Animation Class

how to plan a stop motion animation


Professional studios for stop motion:




Welcome to storyboarding

For your first stop motion film we will limit it to two characters.
• KEEP IT SIMPLE! The shortest and simplest concepts are the easiest to animate. Limit them to one or two characters, so that they can concentrate on the details.

Today students will brainstorm ideas! Start to write down your thoughts to determine what interaction and action will take place. Most people prefer to start with scripts, a storyboard that is completely textual. Writing descriptions of the action helps to determine how and in what order every shot will become animated later in the process.

Storyboarding is a major component to any animation project because it ensures that ideas are well developed before production, and saves time by anticipating problems. The purpose of the storyboard is to visually plan out the entire animation. Here is where students begin to think about the “camera work” by showing every shot or important transition in the animation. Storyboards should be required for all stop motion projects.

• Improvise – don’t give up when your story calls for something to happen that seems impossible to achieve with the techniques.
Remind students that since stop motion filming is very time consuming, students need to take turns in responsibilities and use of equipment.

A script is the written description of the actions that will take place. Ask students questions such as:
• What is your theme or idea?
• What sort of personality would you like to create?
• How long do you plan for this to be? How many frames
and fps is that? (Make them do the math!)
• Who in your group will do which production jobs?
• What materials or objects will you need to collect?
What kind of background will you need?

Once groups have decided on the story they will be telling and have created their storyboards, they need to begin gathering their props, characters, and back drops to be ready to film their animation.









Scrip software: Writer Duet

Story Board Software:

Principles of Animation.
12 Principles of animation in tutorial content:
Animation Script writing examples:

Vimeo Animation examples:

Ball Bounce down stairs  

Squash and stretch a bouncing ball

Color theory in Animation

The Principles of Animation 

Squash and stretch


Straight-ahead animation

Pose to pose animation

Follow through

Slow in Slow out


Secondary action



Solid Drawing




10 things:

10 Common mistakes


Clyde Henry


What is a LOG LINE?  A log line or logline is a brief (usually one-sentence) summary of a television program, film, or book that states the central conflict of the story, often providing both a synopsis of the story’s plot, and an emotional “hook” to stimulate interest. A one-sentence program summary in TV Guide is a log line.

Examples of Log Lines:


Blacksmith Will Turner teams up with eccentric pirate “Captain” Jack Sparrow to save his love, the governor’s daughter, from Jack’s former pirate allies, who are now undead.

  • THE GODFATHER. The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.
  • THE MATRIXA computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.

What is a SYNOPSIS?

  1. know the core idea of what you want to say?
  2. Highlight the very heart of the story
  3. refer to key dramatic moments example:  obstacle and overcoming obstacles    Getting it all ready

    Screenplay Synopsis Format to use

    Screenplay title and genre


    Here you would add a short, but captivating, summary of your screenplay’s plot. This should be no more than two sentences long. Here you will introduce the main protagonists in your story and its setting. Character names should be in all caps. There is no need to describe secondary characters at this point.

    Pitch paragraph: like an elevator speech telling someone quickly about your idea to get the film made. 

     1. The back story that sets the story and creates the context
    2. Contributing plot elements that will broaden the story
    3. Character elements that are imperative to the story.

    SYNOPSIS for short animation

    Act 1 summary

    In no more than three paragraphs, set the scene for your story. This will include an introduction to the main characters and to the conflict that will drive the narrative. The first time that each character’s name is used, it should be in all caps again, but not in the case of any subsequent references.

    Act 1 Conclusion

    Here you should add the conclusion of the conflict and resolution to your story. This should include a few lines about what happens to the main characters after the “action” is over. Some writers choose to add both a short “teaser” ending and a longer “actual” ending as separate paragraphs, but doing so is optional.