middle school art educator and AOEU’s Social Media Manager, is a former AOEU Writer. She focuses on creating meaningful experiences for her students through technology integration, innovation, and creativity.
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15 creative video project ideas for students (and their teachers)
Fall is here. The leaves are starting to change color and teachers everywhere are asking the same question: How do I come up with video project ideas for my students?
Video has been a staple learning tool for decades. But having students create, design, and edit video projects themselves is becoming a much more common classroom activity. Video projects are a great way to help students of all ages actively engage with subject matter and learn from one another.
Online apps like Biteable make it easy for students to turn video ideas for school into a reality. Templates and easy-to-use editing tools keep the process simple and offer plenty of inspiration for student video projects.
To help teachers and students alike leverage video as an educational tool , we’ve gathered our favorite creative video project ideas for students. Each idea comes with a ready-to-edit video template so you and your students can get started right away.
Create videos that drive action
Activate your audience with impactful, on-brand videos. Create them simply and collaboratively with Biteable.
Elementary student video project ideas
It can be tricky to keep young students interested and engaged all day long. Creating videos gives elementary students a fun, creative way to learn about anything. And student-created videos are an amazing classroom learning supplement. If a video is produced by their peers, interest will skyrocket.
1. Create a book trailer
Instead of a traditional book report, have students design a movie-style trailer that drums up excitement about a novel or a non-fiction book. Creating a book trailer gives students the opportunity to think creatively, share a story with their classmates, and reinforce their learning in a new way.
2. Give a video tour
To supplement social studies curriculum, students can create a video showing off a significant location or their favorite part of the school. If you have a field trip planned, ask students to share their experience by recording videos throughout the day and adding voice over narration.
A video tour of the school is also a great way to share the campus with new students and visitors. As a way to pass the torch before they leave for middle school, how about asking your fifth graders to collaborate on an orientation video for incoming kindergarteners?
3. Celebrate the holidays
There’s always something to celebrate, no matter what time of year it is. Have students film letters to Santa, make video Valentines for parents or grandparents, or make short educational videos about lesser known holidays. Students can even create simple, digital thank-you notes for classroom visitors or parent volunteers.
4. Recreate a moment in history
Learning about historical people and events? Have your students research and recreate major moments in history, like the story of Rosa Parks or the Oregon Trail.
Videos help students visualize and remember these important moments. It also gives students the opportunity to experiment with digital storytelling. And students will be challenged to bring each scene to life accurately.
5. Try stop-motion video
Video learning isn’t limited to literary or historical topics. Encourage students to use stop-motion or create their own slides to explain science experiments or other STEM projects. With the right footage, like Biteable’s extensive collection of clay animation footage, students won’t even need to build stop motion models. They can just focus on the presentation and storytelling in their video.
Video project ideas for middle and high school students
Video projects for high schoolers can be a little more advanced, as students should be practicing editing and narrative skills in addition to learning about new topics.
6. Create a news channel
To supplement learning in a current events class, have your students film a news broadcast covering both local and international events.
Ask students to take on certain roles in the newsroom: anchor, sports reporter, weather reporter, or entertainment correspondent. Doing a news segment helps everyone get involved and promotes teamwork.
7. Start a portfolio
Many high school students are thinking about college applications. Give them the chance to jumpstart their applications with a portfolio video project and showcase what makes them unique.
Art students can show off their best work and design skills. Students applying to traditional schools can answer an application question or create a video showcasing their community service and extracurriculars.
8. Promote a good cause
Rather than writing a traditional essay or report, have students create a video advocating for a cause that’s important to them. This helps students build their identity and develop persuasive skills. And students can share their promotional video with everyone, not just their teacher and classmates.
9. Questions for your future self
Think ahead with a video full of inspiring questions This project is great for incoming freshmen. At the beginning of the year, have students create videos with questions for their future self or with goals for their life and career. At graduation, send the videos back to them. It’s a fun, positive way to celebrate their success throughout high school.
Higher ed video project ideas
Higher education might not seem like the place for student-made videos. But in the real world, businesses use video for all sorts of things. Video projects build plenty of resume-worthy skills that college students can take with them to the workforce.
10. Create a university promotion video
It’s easy to forget that colleges and universities are businesses, too. And they need help with promotion. A solid college or university promotion video could open opportunities for internships or college employment. Promoting something that they’re already familiar with is a great way for students to build video persuasion skills.
11. Record and edit interviews
Being able to conduct a good interview and edit it in a way that’s appropriate for the purpose of the interview is a valuable skill in multiple industries. And interviewing experts in the field is appropriate for just about any class.
12. Make a video self-assessment
Grades are important. But being able to self-assess is also an incredibly valuable way for students to incrementally improve at any skill.
Making video self-assessments gives students a more active role in the grading process and offers them a creative way to highlight the work they’ve put into a course. It also gives them a chance to make an argument for the grade they feel they deserve — a skill that easily correlates to performance reviews in their future workplace.
13. Film a job interview guide
For most people, the interview is the most nerve-wracking part of getting a job. Practicing interview questions is a great way to prepare. But most students don’t know how to prepare for a job interview.
Creating a job interview how-to guide is a perfect way for students to learn how to prepare for a job interview and help other students prepare at the same time.
14. Create a video presentation based on a written assignment
Written assignments are the backbone of a university education (in most disciplines, at least). However, the audience for most written assignments is limited to the professor and assistants. Creating presentation videos for their assignments gives students the opportunity to share their hard work with their fellow students, while also learning valuable video editing skills.
15. Build a video resume
For most students, the job search starts even before graduation. A video resume helps students highlight the skills they acquired and the experience they gained during college. And, given the global workforce, a video resume is a great supplement to a paper resume, especially when applying for remote or distant positions where an in-person interview may not be an option.
Take your video project from idea to reality with Biteable
Ready to get started making an education video project ?
Biteable has a huge library of video templates that help students get going fast rather than struggling to start from a blank screen. Drag-and-drop editing and easy to use tools let students focus on what’s important: the project assignment and delivering a thoughtful message.
Make stunning videos with ease.
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Animation Summer Program for High School Students
Why Take High School Animation
Dive deeper into the constantly evolving world of animation and learn how digital animation is transforming storytelling and visual language. Under the guidance of leading professionals, at our animation camp you’ll discover the history, fundamentals, and current best practices of animation and work individually and collaboratively to create your own short films. Each three-week session explores different animation topics and welcomes both beginners and seasoned visual storytellers.
What You'll Learn
- Understand the pipeline process of digital animation from first pitch to finished project
- Discuss the fundamentals of movement as they pertain to a variety of animation fields
- Explore relevant history of animation
- Gain hands-on experience with industry-standard animation software based on the objectives of our professional animators
At the end of your session, your work will be featured in a student showcase in our 180-seat, 4K high-definition, state-of-the-art projection space.
Come join us for a summer art camp you won't forget!
- SESSION 1: June 24, 2023 to July 15, 2023
- SESSION 2: July 16, 2023 to August 6, 2023
- SESSION 1: Accepting applications
- SESSION 2: Accepting applications
Each session will conclude with a screening of your work in front of an audience, which takes place at our projection space inside the DeRoy Center for Film Studies.
DeRoy Center for Film Studies
Film & New Media courses are held inside of the DeRoy Center for Film Studies, the 26,000 square-foot home of Interlochen's Film & New Media Division. The facility touts four editing suites, a soundstage, a 180-seat 2K HD projection space—it's the same projection you'll find at your local cinema (films are seen and heard the way the director intended)—and classrooms are equipped with cutting-edge technology.
The Film & New Media program offers additional summer programs that might interest High School Animation students, including Screenwriting and Filmmaking . Interlochen is also home to the Arts Academy boarding high school, which offers a Film & New Media major for grades 9-12, as well as a post-graduate year.
Meet the Faculty
With dozens of professional credits to their names, our Animation faculty members are some of the world's finest filmmakers—and this summer, you'll have the opportunity to learn right alongside them.
Please note the gallery may showcase previous instructors.
Instructor of Film & New Media
Recent guest artists to the Film & New Media Department during Interlochen Arts Camp include:
- Robert Eggers, film director, screenwriter, and production designer known for The Witch and The Lighthouse.
- Peter Gould, television writer, director, and producer known for Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.
- Janet Leahy, an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer known for Mad Men.
- Michael Moore, Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker.
- Gordon Radley, former president of George Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic.
- James Suhr, art director and film storyboarding director known for Despicable Me, Gravity Falls, and Dogs in Space.
I've never been immersed so much in animation before. Interlochen has allowed me to explore different types of animations. I would have never thought to do stop-motion or even puppet animation.
Exploring High School Animation
"As an animator, you're a master of time and space. You can make things vanish, disappear, turn inside out, or go across galaxies." Students and faculty of Arts Camp's High School Animation program share what they love about studying this medium at Interlochen.
Technology integration blog for teachers.
Computer Animation Lesson Plans for High School Students
TechnoKids Inc. has just released TechnoFlash CS5 . This technology project includes lesson plans to teach computer animation to high school students. The teacher guide, student workbook, templates, and sample movies included in TechnoFlash enable students to create an animated story that is Out of this World.
NOTE: This animation project has been a favorite for many years. Students love it! You can get updated instructions and activities for Animate CC in the project, TechnoAnimate .
Students begin the project by learning how to use the drawing tools to create objects. Once familiar with how to draw, they use their skills to create the first scene in their space adventure. Click here to view a sample lesson that explains how to use the Flash Drawing Tools with fun drawing challenges that include a flower, car, bear, and chick.
Students gradually acquire animation skills. First, they learn frame-by-frame animation to gain an understanding of the importance of keyframes. Next, they create motion and shapes tweens. Afterwards, they learn how to use the Bone Tool to animate a robot that dances. Finally, they use a motion path to cause a spaceship to blast through the sky.
Once the scenes are complete, students learn how to insert sounds into the Timeline. They then export their movie to share with friends. View a sample movie created using the Flash CS5 lessons in TechnoFlash .
TechnoFlash includes ideas for creating Flash projects such as an animated scene, short story, or e-greeting card. In addition, sample movies are provided to inspire creativity.
To read more about this technology project visit TechnoFlash for Flash CS5 .
To order TechnoFlash, please visit the TechnoKids Store .
View a Sample Animated Graphic Story
Online Animation & Drawing Classes
Student Ages 11-18
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The Animation Course is the premier animation school built with 11-18 year olds in mind.
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An Experienced Instructor
Chad Stewart has worked as a professional animator in film and television for almost 30 years! He has worked with both Walt Disney Feature Animation and Sony Pictures on films like Emperor's New Groove, Tarzan , and Polar Express, just to name a few . Now he brings his wide experience—both from the professional animation field and from being an expert homeschooling dad—into teaching students ages 11-18 about this fascinating art form.
Our daughter loves these classes! [...] Mr. Stewart does a wonderful job teaching the class—it is fun, encouraging, challenging, and positive!
Our students won first place in 2019 for their student reel and first place for ‘Inked’ in the 3D Film category! Elizabeth Hisel won “best story” for her film! We are incredibly proud of all of our students and so thankful to have been with them over this fun weekend at TAFI!
Not Just a Class, A Community
Each student is able to interact directly with Chad, and also receives personalized video feedback from industry professionals on every weekly assignment. Each student attends a class full of students that are just like them. Students interact with real people, receive encouragement, and are given personal guidance. Taking a class isn't just about learning skills; it's also an opportunity to join a growing community of people who love animation.
I loved getting a personalized review that helped me understand what I should be working on and what I did well!
Real Skills & Real Careers
The Animation Course benefits from an instructor and with multiple graders who have real connections to the animation world. Transcripts are available for high school credit (when approved by your school) or just for your records. Students have the opportunity to get an idea of what it looks like to work in the animation field, to receive one-on-one feedback, and to lay the foundation for a real career.
I love the wonderful feedback on each assignment and how positive and encouraging it is for beginners. Also, we enjoy the interviews of Chad and other animators.
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Thank you! We are so happy that you chose to connect with us and have signed up for our monthly newsletter! You can expect some great information through our newsletter, like letters from Chad, interviews by our graders or graduated students, and current class information & so much more! Let us know if you have any questions about our classes! Chad & Kayla Stewart
- BookWidgets Teacher Blog
15+ Short films for students with ready-to-use lesson ideas
Who doesn’t like short films? They’re often innovative, funny, or surprising, and always to the point. There are hundreds of great short films available online for free, about almost any topic you can imagine. Whereas it’s not always easy to show feature films in the classroom (because of your limited amount of time), a short film can perfectly be watched and discussed in one lesson sequence.
Since most short films have an engaging element, they can be used in several ways in your lessons:
- as a lesson starter;
- as an introduction to a new topic;
- as a discussion starter;
- or just as a way to add some variation to your classes.
In short (pun intended), there’s no reason not to use a short film in your lessons from time to time.
In this blog post, I’ve selected 15+ great short films for students about totally different topics and created ready-to-use lesson examples for each one of them. Most of the presented short film lesson ideas focus on social-emotional learning (SEL), which will encourage your students to stand strong in this world and respect others.
Most of these short films don’t have spoken dialogues, so they can be used in any language (and we’ve already translated most of them in English, French, German, Spanish and Dutch). All the digital exercises are created with BookWidgets . You can create a free BookWidgets account (if you don’t have one already) and copy the widgets to your account, which will allow you to make some changes where necessary. We’ll explain how this works at the end of this blog post .
But first - drumroll please 🥁 -, BookWidgets proudly presents the 17 selected short films. Click on the name of the film to get the synopsis and the ready-to-use lesson ideas.
- 📺 Jamais sans mon dentier
- 🧑🏾🤝🧑🏽 Louis’ Shoes / Cuerdas
- 🪙 Coin Operated / Alike / Happiness
- ☯️ Brothers
- 🍪 Snack Attack
- 🧠 Mind Games
- 🤳🏼 Are you living an insta lie? / A social life / Percentage of life
- 🎁 The Present
- ❤️🩹 Le grand jeu / J’attendrai le suivant
Jamais sans mon dentier (2017)
🎬 Producers: Students from the bachelor 3D Art Animation program at Bellecour École
🗣 Language: None
🎲 Topics: Cooperation, Elderly people, Rebellion
🍿 Synopsis: Four retirement home reseidents want to watch their favorite series Never without my denture , but the remote control is taken away. As a result, they team up to get their remote back.
👩🏫 Lesson idea: This light-hearted short film is an ideal introduction to get students thinking about their own lives and how they would see themselves when they are elderly. Consequently, this assignment fits perfectly into life skills classes. Besides, this short film can also be used as an introduction to group work since it shows the importance of setting goals, collaborating, and possible failure.
Louis’ Shoes (2020) / Cuerdas (2013)
🎬 Producer: Théo Jamin, Jean-Géraud Blanc, Kayu Leung, Marion Philippe / Pedro Solís Gracía
🗣 Language: French (with English subtitles) / Spanish (with subtitles in multiple languages)
🎲 Topics: school, inclusivity, autism, physical and intellectual disability
🍿 Synopsis: These two short films show that a school is not an easy setting for students who are a bit different .
In Louis’ Shoes , a boy named Louis has to introduce himself to his classmates in his new school. He gives viewers an insight into his life and the additional challenges for students with autism.
Cuerdas is about a student with a disability who enters a new school. He is viewed strangely by most of his classmates, but there is one girl who thinks otherwise and involves him in all activities.
👩🏫 Lesson idea: In our society, students are often expected to achieve the same goals. Yet everyone is different, so this is not always realistic. Therefore, it is important to engage in conversation about inclusivity to have students understand classmates’ and other people’s thoughts and actions.
Coin Operated (2017) / Alike (2016) / Happiness (2017)
🎬 Director/Producer: Nicholas Arioli & Jennifer Dahlman / Daniel Martínez Lara & Rafa Cano Méndez / Steve Cutts
🎲 Topics: childhood dreams, life goals, money, capitalism, the rat race
🍿 Synopsis: Childhood dreams and the brevity of life may sound like heavy topics, but they are presented in a very approachable manner in Coin Operated . The story starts with a boy who has the dream to travel in space. He overcomes a first disappointment when a rocket kiddie ride doesn’t help him to reach his goal. He then decides to start selling lemonade to make enough money to get into space one day. Will he eventually get there? Watch the short film to find out.
A different childhood dream is the main topic of Alike , where a father and son live a monotonous life. However, the kid’s passion for music will eventually break the routine.
In Happiness , the spectator gets a much darker image of the quest for happiness and fulfillment. This engaging animated short film shows the rat race we’re all living and leaves no one unmoved.
👩🏫 Lesson idea: There are quite a few interesting YouTube comments about Coin Operated , Happiness and Alike , so it’s a nice idea to ask your students to read some of the comments and discuss them, before writing their own comments. Another idea could be to ask students to compare the three short films since they address the same topics but differently.
🎬 Producer: Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah
🗣 Language: Arabic & Dutch (English subtitles)
🎲 Topics: religion, morality, drugs, violence
🍿 Synopsis: Brothers is a modern parable about two young people from Brussels. Karim is exemplary and committed to the community, while Nassim goes down the bad path. Sometimes, however, things turn out differently than you might think.
👩🏫 Lesson idea: Since this short film has scenes related to drugs and violence, it is only recommended for older students. The film ends with an open-ended question about what is good and what is bad, an ideal starter for a class discussion.
Snack Attack (2012)
🎬 Producer: Andrew Cadelago
🎲 Topics: stereotypes, young vs old, politeness
🍿 Synopsis: If you like plot twists, you’ll love Snack Attack . An old lady sits on a bench in the train station, when suddenly the boy sitting next to her starts eating her cookies. As a spectator, you’ll quickly think the boy is extremely rude and has no respect for elderly people, but things turn out a bit differently…
👩🏫 Lesson idea: This short film is a great resource to introduce the danger of stereotypes and judging people too quickly. You could start your lesson with pictures of an old lady and a young punk-style boy and ask your students to tell the first things that come to their minds when seeing these pictures. Write them down on the blackboard before watching Snack Attack . It is a good idea to pause the short film a couple of times and ask your students what they think will happen, like in the digital exercise you can find below.
🎬 Producer: Jonas Geirnaert
🎲 Topics: urban cohabitation, neighbors, daily routine
🍿 Synopsis: An old Dutch proverb says “A good neighbor is better than a distant friend”. Flatlife shows the life of 4 neighbors who live in the same skyscraper. The split-screen view allows you to simultaneously follow the 4 characters, who don’t seem to realize the influence they have on each other’s lives.
👩🏫 Lesson idea: This short film is great when you’re teaching a foreign language and your students are working on themes like the parts of the house, housing environment, and habits. The split view works great for a group work: make 4 groups and ask each group to concentrate on one of the four characters, so they can present them to their classmates.
Mind Games (2018)
🎬 Producer: Jiaqi Emily Yan
🎲 Topics: education, exams, free time, the meaning of life
🍿 Synopsis: In Mind Games , a boy is taking an exam, but his brain decides to escape and play outside. The exam should be no problem, as the brain fills the boy’s head with books. He answers question by question, but then bumps into a final question which he can’t answer without his brain: “What is the meaning of life?”.
👩🏫 Lesson idea: Mind Games could be used as a tool to let your students reflect on the way they study for an exam. You could also use it as a lesson starter to discuss the role of schools (it could be an introduction to the spoken words film What is school for? , presented in this previous blog post ). But the most creative way of using Mind games would be to ask your students the final question of the exam and give them the freedom to answer by text or by drawing.
Are you living an insta lie? (2017) / A social life (2016) / Percentage of life (2018)
🎬 Producer: Ditch the label / Kerith Lemon / Pascu Dragos
🗣 Language: English
🎲 Topics: Social media
🍿 Synopsis: These three different short films are all about the impact of social media on young people’s lives. We see how they share beautiful or impressive pictures with their friends, but in reality, a lot of these things are made up. The three short films are great instruments to let your students reflect on the impact of social media on their daily lives.
👩🏫 Lesson idea: Since the three short films discuss the same subject and have a lot of similarities, it could be interesting to ask your students to analyze and compare them. Besides, they are a great way of starting a group discussion about a topic that concerns them all. To end this topic in a creative way, you could ask them to make their own “Instagram versus reality” picture or movie.
The Present (2014)
🎬 Producer: Jacob Frey
🗣 Language: English (subtitles in other languages available)
🎲 Topics: video games, living with a disability, pets
🍿 Synopsis: A boy is playing a video game when his mother gives him a present… a puppy! But the puppy is missing one leg and the boy doesn’t seem to be interested in it anymore. The puppy then starts playing by itself and it doesn’t take long before the boy gets infected by its joyful enthusiasm. When he decides to go outside with the puppy, it turns out the boy is also missing a leg.
👩🏫 Lesson idea: The main theme of the story is living with a disability, but The Present could also be used to introduce topics like video games, pets, free time … Besides, you could ask your students to analyze the emotions of the different characters (the mother, the boy, and the dog).
🎬 Producer: François Caffiaux, Romain Noël, Thomas Salas
🎲 Topics: war, sports
🍿 Synopsis: In the animated short film Versus , two samurai tribes (a red one and a blue one) try to conquer an island that lies right in the middle of their territory. They are very creative when it comes to finding new war techniques and even get inspired by different sport disciplines to beat the enemy. If you want to find out which tribe wins, you’ll have to watch the short film ‘till the very end (there’s a last plot twist after the closing credits).
👩🏫 Lesson idea: Versus is a great way to introduce the vocabulary related to sports in your language lessons, but could also be used to talk about the uselessness of war.
Le grand jeu (2008) / J’attendrai le suivant (2002)
🎬 Producer: Yannick Pecherand / Philippe Orreindy
🗣 Language: French
🎲 Topics: Love, Public transport
🍿 Synopsis: French is often considered as the language of love and these two short films are about very romantic love stories… but if you’re expecting a happy ending, you might get disappointed. If you like dark humor though, you’ll love both of them.
👩🏫 Lesson idea: Both short films are great for French teachers who like to work on listening comprehension. You could also work the different future tenses by pausing the video several times and ask the students what they’re expecting to happen next.
Instructions on how to use these digital short film lesson activities
Above, you can find the 15+ ready-to-use short film lesson activities by clicking on the image. You can use these lesson examples for free. Since they’re all made with BookWidgets, I’ve listed them in this BookWidgets group , and most widgets are available in English, French, German, Spanish and Dutch. Here’s what you need to do:
- Click on this link . It will immediately bring you to the group with all of the short film activities. If you don’t have a BookWidgets account yet, you’ll have to sign up first for free .
- Click on folder with the name of the short film activity that you would like to duplicate. Select the activity in your language of preference. Click on the settings wheel , choose duplicate selected widgets . Choose where you want to save the activity in your BookWidgets account.
- Go to your saved short film lessons. You can now click on the black dropdown arrow next to the ‘Show’ button and select Edit . You can make some changes to this activity (if you want). If it’s perfect for you, click on Share in the upper right corner.
- Share this link with your students. When they click on it, they can fill it out. When done, they can submit their answers to you by clicking on the submit button.
- As a teacher, you go to “Grades & reporting” in BookWidgets to find your students’ answers.
Of course, now that you’ve got your own BookWidgets account, you can also create new short film activities or other assignments yourself!
Attention! Once your free trial runs out, you’ll only be able to use the widgets you’ve already finished/shared with students. While your BookWidgets account will still work and you’ll still get your students’ results with the free BookWidgets version, you won’t be able to duplicate widgets nor create new widgets yourself anymore.
Do you already use short films in class or are you planning to do so? I hope I gave you some new ideas that might inspire you. Which of these ideas is your favorite? Let us know on Twitter! - @ibookwidgets
Or share your own widgets about podcasts in our Teaching with BookWidgets Facebook group so that in turn, you can inspire others!
And most of all… enjoying watching! 🍿
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BookWidgets enables teachers to create fun and interactive lessons for tablets, smartphones, and computers.
51 Creative Video Project Ideas for Students (With Templates)
- video project ideas
It’s always a challenge to keep students engaged during classes, especially virtual classes. One of the ways to do this are video projects. Video projects not only make for fun viewing, they also supplement learning. While creating videos with fellow students is a fun activity, it’s not always easy to come up with video project ideas.
So here we bring you some of our favorite creative video project ideas for students. We also share ready-to-use free video templates that you can plug into and start using. Stay tuned till the end and find a bonus section for students on how to make a good video project! Let’s dive in!
A. Video project ideas for elementary students B. Video project ideas for high school students C. Video project ideas for higher education students D. How to make a good video project
Bring your video project ideas to life in minutes
With 3000+ ready-to-use project video templates
A. Video project ideas for elementary students
Video projects for elementary students are mostly a way for the teachers to ensure comprehension and interest in the classroom. These can also be a good tool to make students think about different topics. Let’s check out some video project ideas for this age group:
1. Summarise a lesson
Get your students to summarise history or literature lessons on video. Have students research major figures and events in history and make videos around these concepts. This gives students the chance to learn digital storytelling as well as thoroughly research important historical figures! For example, check out this video sharing the history of television!
Use This Template
2. Share a talent video
Have students share a video performing a talent! They can share singing, dancing, painting, art, baking, playing an instrument or various such videos. This can be a fun activity where students learn more about their peers. For example, check out this music artist launch promotion video that can be used by students to promote their own music videos .
3. Create a book report video
Instead of traditional book reports, get students to create book reports or trailers for various literature projects. These can be a good way to get students curious about concepts you will be teaching them too! Check out this video book report.
4. Celebrate a holiday
Get students to create videos on their traditional or religious holidays. This is a great way to cultivate curiosity, awareness and tolerance for different ethnicities and cultures. Check out this Christmas facts video as an example.
Use This template
5. Create science experiment videos
Encourage students to create their own slides to explain science experiments and their findings. This way, students start thinking of STEM disciplines in a more analytical, hands on manner. Check out the lesson plan presentation below that can be used to document the objectives and findings of such an experiment.
B. Video project ideas for high school students
Video projects for high school students can be a little more advanced as they are in the process of growing their skills and learning more about different subjects.
1. Create a video portfolio
High school is when students start thinking about college applications. This is a great time to start making a portfolio. Teachers can give students the chance to create a portfolio video and share their unique skills and interests. For example, students interested in engineering and STEM can share their coding or science related know-how. Check out this copywriter portfolio as an example.
2. Create a news show
Students need to know current events, both for their school community and for the world around them. Having a school news show is a way to communicate with the school community of students, teachers, staff, and parents. This can be a group effort that helps students learn the value of teamwork and allocation. Check out this newsreel video you can customise to create your own weekly news show.
Use This Template
3. Make a video tour of an important location
If students visit a place -- on a field trip, on vacation or any time -- they can share their learning experience with others by recording video of it and narrating as they go. (If they're at a museum or other such places, asking permission first is probably a good idea!) If they can't visit it, creating a video slideshow with InVideo is also an option. Get your students to share video projects on important locations as an assignment. These projects can be themed around festivals , cultural concepts and activities too. For example, check out their Halloween cross country tour slideshow.
4. Share practice records
Learning a language, cooking , music or sports require constant practise. To gauge the progress of each student, you can ask them to record themselves learning to play an instrument or speaking a new language. Students can make video projects of themselves learning or mastering a particular song, key phrases and more. For example, check out this violinist’s progress video.
5. Create an ad or a promotional video for school events
Get students to make an advertisement or a pitch for a school event. This could include a political ad for class president election, a video resume , or an ad for the latest games or tournaments in the school. Students will need to think about the audience they are trying to reach and the length of the advertisement. For example, check out this match poster video.
6. Promote a good cause
Get students to create a video project promoting a cause they believe in. This helps them build their opinions and develop persuasive skills. Students can share this video with everyone, not just the classroom! For example, here’s a video you can customise to debunk myths around a way of life (going vegan in this case).
C. Video project ideas for higher education students
Post high school, it may seem that video projects aren’t that important. But this is the time when students are most focused on improving skills related to their career. Video projects can thus help students showcase their understanding and interest areas, especially to future employers. So let’s check out some video project ideas for these students.
1. Interview interesting people
The people around us and around the world are living history. Their experiences, information, and advice is a treasure trove waiting to be mined. Get your students to interview individuals from their interest areas or in interesting professions. They could be in-person interviews where both parties sit next to each other or they could be virtual interviews, where someone far away records responses to questions. These interviews can act as learning aids, as well as help students connect with people in their future careers. Check out this video interview on how to approach people for their life stories.
Make your own video highlighting interesting interviews by sharing quotes , testimonials, and more. Check out this testimonial video as an example you can use and customise.
2. Teach a concept via videos
Truly understanding something is the ability to teach it to others. Students can make a video where they are recording themselves completing a task on their computer screen or they can make a demonstration video like a coding class. Teachers and professors could then use these videos to help reinforce skills in your class or even flip some of your lessons. For example, check out this video tutorial on note taking apps.
3. Create a self-assessment video
Being able to assess oneself is an extremely important skill that students need to improve themselves. Self assessment empowers students to become better learners. It also allows them to take an active role in their assessment and push for a grade they feel is unfair - a direct correlation to performance reviews at the workplace! Personalise this testimonial video to create your own self assessment video.
4. Create a video presentation for a written assignment
Written assignments are a staple when it comes to college. But only professors and classmates can view these. Instead, creating a short, promotional video on a written assignment is a great way for students to share their work with more people and learn editing skills at the same time. Check out this digital marketing trends video you can use to create your own video presentations .
5. Create a video resume
For most students, the job hunt begins in college itself. A video resume helps highlight key skills as well as share the student’s personality and attitude with employers. Especially when applying to remote or distant positions, a video resume along with a normal resume provides brownie points. Check out this video resume you can use as a blueprint to create your own.
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6. Create a University promotion video
Universities and colleges need as much promotion as they can get. And who better than students to share their experiences and highlights. Get students to create unique videos with their best anecdotes or areas in the university. This is also a good way to get them to research interesting aspects of college life. Check out the University promotional video and make it your own.
D. BONUS: How To Make A Good Video Project
Your school video project can earn you good grades. It is also an opportunity to showcase your creativity. But how to create the perfect video without any error? Video creation may not be your forte, but you still wish to excel in school video projects, right? No worries!
If you have a school video assignment in hand but don’t know where to begin, read below to learn how to create a video project super easy and quick, without any error and fuss. Now, let’s divide your video project into 5 easy steps.
Step 1: Video topic or idea
If you are working on a school assignment, you probably have a video topic given by your teacher or professor. If you are looking for video topic ideas though, find them here .
Step 2: Plan your video assignment
Planning is super important for your videos. This is when you decide how you want to create your video. Consider whether you want to live record your video or create it online using an app or a tool. An online tool like InVideo offers you pre-created templates that might meet your requirements. This is also a super quick and easy way to make your video from scratch. The first thing you need to do is go to InVideo and login or sign up if you wish to use this tool. Next click on the “Pre Made Templates” Option and select the video dimension you want. Finally, type phrases related to your video in the search bar.
You will now see templates related to your search as you scroll below. Simply select the template you want to use and click on the “Use This Template” button to start editing!
If your video idea is to record an event , but you don’t have a DSLR, camcorder or GoPro, use your own smartphone camera for the school project.
Step 3: Prepare a video script
Now that you know how you will record your video, the next step is creating a script for your video. Here’s a step-by-step guide on script writing you can refer to.
3 questions to ask yourself before you create your script:
- What is the objective of your video? - How long does your video need to be? - Who is the audience that will watch your video?
Step 4: Shoot your video + audio
Once your script is finalized, it’s time to shoot your video. You also need to make sure that you are recording audio to go with your video. Check out this list of equipment and how you can use it to record video and audio.
Step 5: Edit your video
As mentioned earlier, one of the most effortless ways you can edit your video is using the free, online InVideo editor . This is simple, easy to use, and does not need you to make any downloads. Here’s how you can edit your video on InVideo.
Step 1: Log in to InVideo . Now click on the “Blank Canvas” option and select the dimension of your video. Next, click the “Make A Video” button.
Step 2: Now click on the “Upload Media” button at the left-hand corner of your screen and upload the video you shot.
Step 3: Double click your uploaded video to add it to the timeline. You will now see a pop-up that asks if you wish to trim your video. You can Trim your video or use the full version. Simply click on the “Done” button once you are finished with your trim.
Step 4: You can now use the controls on the right side of the screen to edit your video further.
Step 5: You can apply filters, create transitions between shots for a seamless flow, add subtitles, or insert a logo to give a personal touch to your school video. Just head to the left side of your screen and select the controls you wish to use.
Step 6: Once you are done with your edits, it’s time to download your video. For this click on the “Download & Share” button on the top right. Now click the “Export” video button.
Step 7: Your video will now start to render. You can download it once it’s complete. You can also directly share the video link or share it on social media using the button provided.
So these were some video project ideas for students and how you can create your own videos on InVideo. If you’ve found value in this article, and are looking for more video ideas, you also want to check out this guide where we’ve put together 200+ video ideas for businesses and brands that you can take further inspiration from.
For more quick tips and hacks on editing and creating videos, subscribe to our YouTube Channel .
This post was written by Upasna and edited by Abhilash from Team InVideo
Let’s create superb videos
List of Classes to Take in High School to Become an Animator
What Kind of College Classes Do You Need to Major in Graphic Design?
Animators are artists who create 2D and 3D moving images for film and television, and they are often skilled in drawing, painting and computer science. Before attending an art school to work on an animation degree, you can take a series of high school courses that will prepare you for both a higher-level education in animation and a career. Focus specifically on the art and technology classes your high school offers. In addition, seek out school clubs and periodicals that will allow you to develop your skills as an animator.
Drawing, Painting and Art Courses
Although much of animation involves graphic design, colleges and art schools still want their animators to be trained artists. Specifically, students will need to be highly skilled drawers, capable of rendering a variety of different bodies, figures and facial expressions. Take studio art courses that focus on drawing so you can master life drawing. In addition, painting courses will allow budding artists to experiment with color and the fluidity of paint on canvas, all important skills for animation. Larger high schools may also have elective introductory animation and film courses for students.
Computer and Technology Courses
Whereas in the past animators relied solely on drawings, much of animation today is computer generated. Animators use technology such as CGI, or computer generated imagery, to create 2D and 3D animation. Furthermore, animators may have the opportunity to direct and edit animation television shows and movies, so they need to be skilled in the use of filming software. Aspiring animators should take high school courses in computer science to develop strong computer skills for college-level computer animation courses. High school film courses may also provide exposure to film and animation software.
Humanities, Math and Science
A strong foundation in science, specifically biology and physics, will allow animators to master their ability to render the body due to their knowledge of movement and anatomy. In addition, math classes will aid in an animator’s ability to be successful in the computer science end of animation. Finally, animation requires that artists be creative and expressive. Humanities classes like social studies, literature and creative writing focus on stories and writing, areas which will help animators become strong storytellers.
Clubs and Periodicals and Internships
In addition to high school classes, aspiring animators should aim to get involved with school extracurricular activities. Volunteer to create weekly comic strips for the school newspaper or join after-school art and film clubs to develop your skills along with other student artists devoted to the craft. Finally, speak to your high school art teacher about animation and art-related internships. Local museums, graphic design companies and small production companies may be willing to hire a student artist as an intern.
A List of Broadcast Design Schools
High School Classes to Help You Prepare for Photography
Top Performing Arts Colleges in the United States
What Can I Do in High School to Prepare for Being a Choreographer?
The Schooling Needed for a Sports Photographer
3D Art Scholarships
Top Dramaturgy Schools
Colleges That Offer Singing, Songwriting, Acting & Dancing
Kelly Chester is an educator and writer who has worked in both public and private schools for almost a decade. Her areas of expertise include literature, writing, history and art for adolescents. In addition to writing reports for NYSAIS, she has also written a biography on artist Frank Covino, which was published in the anthology “Teaching Lives.”
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Teaching the open source creative tool, Blender, to high school students
Blender is a powerful open source 3D drawing and animation program. This software was previously a commercial product, but is now available as a free download. Blender has been used to create stunningly beautiful 3D animated videos, including Big Buck Bunny. Check out some of the gorgeous animated movies made with Blender at the web site's Features Gallery.
People tell me Blender is very versatile, so I was curious to discover that Blender is being taught to high school students in White Plains, New York, via a new digital arts training company, The Digital Arts Experience ( The DAE ). The company describes themselves in this way:
We are a hands-on creative learning company in White Plains, New York. Our goal is to enhance and improve the digital skills of our community. This includes 3D Animation and additional courses such as: Photography, Graphic Design, 2D animation, visual effects, video design and web design. We teach both young adults and adults by working directly with them in the classroom.
One of the employees there, Nicholas Sceusa , is a 3D animation expert and Blender enthusiast. Here is an email interview I did with Nick to learn more about how he teaches Blender.
Q: How did you initially learn Blender?
I initially learned Blender by reading Blender for Dummies by Jason van Gumster. The book was a very simple introduction to the program and concentrated more on the interface, menus, how the program works and its structure. It's a great book for anyone who wants to transfer over from another software package. It won't teach you how to make a movie or build a character, but it's a good place to start for anyone already familiar with 3D animation.
I have been using Blender for almost a year now and I am extremely surprised and pleased with how well it works.
Q: What grade levels do you teach Blender?
For 3D animation I typically teach high school students because 3D animation can be rather time consuming and requires a lot of practice. The youngest age we teach is 10 years old and we adjust the course material as necessary.
Q: How do you introduce your students to Blender?
The very first thing I do when students come into the classroom is introduce them to Blender's website and show them where to download the program. I also make sure that they have access to my work email so they can email me if they have any technical issues either during installation or when working at home. Many students either own or have access to computers that can run Blender with little to no difficulty and availability has not been an issue thus far.
Once that has been achieved we make small steps learning the program. Learning 3D animation can be a time consuming tricky process and I like to break it into sections. First, we learn the basic interface, its settings, and then begin transitioning into actual 3D animation practices such as modeling. As the class progresses we continue learning 3D animation together and build it up towards a completed item (such as a character). This way students can learn 3D animation in separate sections at their own pace and see how everything fits together at the end of the session.
Q: What are some typical 3D animation assignments you give your students?
Our method of teaching at The DAE is to teach by doing. To The DAE it's not enough for us to tell you how to accomplish something, we want to do it with you. This usually involves everyone working towards a final project so everyone gets first hand experience and something to take home at the end of the session.
Since we really emphasize learning in the classroom I don't really give out assignments because most of the work is done in the classroom. I do however give out "challenges" which are for any student who wants to try going that extra mile. I might wrap up a class on modeling a character and ask them at the end how they would make a character with specific qualities or accessories. It's really important to me that students get as much practice as they can. I was not exposed to a professional animation software until my sophomore year of college and it took me the better part of a year to finally get comfortable with it. The biggest factor being practice. I was constantly trying out the program (we used Autodesk Maya) and getting feedback from classmates and instructors.
I can't tell you how many times I went to my instructor or teaching assistant and asked why the program was doing what it was doing. Sometimes you get the funniest results. This will really help out students prep for college and start to develop a portfolio, which is typically the deciding factor for animation jobs.
Q: How do you go about teaching animation in Blender?
I actually have not had the chance to teach animation in my class yet. The DAE has been open for approximately nine months and we are still fairly new to White Plains. I have had only a couple of classes thus far and we mainly focused on modeling as an introductory course to Blender. I am very pleased to say that we are currently exploring all areas of 3D animation including: modeling, texturing, rigging, lighting and animation. It's very exciting the closer we get to adding in motion!
Q: Have your students submitted any of their 3D models or animations to contests?
I would love it if my students would submit their work to a contest for feedback and critiques but we are not quite there yet. We are just about to explore creating motion in Blender.
Q: Do you ever use Blender in conjunction with other open source programs, such as Inkscape or GIMP?
I often combine GIMP with Blender and use it mainly for texture creation for use with characters or scenes.
Q: When youth learn 3D graphics and animation, how can that skill add to their life?
Computer Graphics (CG) allows students to combine both art and technological skills into a unique medium. It allows them to express themselves in a new way. We all think a little differently. Some people are very artistic, some very technical, and other somewhere in between. With CG any person can explore a graphics program and use it how they will. It can be for purely aesthetic reasons such as creating a new image in Photoshop or for technical ones such as altering the code to create a new function. With 3D animation it's like a whole new level. Not everyone is satisfied creating still images. They want to make that picture move, to give it motion. With the addition of a 3rd dimension and the ability to work with time, there are many more possibilities.
Computer graphics and animation also gives us the ability to further our ideas and projects. Sometimes traditional art forms can be limiting or, depending on the goal, non achievable. With computer graphics there is almost no limit to what you can do. You are only limited by the computer hardware (which has been increasing in powerfulness dramatically) and your imagination. You can do the impossible. It allows us to create things that are not accessible in real life or beyond our grasp. Just look at all the CG in movies. If they can do it, why can't you?
And lastly, CG and animation can bring together many aspects of life you did not expect. This is more of a personal experience on my part, but I think it needs to be said. When I first starting working in CG it was mainly focused on the visual components. Eventually I was introduced to the programming language of the software we were using and showed that we could manipulate it. The more I explored it the more I realized just how much goes into making these programs. Every button you click on the user interface executes a command, which in turn does some sort of action. And the majority of those action involve math. We all use math in out everyday lives, but how often do you use calculus or matrices?
By learning more about 3D animation, I started to learn about math and in turn how it works from a visual standpoint. Since then I have been reviewing and relearning math so that I can play around with Blender source code and make my own tools. I'm not quite there yet and still have a long way to go, but I have much greater appreciation for math and how it describes the world around us.
This is not just limited to mathematics. Science can help describe fluid simulations and how light interacts with objects. Programming can help create an algorithm for generating specific objects or create custom tools. Storytelling can help enrich a story or explain an idea better. 3D animation brings together many areas of life into a unique blend of art, science, and technology. For me, computer graphics and 3D animation allows me to explore ideas and concepts, express my thoughts and has increased my appreciation for the world we live in and how it works. I think any student who explores this terrain has many options before him or her and can enrich his or her life regardless if they are artistic, technical or both. Editor's Note: Learn more about Blender here:
Stay in the loop about news and tutorials about Blender by setting up a Google Alert for "Blender 3D"
Check out the many excellent Blender tutorials on YouTube, such as
Blender 3D/Inkscape: How to model a tire using Blender 3D and Inkscape
BlenderCourse is a free ebook about Blender.
BlenderTuts (Blender tutorials)
Comparing Google SketchUp to Blender for teaching modeling to high school students.
If there are any middle schools, high schools, or colleges teaching Blender, I'm interested in learning more about how you teach this software. Kindly send me an email and I may feature your teaching in a blog post here on opensource.com. I can be reached at [email protected] .
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Animation Schools and Becoming an Animator
Animation school teaches artistic and technical skills, but a degree isn't always necessary to enter the field.
How to Become an Animator
Drawing ability and visual observation skills are crucial qualities to cultivate if you intend to become an animator. (Getty Images)
The creation of a single minute of footage for an animated TV show or movie can take weeks or even months of collaborative work by artists, directors, producers and technicians.
Animation requires patience, and anyone who intends to join the field should consider whether they would enjoy the process of making animation "so that they don't get bored with it or they don't get disenchanted with it, but they really love that process," says Maija Burnett, director of the character animation program at the California Institute of the Arts and assistant dean of its film and video school.
Here is a guide on what it means to be an animator and how to enter the animation field.
What Is an Animator?
The term animator could arguably apply to anyone who is involved with creating the imagery in a cartoon-based motion picture, and it is often used that way.
However, at major animation studios, people with animator job titles are usually responsible for deciding how cartoon characters move and what facial expressions they make. These animators work alongside storyboard artists, character designers and background artists.
What You Need to Enter the Animation Field
Animated feature films can take years to make – often longer than live-action movies. Diligence is a requirement for the animation industry, experts say, and so is the ability to compromise and accept criticism, since solo projects are rare in the field.
"When you work in animation, you get a ton of notes," says Jeanette Moreno King, president of the Animation Guild Local 839 union and supervising director of "Little Demon," an animated TV series for adults. "Everybody gets notes – even, the upper executives making decisions are getting notes, down to the PA (i.e. production assistant). So you can't get too personally attached to anything that you're working on, because your heart will get broken."
A detail-oriented disposition is a must for a future animator, experts say. Timothy G. Jones, director of the Academic Media Center at Robert Morris University in Pennsylvania – where he is also an assistant professor of media studies – says one exciting aspect of making an animated video is that a filmmaker can exert "granular and detailed control" over what happens in each frame of the video.
"That may appeal to students who may not be able to be as assertive or exercise that control on a film set with a large number of people," Jones says.
Drawing ability and visual observation skills are crucial qualities to cultivate if you intend to become an animator, experts say.
Burnett says aspiring animators should devote significant time to drawing accurate and interesting pictures based on the movements of real-life models.
"It's kind of like if you're a piano player, and you're playing the scales every day and arpeggios just to get your fingers really in shape," Burnett explains, noting that animation requires similar hand-eye coordination.
Animation Education and Training
It is possible to get a job within the animation industry without having a degree in animation or a related field if you have an impressive collection of projects, experts say.
"I personally have a master's degree, but no one cares," says Jasmine Katatikarn, the CEO and founder of the Academy of Animated Art, a virtual school that offers nondegree programs for aspiring lighting artists in the animation industry. "No one even asks me if I graduated from high school. ... Your portfolio speaks for itself."
A primary benefit of attending an exceptional animation school, experts say, is the opportunity to learn from creative classmates and talented faculty. Strong animation programs usually require students to complete and refine multiple animated videos, which can later be presented to hiring managers at animation studios.
Animation degree programs sometimes focus on a particular type of animation, such as the traditional two-dimensional, hand-drawn type or the computer-enhanced three-dimensional variety. Within the world of computer-generated imagery, or CGI, animation, there are multiple specialties, including 3D modeling, rigging and lighting.
Community college or vocational school animation programs may concentrate on the techniques necessary to do a particular job within the animation industry. Such hyper-focused programs tend to be less expensive and shorter than a more general animation education.
In contrast, degree-granting animation schools tend to offer a wide-ranging curriculum that covers key principles of storytelling within animated videos and also addresses design considerations such as the use of color. These schools usually offer classes on animation software programs and require students to participate in group projects with classmates.
The most common degrees for aspiring animators are Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees. Some animation schools offer Bachelor of Science or Master of Science degrees that focus on the technical side of animation.
Prospective animation students generally need to submit samples of their artwork when they apply, and the quality of that work is a key consideration in the admissions process. Some animation programs routinely reject the majority of applicants. For instance, the Brigham Young University Center For Animation in Utah states on its website that the center typically receives 60 to 75 applications a year and usually accepts 20 to 25 of those applicants.
Here are a few examples of reputable schools that offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees in animation and whose alumni often work for major animation studios, including those operated by DreamWorks Animation, the Walt Disney Company and Warner Bros.
- California Institute of the Arts , or CalArts, was founded by the Disney family. Some of the school's most notable animation degree recipients have received Academy and Emmy Awards, and alumni have frequently been nominated for such prizes.
- Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida has trained more than 15 people who have earned Student Academy Awards, according to its website.
- Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia graduates students who are often invited to present their movies at major film festivals and get high-profile jobs at major TV channels like Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, according to the school.
An Overview of Animation Jobs
Animation differs from other creative professions where jobs are scarce and salaries tend to be modest, according to people who have spent decades in the animation industry. Animation is a growing occupation with some lucrative employment options, a powerful labor union that lobbies for high wages and good working conditions, and influential talent agents.
The median salary reported by U.S. special effects artists and animators in May 2021 was $78,790, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts that the number of jobs in this field will be 16% higher in 2030 than it was in 2020 – a growth rate that is double the average among all occupations.
Because animation is often used in advertisements, digital games, educational materials, journalism and medical imagery, demand for animators extends beyond television and movie studios, experts say.
According to Jones, many animators work as freelancers, and they often work remotely from places outside of major metropolitan areas. King notes that animators working on film and television projects are often expected to produce art extremely quickly and sometimes cope with significant stress.
For some people, the fantasy of working in animation is enticing, but the actual experience of an animation job is unsatisfying, King says. "It does take a lot of focus and attention, and it's really slow-moving, it's true, and it takes a lot of people to do it. Even people that create shows can't completely claim their show because it takes so many people to move it."
Searching for a grad school? Get our complete rankings of Best Graduate Schools.
Bachelor's Degree Jobs That Pay $100K+
Tags: education , colleges , graduate schools , art
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15 Film Internships + Summer Programs for High School Students in 2023
What’s covered:, film internships and scholarships for high school students, film programs for high school students available during the academic year, film summer programs for high school students, how do internships affect college admissions.
Creative teens with a passion for storytelling may just find their niche in the exciting world of film. There are plenty of opportunities in this industry, from producing to editing to directing to technical work.
Curious about whether filmmaking is the path for you? Through these programs and internships geared toward high school students, you can find out. Included are some internships, scholarships, and film programs both during the school year and in the summer.
1. Brooklyn Interns for Arts & Culture
Application deadline: Early June 2023
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Duration: Approximately 1 year (across 3 sessions: Summer, Fall, Spring)
BIAC encourages students to prepare for college, careers, and life while supporting their community. Students participate in creative workshops, college readiness courses, and professional development sessions during this year-long paid internship offered by the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where they will learn about the inner workings of one of the most renowned theaters and performing arts venues in New York.
2. Museum of the Moving Image Internships
Application deadline: Varies depending on the program
Location: Queens, NY
Duration: Varies depending on the program (can range from 1 week to a full semester)
The Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York offers many programs to high school students with topics ranging from animation to game design to filmmaking. Some programs and classes are offered by the museum itself, while others are obtained through other New York City programs such as the Exploring the Arts Apprenticeship Program , NYC Ladders for Leaders , and Urban Upbound’s Exploration Program for Internships and Careers .
3. Warner Bros. Reach Honorship Program
Application deadline: To be announced sometime during winter
Location: Burbank, CA
Duration: 4 years (ongoing internship during college)
Warner Bros. awards “Honorships,” a combination of internships and scholarships, to graduating high school seniors with an interest in the entertainment industry. The Honorships are available to students in specific locations and focus on various film and media niches. Recipients receive a monetary scholarship, along with mentorship and an internship that continues throughout their college career, allowing them to cultivate their skills.
1. Fresh Films Weekly Filmmaking Program
Application deadline: around December 31 each year
Location: Program available in various locations around the U.S.; check website
Duration: 30 weeks (weekly meetings)
Every Thursday after school for 30 weeks, students participate in weekly meetings with the Fresh Films team and professionals from Sony, Paramount, Discovery Networks, Roku and more to learn the ins and outs of the film industry.
By the end of the program, students will have helped produce a music video for a real band, a competition show with Fremantle, a documentary with Roku, and a scripted short film with Sony Pictures!
2. NYU Tisch Future Filmmakers Workshop
Application deadline: To be announced
Location: New York, NY
Duration: 14 weeks (Saturdays from February through May)
Via the famed NYU Tisch School of the Arts, teenagers can take advantage of a free, 14-week program where they will hone their “personal vision and voice.” Storytelling is emphasized, as are technical skills. Participants will also get hands-on experience and have discussions with professional filmmakers and Tisch faculty. The workshop is open to all high school students, especially those from groups that are underrepresented in the film industry.
3. Museum of the Moving Image Teen Council
Application deadline: Late October annually
Duration: 6 months (32 meetings from November to May)
The MoMI Teen Council is a job development program for NYC teens interested in the media arts who want an in-depth look at how a media museum works. As a part of the Teen Digital Media Innovators program, Teen Council members curate public events for youth, including film festivals, media workshops, and more.
This paid opportunity includes mentorship from museum media educators, filmmakers, actors, and museum programmers. It allows participants to have a direct role in the programming of the Museum of the Moving Image.
1. New York Film Academy Teen Filmmaking Camps
Application deadline: Varies depending on specific program
Location: Program available in various locations globally, as well as online
Duration: Different camp durations available (1, 3, 4, and 6 weeks available, as well as a 12-weekend camp and online options)
In NYFA’s summer film camps, students will write, shoot, direct, and edit their own films. In this program designed for students with little to no film experience, students receive in-class instruction and take part in on-set production, learning all about the exciting world of storytelling through film. The programs culminate in a screening of the participants’ works.
2. SOCAPA Filmmaking Summer Camp
Application deadline: Varies depending on chosen program
Location: Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; Burlington, VT; East Burke, VT
Duration: Varies depending on program (1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 weeks available; most around June to August)
Offered in New York, Los Angeles, and Vermont, the School of Creative and Performing Arts FIlmmaking Summer Camp Intensives “mix the best of elite film programs and exciting summer camps.” There are six different filmmaking intensives available for students from ages 13-18, through which participants craft their own films and work collaboratively with other participants.
3. NYU Tisch Online High School Filmmakers Workshop
Application deadline: May 12, 2023
Duration: 4 weeks (July 9 – August 4, 2023)
The NYU Tisch School of the Arts offers an online filmmaking workshop for high schoolers focused on directing, shooting, and editing. Participants will produce a crew-based documentary, a crew-based music video, three technical assignments, and a final narrative film that they write and direct in a program that mirrors an undergraduate degree program.
4. UCLA Film and Television Summer Institute
Application deadline: TBA (registration opens in February 2023)
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Duration: 3 weeks (June 25 – July 15, 2023)
UCLA is known for its film programs; now, high school students can take advantage of their renowned education too. In this three-week intensive workshop, students will learn about the art of cinematic storytelling and will create their own film projects, working both independently and collaboratively. They will also observe lectures featuring guest speakers.
5. USC Cinematic Arts Summer Program
Application deadline: June 9, 2023
Duration: 6 weeks (dates to be announced)
The oldest film school in the U.S. encourages high school students to learn about the world of filmmaking, screenwriting, computer animation, or the film/television business through these six-week summer sessions. Students take real college-level courses and have the opportunity to potentially earn college credits.
6. Austin Film Festival Young Filmmakers Program – Summer Film Camp
Location: Austin, TX, or virtual
Duration: 8 weeks (June 5 – July 28, 2023)
The Austin Film Festival’s Summer Film Camp offers classes and workshops in the arts of screenwriting, filmmaking, editing, video game writing, and more! The camp is one part of the Young Filmmakers Program, which also consists of the Young Filmmakers Competition, the Festival and Conference Scholarship Program, and the Digital Storytelling Program.
7. Chapman University – Dodge College of Film & Media Arts Summer Film Academy
Application deadline: To be announced (not hosted in summer 2023)
Location: Orange, CA
Duration: 2 weeks
Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts offers a two-week comprehensive, collaborative, and creative high school film program during the summer. For two weeks, students are immersed in the world of film through class discussions, film screenings, guest speakers, and filmmaking in small groups.
Students are taught by Dodge College faculty and mentored by current students and alumni. Everything they learn will be applied in real life as they work in groups to create short digital narrative projects, which will be showcased to families virtually on the final night of the program.
8. Emerson College Digital Filmmakers Pre-College Program
Application deadline: March 15, 2023
Location: Boston, MA
Duration: 3 weeks (July 6 – July 28, 2023)
Participants in Emerson’s Digital Filmmakers Program will learn about the art of single-camera digital film production. They will gain experience in creating story structure, cinematography, lighting, sound recording, and editing, all while developing short films. Projects include a 1–2-minute montage film, a group project, a 24-hour film, and a final short film.
9. Interlochen Filmmaking Summer Program for High School Students
Application deadline: January 15, 2023
Location: Interlochen, MI
Duration: 3 weeks (First session: June 24 – July 15, 2023; second session: July 16 – August 6, 2023)
Participants will have the opportunity to work with professional filmmakers, guest artists, and other talented students to create a movie from scratch. The program includes classes and hands-on lab time to practice technical production and post-production skills. As filmmaking students, participants will partake in workshops focused on production, post-production/editing, screenwriting, tech skills, and film history.
Participating in internships can influence your chances at college admission, but this depends on many factors, including the scope of the internship, its prestige, your individual role and performance, the institution’s connections to or sponsorships by certain colleges, and even how much weight a college places on extracurricular activities in general.
There are four tiers of extracurricular activities that colleges think about when reviewing applicants’ activities. Selective, competitive, and prestigious activities are often found in the top tiers, Tier 1 and Tier 2. Tier 1 includes things such as being a highly recruited basketball player or an award-winning national science fair competitor. Tier 2 is similar, but is usually reserved for activities that are more common than those in Tier 1. Tiers 3 and 4 are reserved for more common extracurricular achievements, such as holding school leadership positions or being a member of a debate team.
A prestigious, selective program such as the one offered by NYU Tisch, for example, may be considered a Tier 1 program by many film schools.
Do you want to get a sense of how the internship you participated in might change your admissions chances at your dream college? CollegeVine has created a free chancing calculator to estimate your odds of getting into hundreds of different colleges and universities! It uses a multitude of factors such as your high school grades, standardized test scores, and extracurricular activities, while also providing feedback on how you can improve your odds.
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15 video project ideas for students (that teachers will love too)
15 video ideas for school that kids will love
1. record an interview with a famous historical figure.
2. Make a stop-motion animated scene
3. cover the latest news and current events, 4. make a video portfolio, 5. make a how-to video.
6. Film a behind-the-scenes video
7. create a day-in-the-life of your class video.
8. Make a cool montage video
9. recreate a moment in history, 10. film a science experiment, 11. create a video book report.
12. Film a video tour
13. create a video time capsule, 14. make an instructional video of your favorite hobbies, 15. edit each other's videos.
Summary: School's out – let's make some videos!
Introduction to 3D Animation
Learn 3d animation essentials, take the first step towards your career as a 3d animator.
CG Spectrum’s beginner's 3D animation course prepares you for a career where no two days are the same! In this short course, you'll learn the principles of animation for film and video games with an industry mentor as your guide. You'll be animating from scratch in no time!
Why study 3D animation at CG Spectrum:
- Learn how to animate even without prior knowledge
- Gain confidence using industry software Maya
- Be mentored by a world-class industry animator
- Choose between 1-on-1 or small group classes (max 4 students)
If you're interested in learning animation, you've come to the right place! Whether you want to work in film, TV, or in game development, this online 3D animation for beginners course covers all of the essentials you need to get started, including the 12 Principals, body mechanics, and creating character walk cycles. You’ll finish the course with a solid foundation in 3D animation, a portfolio piece, and confidence using Maya animation software.
You’ll be personally mentored by an industry expert who will show you the latest animation and CGI tools and techniques used by top animation studios to create life-like scenes.
At CG Spectrum you'll receive highly personalized training with small class sizes and 1-on-1 private tuition. Classes are 100% online, so you can learn from the comfort of your own home, in your own time at CG Spectrum.
*This short course is the perfect way to get started in the world of 3D animation. The curriculum is exactly the same as term one of the Foundations of 3D Animation Course , so if you decide to continue after completing your certificate, you'll be one-third of the way through!
20 hrs weekly
Basic computer skills
Weekly online classes, feedback and support
Autodesk Maya and animation rigs
Apr 3, 2023
Learn 3D animation from industry pros who have worked on feature films and best-selling games
Whether straight out of high school, changing careers, or upgrading skills, our specialized expert-led animation training programs help you build practical job skills that serve throughout your career.
Learn from experts who have worked on major films and games
Plan your studies around your work and family commitments
Build practical and relevant job skills that studios are looking for
Pursue your passion and start working sooner with flexible payments
An industry-approved curriculum to get you started in the world of animation
3d animation foundations.
Starting by learning the basics of 3D animation, then dive head-first into animation software Maya where you'll learn how to create believable animation using the classic principles of animation. You'll put theories into practice, giving you a better understanding of body mechanics and locomotion.
What You'll Learn
- Animate from scratch using the 12 principles of animation
- Set up professional workflows using Autodesk Maya
- Create progressively more complex animation pieces
- Work with character rigs to create animation cycles
- Introduction to Animation and Rigs
- Posing a Character
- Timing and Spacing
- Overlapping Action
- Pose Transitions 01
- Pose Transitions 02
- Lower Body Walk Cycle 01
- Lower Body Run Cycle 02
- Full Body Walk Cycle 01
- Full Body Run Cycle 02
- Walk with Prop 01
- Walk with Prop 02
Your pathway to the industry
Get started with the intro course and graduate with the option to continue to term 2 of the foundations course.
Get direct access to professional 3D animators as your mentors
To be the best, start by learning 3d animation from the best. All 3D animation classes are led by professional animators with years of real world experience working on award-winning animated movies and best-selling video games.
With 20+ years in the industry, Michael has worked on countless feature films for just about every major studio around the world including DNEG, Cinesite, MPC, Weta Digital, Pixomondo and Lucasfilm.
Mentor of 3D Animation
Known for Pacific Rim Uprising
Mark has held lead positions at Rainmaker, Sony and Weta Digital working on films like Avatar, The Adventures of Tintin, and Night at the Museum.
Dept. Head of 3D Animation
Known for Avatar
Ambre has worked as an animator in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, USA, and Canada on projects like LEGO Avengers, Happy Feet Two, Avatar and Where the Wild Things Are.
Roland has worked his way across the globe at major studios like Weta Digital, where he worked on two Planet of The Apes movies, The Hobbit Trilogy, and Avengers: Infinity War.
Known for Avengers: Infinity War
Known for Ted
Nick's held lead positions at major game studios Relic Entertainment and Phoenix Labs. Credits include Dauntless, Dawn of War 3 and Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City.
Known for Dauntless
Jacob is an award-winning director, writer, and animator who now works at Walt Disney Imagineering. Credits include Red Dead Redemption, God of War III, Batman: Arkham Origins, The Jungle Book, and The Flash.
Known for Batman: Arkham Origins
The most affordable way to learn from top industry mentors in a fun, collaborative environment, while still getting plenty of personalized feedback.
- Max. 4 students per course
- Affordable high-quality education
- Network while you learn
Progress faster and enjoy more flexiblity with private mentorship. Ideal for busy schedules, career-changers, or artists upgrading skills or changing specialties.
- Maximum level of mentor interaction
- Greater flexibility to schedule classes
- Customized learning experience
(3 x payments)
(1 x payment)
Introduction to 3D Animation course FAQs
For this 3D animation course, you will need basic computer skills and a computer that meets the minimum specifications (see next question).
Students can sign up for an educational license for Maya.
Autodesk Maya is popular industry software used to help create many animated games, films and TV shows.
You will need a dedicated graphics card and a computer that meets the minimum requirements for Autodesk Maya .
These online animation classes include a weekly Q&A call with your mentor, so please have your webcam ready.
What 3D animation careers can I explore post-graduation?
Studying 3D animation can open up a variety of career paths in the film and game industry.
This short 3D animation course will get started on your journey, but in a competitive industry, continuing your studies with the full 3D animation study pathway ( Foundations of 3D Animation Course and Advanced 3D Animation Course ) will better prepare you for a job by increasing your confidence in creating 3D animation work, and expand employment opportunities at animation studios.
The advanced course covers more complex techniques for animating 3D models, characters and creatures, and includes an entire term dedicated to career development and portfolio preparation to get you industry-ready.
Once you've honed your technical skills, some of the junior 3D animator jobs you could pursue after completing the full study pathway include:
- 3D Animator
- Character Rigger
- Character Animator
- Creature Animator
- Previs Artist
- Layout Artist
You may also wish to learn Unreal Engine to increase your hiring potential as an animator!
Discover more about these 3D animator jobs, tips, and salary expectations on our careers page:
The career program was invaluable.
I knew changing careers would have included things such as resumes, applications, networking, etc. But the biggest thing I needed to understand was the nuances of the animation industry, etiquette for approaching recruiters, and what type of roles (fixed-term or permanent) there were. These sessions really helped guide me, and explained how to approach my showreel and the subsequent application processes.
If you’re looking to enhance your specialist skills to industry level, CG Spectrum is the place to be.
Having never done an online course, I didn’t expect to receive this level of personalised learning and quality teaching. The amount of 1-on-1 is second to none. The techniques not only improved my animation skills by leaps and bounds, they taught me to be a better storyteller.
One of the best decisions I've ever made for my career.
I've learned and grown so much throughout this program and I loved the resources in the CG Spectrum community, such as finding new job opportunities and meeting other students and mentors. I took advantage of everything CG Spectrum had to offer and as a result, I landed my dream job at my dream company (Dreamworks). Thank you CG Spectrum!
So much more than I expected.
CG Spectrum is a very fun and relaxed online community where other students and mentors communicate in a refreshingly open way. The Mentors really make these courses a unique experience; they share anecdotes and advice that will stay with me for many years.
Getting access to industry mentors is huge.
There's a world of information out there, but nothing compared to talking to someone in the know. CG Spectrum was one of those places. I really liked the 1-on-1 format. It was the first time I had an experienced animator open my scene file. It was what I needed to get over some technical hurdles.
Absolutely amazing school!
I recommend it for complete newbs like I was who want to become animators. Mark Pullyblank was an amazing, kind, and helpful mentor who made sure I always knew what I was doing. He's probably one of the most dedicated teachers I know, and made sure he went over everything thoroughly with me and was quick to answer my questions. Definitely 10/10.
I can’t praise CG Spectrum enough for the quality of teaching and dedication to their students.
Mark [Pullyblank] was the best mentor I’ve ever had. He really took the time to help design the course around what it is that I wanted to get out of it. I’ve studied other animation courses in the past, but none even come close to the depth and speed of development as CG Spectrum.
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- Game Development
- 3D Modeling
- Visual Effects
- How it works
- Student showcase
- Career pathways
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- 4.8 stars on Google
- 5 stars on Facebook
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Below is a step-by-step guide for assigning students open-ended projects that use Code.org tools. This guide could be used by anyone but is targeted at middle and high school teachers currently teaching CS Discoveries as alternatives or ways to augment the existing course material.
More options for learning at home can be found on our Learning At Home page.
1. Choose a Tool
Programming in a brand new environment can be challenging and intimidating. We recommend using the following labs with your class after students have had sufficient time to learn to use them. Below you can find an overview of each tool and also how to get students practice using it.
Photo courtesy of Fundación Sadosky
Web Lab is a programming environment where students can make simple web pages using HTML and CSS. Design your web pages and share your site in seconds. Recommended for students who have completed at least Chapter 1 of Web Development .
Web Lab Documentation
Game Lab is a programming environment where you can make simple animations and games with objects and characters that interact with each other. Recommended for students who have completed at least Chapter 1 of Interactive Animations and Games .
Game Lab Documentation
App Lab Documentation
2. Choose a Project Idea
All three labs enable student creativity in different ways. Students can make a project about just about anything. It is even possible to make connections to other subjects like English language arts, math or science!
Get inspired! Browse the Project Gallery and remix!
Go to the Code.org Project Gallery and look at what other students around the world have shared. You can view a project, see the code, and remix it to make it your own! You might get inspired to invent your own project as a riff on one of these gallery projects to give to your students.
Check back soon for more game projects with Game Lab!
3. Assign the project
Example Instructions for students:
- Read through the instructions for the project and review the project guide or any example projects.
- Sign in to Code.org
- Create a new Web Lab project by clicking *Projects at the top of the screen or by using the Create menu. (Note that starting a Web Lab project requires clicking the ”View full list” button.)
- When you have completed your project please submit it by clicking on the Share button at the top of the page. Please copy the share link and send it to my email.
4. Support Student Learning
It’s important to consider how you can support your students through a project, especially when teaching and learning remotely. Doing this asynchronously means that students won’t have easy access to peers to collaborate with or a teacher to ask questions of. We also know that not every student will have access to an adult who can help them with the content at home. Your role in supporting student learning is more important than ever.
Embrace Asynchronous Collaboration
One benefit of open-ended, asynchronous projects is that they give students more freedom and space to come up with their own ideas and think independently. In a virtual environment, you can embrace the types of assignments that don’t have clear correct solutions or answers--assignments that more closely mirror projects that are common in the modern workplace. However, students will also need others to brainstorm with, bounce ideas off of, and get advice from. Think about setting up support structures like coding buddies or teams who work individually but support each other.
Below are some ideas that you may be able to utilize depending on your own capacity and your district policies.
- Use a classroom discussion board, encouraging students to help each other. If your class or school’s LMS doesn’t have such a feature you could try Piazza which has a good track record and is used for exactly this purpose in academic settings -- you can use it standalone, or it integrates with many LMSs.
- Have dedicated office hours where students can drop into a video call and ask questions. ( Zoom , Google Meet , and Microsoft Teams all have free accounts available to schools during school closures)
- Use a scheduling system where students can sign up for 5-10 minute calls with you during a limited section of time.
- Set-up dedicated “programming buddies” or “groups” where they check in with one another each day.
- Suggest students explain their problem to other siblings or family members - lots of times talking through it, even with someone who doesn’t know what you are talking about can be helpful.
- Have students fill out a daily reflection about what they did and what they are struggling with via google form or other technology tool. Review the responses and reach out to students who need help.
- Set up a Google Voice account where students can text or call you.
- Set clear expectations for how students can contact you and what your response time is.
Again, depending on your capacity and your district policies, these options may or may not work for your context. Consider what will work best for you and your students.
5. Finish the Project
When working on projects outside of a course (ie. not part of a specific CSD lesson), most teachers like to collect work by having students submit a share link to their project. Before finishing the project, make sure you are comfortable with configuring sharing options for students using App Lab, Game Lab, and Web Lab . Remind students to name their projects with a format that is helpful to you, like "[project name] - [student name]". Alternatively, any standalone projects that your students are working on independent of Code.org courses will be shown under the Projects tab on the teacher dashboard. This view makes it easy to review or monitor any projects you may have assigned to your students.
NOTE: Projects that are integrated parts of assignable Code.org courses will not appear here; to check those projects, go to that project’s particular lesson or level via the “Progress” tab. Please check our support article for viewing student progress for more information.
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Coding Classes for High School Students
Coding is an increasingly important skill in the modern world. Not only can it be used in everyday problem solving, but also it's used in nearly every industry. As technology continues to develop, programmers will continue to be in high demand. Fortunately, there are a number of great coding classes for high school students available. Read on to find out about our award-winning curriculum for learning how to code!
Explore Coding Classes for High Schoolers
Let's take a look at some programs that can help high schoolers develop a passion for computer science and lifelong learning. This award-winning high school coding curriculum is designed by experts from Google, Stanford and MIT, equips students with the skills they’ll need to go from absolute beginners to experienced programmers in the fields in which they’re interested.
High schoolers are at the perfect age to start exploring the exciting world of coding. They can learn a range of valuable skills, from designing user interfaces, to building 3D video games , exploring data science , and even earning AP class credit through courses like our Computer Science Principles course . With the right guidance and resources, they can unleash their creativity, challenge their problem-solving skills, and set themselves up for a rewarding and in-demand career in the future.
We recommend starting with foundation classes, choosing intermediate classes based on interests, and completing advanced classes for ambitious learners.
Top Free Coding Classes for High School Students
Create & Learn offers award-winning computer science classes in 35+ different subject areas. These classes are small group sessions of about 5 students, and are taught live by an engaging instructor whose feedback, answers to questions, and personalized support can be especially helpful to high schoolers beginning to explore coding. All classes use real-world applications, so teens can learn skills they can immediately apply outside of the classroom setting. There are also many free coding classes to try first, to see what sparks your teen's interests!
A great place to start is Scratch , a simple block-based coding system that allows students to focus on learning the foundations of coding without worrying about syntax. Scratch is also a great stepping stone on the way to other programming languages, as the overall approach taken to program in Scratch is similar to the approach in other popular languages. Plus, Scratch comes with a number of built-in graphics and sounds to allow beginner coders to dive right into making fun and interesting projects!
Alternatively, for students willing to spend a moderate amount of extra time to practice, Python can also be a great place to begin. Python is a real-world programming language used for web development, data manipulation, and much more.
1. Free Accelerated Scratch
Scratch is a popular platform as a first choice for learning to program. It makes use of block-based programming, rather than text-based programming, to allow students to focus on learning the core concepts of coding without worrying about tricky syntax. This free introduction to Scratch is designed to teach older students the basics of Scratch by building a simple project, and it’s designed for older students, making it perfect for a high schooler to take! There are no prerequisites for this class, so your student can jump right in!
2. Free Python
Python is one of the most popular programming languages in the world, due to its ease of use and wide array of real-world applications. It’s used in everything from game development to artificial intelligence, making it a great option as a first text-based coding language. In this introductory class, students will learn how to animate and draw with Python, and will build their own story project with cool animations. It’s recommended that students have experience with block-based coding before taking this class, although highly motivated students can get started with Python first if they’re willing to spend a little extra time practicing!
3. Free Roblox Coding
Roblox is an ever-growing platform beloved by kids everywhere, so why not learn how to make your own games in Roblox? This class introduces students to coding in Roblox Studio using a system similar to the one used in Scratch. They’ll be guided on the process of installing and activating Roblox Studio, followed by a tutorial to create an interactive Obby game with different shapes, colors, and materials. The expert teacher will walk students through the process, do demos, and of course, answer questions if needed. It is recommended that students have completed the Scratch course before taking this class.
Top Coding Classes for High Schoolers
Online coding classes offer a unique and valuable experience that is worth the cost. With expert instructors leading small classes, students receive personalized attention and guidance to help them reach their coding goals. These classes are tailored to specific skills and programming languages, ensuring that students receive the most comprehensive and up-to-date education. Online coding classes provide access to quality education, experienced teachers, and a collaborative learning community that help high school students get a step ahead in the world of computer science.
1. Discovering Digital Design
Art and design are just as important to computer science as coding is! Creating a great application is a start, but without a user-friendly interface, most people won’t want to use your program. Discovering Digital Design is a class designed to teach students how to apply colors in different contexts in the real world, from brand logos to paintings, apps, games, websites, movies, product design and more. This class has no prerequisites, so feel free to dive in!
2. Mobile Coding for Apps & Games
In this class, students will build their very first mobile app using the block-based programming system of Thunkable. This is a great place for a high schooler to dive into their professional programming journey, as using block-based programming helps practice the core concepts of coding without worrying about the complexities of text-based programming. It is advised to have some experience with a platform like Scratch before taking this class.
3. Python for AI
Python is a high-level programming language used by companies such as Netflix and Google, and it’s popular for web development, game development, app development, machine learning, and more. This class is designed to help students transition from block-based programming to text-based programming, with a focus on the elements of Python most useful to the field of artificial intelligence. It is recommended that students come in with experience with block-based programming systems, although motivated students can make it as long as they’re willing to put in a little extra practice time!
4. Modern Website Design with Wix
Web design is a massive field in the world of computer science, and Wix is the leading platform for designing and managing websites. This class starts students out with the fundamentals of web design and covers the core features of Wix. Throughout the course, students learn how to add complex elements to websites, such as maps, submission forms, private pages, interface design, and even how to set up payment gateways. There is no required prerequisite to take this class, although students with prior coding and design experience will likely get the most out of the course.
5. Coding with Roblox Studio in Lua
Lua is a very popular scripting language, most often used to write extensions and other add-ons for existing software. Roblox Studio allows players to create their own worlds in Roblox using Lua to script the behavior of their creation. This course teaches students how to create games with Roblox Studio, including multiplayer games, while also learning the syntax of Lua in the process. It is recommended that students have a background with other text-based coding languages before taking this course.
6. Computer Science Principles
Learning to code is extremely valuable, but learning how a computer works is important too! This class introduces students to a wide range of important fundamentals topics in computer science, such as binary code, encryption, networking, and more. Designed by expert AP computer science educators, this class also meets the requirements for the APCSP exam as defined by the College Board. It is strongly recommended that students have completed Python for AI to get the best learning experience from this course.
7. Data Science with Python & Pandas
Data analytics is a critical field of computer science for modern businesses, so there’s no time like the present to start learning about data science! Whether your high schooler has aspirations of becoming an entrepreneur, lawyer, journalist, doctor, or engineer, it’s important to gain the power to analyze and utilize data to gain business insights and make decisions. This class teaches students how to use Python alongside the Pandas library to clean data, process it, and analyze it. Students need to have completed Python for AI Part 3 or have equivalent experience to take this class.
8. Unity Game Development
Game development is always a popular subject, and Unity is one of the most popular platforms in the world for making video games! It uses the C# programming language alongside a powerful editor to create both 2D and 3D games. In this class, students begin by learning how to make a 2D platform game, and work toward building a 3D first person game. Be sure to take the free introductory class to get Unity set up and get familiarized with the interface. It is recommended that incoming students have a basic knowledge of text-based coding languages, such as Python or Java.
9. Intro to Java Programming (AP CSA Aligned)
Java is an extremely flexible object-oriented programming language used by professional software engineers all over the world. This class covers a broad range of Java topics, including designing solutions to problems, using data structures to organize large amounts of data, developing and implementing algorithms to process that data, and the ethical and social implications of computing systems. The class will also thoroughly prepare students for the AP CSA exams offered by the College Board. Incoming students must have a good understanding of text-based programming languages like Python.
10. Android Game Building with Java
Java can be used for more than just business purposes! In this class, students learn how to use Java to develop games for the Android mobile platform. In the process, they’ll practice with important Java concepts, like loops, classes and objects, arrays, and more! Students interested in this class should be familiar with the basics of Java programming, having taken the Intro to Java Programming class first (or have equivalent experience).
Be sure to explore more classes here , and you can learn even more about high school coding curricula here .
Start Coding for High Schoolers with Classes
There has never been a better time than now for high schoolers to dive into the world of coding, as technology becomes more and more integrated with our daily lives. Why not get started by learning more about Python for teenagers ? From there, you can move on to fun Python exercises for kids . And don’t forget to check out the fantastic curriculum offered by Create & Learn full of fun coding bootcamps to jumpstart your teen’s programming journey!
Written by Create & Learn instructor Josh Abbott Salazar. Josh is a teacher, coder, audio engineer, and musician. After graduating with a Master's in Music from Belmont University in Nashville, TN, Josh turned his attention to the technology side of things, and has been working in various aspects of coding and engineering ever since. He runs a small music studio in Nashville called Tango Sound Studios, and develops video games in his spare time.
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Students will create an animation to represent one of the many feedback loops that influences climate change. To create their animation, students will use clay, cut paper, whiteboard or other materials commonly found in the classroom.
Once the file is exported to the computer, students can begin adding their animated, drawn elements using the following steps. Step 1 To begin, open the video file directly in Photoshop. The video will open as a video layer with an icon that looks like a small filmstrip on the bottom left corner.
Video projects for high schoolers can be a little more advanced, as students should be practicing editing and narrative skills in addition to learning about new topics. 6. Create a news channel To supplement learning in a current events class, have your students film a news broadcast covering both local and international events.
Students animate a graphic story with Adobe Animate CC lessons. Using illustrated, step by step instructions, they learn how to make objects move using frame-by-frame, motion tweens, shape tweens, Asset Warp Tool, classic tweens, and motion paths. TechnoAnimate lesson plans teach animation for beginners. Animation for Beginners
The first project we will complete with Adobe Animate will help you learn the basics of creating objects on the stage and making them move from place to place. It utilizes computer generated formulas between keyframes to define the path and speed of movement. This is known as vector animation.
Additional Opportunities. The Film & New Media program offers additional summer programs that might interest High School Animation students, including Screenwriting and Filmmaking. Interlochen is also home to the Arts Academy boarding high school, which offers a Film & New Media major for grades 9-12, as well as a post-graduate year.
Students gradually acquire animation skills. First, they learn frame-by-frame animation to gain an understanding of the importance of keyframes. Next, they create motion and shapes tweens. Afterwards, they learn how to use the Bone Tool to animate a robot that dances. Finally, they use a motion path to cause a spaceship to blast through the sky.
The Animation Course benefits from an instructor and with multiple graders who have real connections to the animation world. Transcripts are available for high school credit (when approved by your school) or just for your records.
🎲 Topics: school, inclusivity, autism, physical and intellectual disability 🍿 Synopsis: These two short films show that a school is not an easy setting for students who are a bit different. In Louis' Shoes, a boy named Louis has to introduce himself to his classmates in his new school.
Video projects for high school students can be a little more advanced as they are in the process of growing their skills and learning more about different subjects. 1. Create a video portfolio High school is when students start thinking about college applications. This is a great time to start making a portfolio.
In addition, math classes will aid in an animator's ability to be successful in the computer science end of animation. Finally, animation requires that artists be creative and expressive. Humanities classes like social studies, literature and creative writing focus on stories and writing, areas which will help animators become strong ...
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Here are 20 interactive activities to harness the power of PowerPoint in your classroom. 1. Play Snapchat Games. When I first saw some of these Snapchat games — specifically "Would You Rather," "This or That," and "My Face When," I immediately thought of how it could be used in class!
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Blender is a powerful open source 3D drawing and animation program. This software was previously a commercial product, but is now available as a free download. Blender has been used to create stunningly beautiful 3D animated videos, including Big Buck Bunny. Check out some of the gorgeous animated movies made with Blender at the web site's ...
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The oldest film school in the U.S. encourages high school students to learn about the world of filmmaking, screenwriting, computer animation, or the film/television business through these six-week summer sessions. Students take real college-level courses and have the opportunity to potentially earn college credits. 6.
The Class of 2021 Virtual Animation Showcase Welcome to the student animation showcase! ... Welcome to the student animation showcase! Select a School California State University of Northridge; California State University, Los Angeles ... School of Visual Arts; Sheridan College; University of Central Florida;
We've put this list of video projects together to help students stay engaged, get more from their lessons, and learn to love the learning process. 1. Record an interview with a famous historical figure History's greatest figures were real people with real ideas, experiences, and flaws.
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Discovering Digital Design is a class designed to teach students how to apply colors in different contexts in the real world, from brand logos to paintings, apps, games, websites, movies, product design and more. This class has no prerequisites, so feel free to dive in! 2. Mobile Coding for Apps & Games.