Category: Personal Experimental Studies

Using photoshop for stop motion

First take all of your images and place them into one folder.

Then open Bridge

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Now your images will become layers in photoshop

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Now open the animation window in Photoshop ( newer versions it’s called timeline )

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You will see a timeline appear at the bottom of the page.

Click the arrow at the far right side and select “Make frames from layers”

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You can select all of your frames and control the speed of each one clicking the little black arrow in the bottom right corner.

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Once you’ve got the frame rate at where you want it to be. You can render your video.

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If you want to make it into a gif you can chose “save for web devices”

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Personal Experimental Studies Class: 9 and 10: Ink Wash Techniques

Photographing Portraits and Ink Wash Techniques


1st Class: Krystof

During todays class you will all be taking photos of yourselves with the camera and lights from the school.

2nd Class:  Today we will be drawing self portraits in pen and ink from the images which were taken on Monday.

First we will “Live Trace” all of our images in Illustrator. If you don’t know how to Live Trace then here’s a quick tutorial.

By Live tracing the image we will get a clear “value scale” map of our images. A value simply refers to a shadow.  Since we don’t have a lot of time to spend drawing these we can use the same transfer technique we used on our stencils so we can have more time working with the materials, and many of the drawing elements will be already taken care of.

ink wash techniques

In this video tutorial we can see how to simply make different values for making washes with ink.

You will be using the photographed portraits made with Krystof and then you will be drawing these images with pen and ink, and then use ink wash techniques to fill in the final value shapes and variations.

Personal Experimental Studies Class: 7 and 8

1st Class: Krystof

For this class you will bring your completed sequence of frames and begin to do any more post production that you wish to do. This would include things like adding sound effects (which can be downloaded for free from places like , or . If you wish to use some music you can find royalty free music at . Why use royalty free music and sound effects? Well, because for one thing many of you may want to share your animation with friends, and a really quick way to get your video taken down from sites like youtube is to have a famous song as background music. Once you have found the sound effects as well as the music you’d like to include you can then add them using Premiere. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to do that.

Make an animation in Premiere by finalizing all of the frames you have been working on.

Open Adobe Premiere Elements.
Create a new project.
Go to File -> Import, and import and open your video.
Now, go back to File -> Import, and select the audio you want to use.
Open it. It will now appear in the project panel. You can press Shift + 1 if you do not see this window.
You should now see an Audio section on your timeline. Drag your audio to this section.
Your audio will now appear under your video tracks and will sync with it. You can play around with your audio on your timeline. If you want it to come in a few seconds after the video starts, you can move the start of the video a few clicks in.

Other things to consider may be some minor color correction, and setting the contrast and tone. You can edit multiple images at the same time by using photoshop. Here’s a video tutorial on how to do it.

2nd Class:

During this class we will be showing all of our animations to the class. Be prepared and make sure to have it saved as a Mp4, .mov, or .avi, so we can easily play it. After we have shown all of the animations we will have a brief critique and then you will be turning them in to reception.

Personal Experimental Studies Class:Lesson 5, and 6:Photoshop Animation Tutorial

Finalizing your Frames and a Photoshop Animation Tutorial

1st Class: Krystof: Studio time working on your animated short. You should now begin to start photographing your frames in preperation for the finalization and post production process involving your work.

If you are using a small set for a photo based stop motion using real objects it will be important to figure out how you will use lighting to achieve the mood you are attempting. In the video below we can see a creative solution to light brick films (Stop motions made with legos) by using two adjustable desk lamps.

How you light a subject also will drastically change a characters image and can give a viewer a clear vision as to what mood is being portrayed.

If you are doing all of your sequences on paper then you will have the option of either scanning, or photographing them one by one. It is also important to keep the resolution of your pictures relatively low as they will be easier to manage in Photoshop later.

You should have all of your sequences finished and ready for animating for next class.


2nd Class: Final Class of studio time.You will now be shown how to use Photoshop’s animation toolbar to begin to animate the individual frames which you have created.

Photoshop Animation Tutorial

The reason why we use photoshop to animate our sequences is because it is a simple way to begin onion skinning your image. In the past onion skinning was commonly done on a light box, with the intent of being able to see a previous sequence could be seen and small adjustments could be made in order to achieve the illusion of movement. Now the reason why you will be onion skinning your sequences is because we want to eliminate any sort of bounce or shakiness that can happen from not correctly lining up your photos. In photoshop after you have imported all of your individual photos/scans onto layers, you can then see the previous layer quite simply by adjusting the opacity of the layer on top (or the selected layer). This is a necessary step because when you first play your animation you will see that there may be large jumps between frames. The easiest way to reconcile this is to pick a certain element (perhaps the eyes, or something else which would stay in the same position) and then onion skin each layer until one element is always in the same place.

Personal Experimental Studies. Lesson 3 and 4; Frame by Frame Animation


Frame by Frame Animations

frame by frame animation

1st Class: Krystof

Today we will be looking at various stop motion animated shorts using a variety of mediums, and begin storyboarding our projects. Now’s the time to start planning how your frame by frame animation will look and feel, and begin to document how you will be illustrating the emotion which you have been assigned.

If you are drawing, or using real object to make your stop motion you must begin to consider how your subjects will be lit. Prague College has lights available from their media center which can be checked out by students. These lights, and how to properly use them will be introduced.

If you are using a character in your piece then you must also look at different angles, and shots which can evoke certain feelings.

After looking at some examples of short animations will then finalize our storyboards in preperation for production next class with

stopmotion clay

2nd Class:

You will be required to bring your media to class you have been assigned. We will then be working with our mediums in class and I will help students individually. This is the production phase of the assignment and it is extremely important to be present during these classes as it is very easy to fall behind.

Personal Experimental Studies: Foundation : Storyboarding for Animation

1st Class: Introductions to the course. Expectations, and intro to mindmapping and sketching.

What’s a mindmap? A mindmap is a brainstorming technique which allows you to quickly generate words associated with a certain topic.

We will be doing mindmaps next class based upon your emotion, as well as the medium which you have been assigned.


Click on image to download Mindmap Template for a4 sized paper.

Storyboarding for Animation

2nd Class:

Today you will be  you will all be assigned the materials with which you will be working.

For this assigment you will be creating simple animations. Or loops which will combine the use of various media.

Each student will be assigned a traditional medium (Such as paint, ink, charcoal, clay, or photography). The student must then use the medium which they have been assigned in order to create a short sequential animation.

For example. If your medium which was assigned to you was Ink, and your emotion which was assigned to you was anger. Then you will have to make a short animation with ink which demonstrates anger.

Once all of the emotions and mediums have been assigned you will have the option to set up a blog for your research. If you would like help doing this then let me know and I will take you through the steps. If you have a Gmail account I would suggest just setting up a blogger account and using that as a place to compile your research.

Here’s a video of how to set up a blog in blogger.



After research on the medium has been finished we will begin to storyboard your plans for the animated shorts (Maximum of 10 seconds long). I will work individually with each student to help finalize these storyboards.

Storyboards are an important part of many different disciplines. Today’s lesson will involve an introduction to storyboarding, as well as give you time to work on your sequential animation assignment for Animation Techniques. Storyboarding Your Idea The first thing I want you to do before you begin drawing is to take time to evaluate your story and start to imagine which different shots you will be utilizing. Get a clear picture of what you want each shot is in your head before you start storyboarding it. Once you’ve got a mental shot list, you can start to draw each frame. Make sure that the frames of your storyboard match the size of the frame for the aspect ratio which you will be using in the production of your short sequential animation. Questions??? What’s an aspect ratio? An aspect ratio simply refers to the size of the frame which a film or video is created in. Think widescreen vs television.

What’s a shot list? A shot list is just a list of shots for a project. It would be a good idea to write down your shot list before storyboarding.  For this project you won’t need to create such an extensive shot list but it’s a good habit to start thinking about. Otherwise since you are working on such a short animation you can write your sound effects, music, camera angles, camera movement all on your storyboard.

As you plan your shot list, here are some questions to consider. What’s the setting? How many people are in the shot? Are there certain items which the characters need in the shot? Consider if you want it to be a close-up, wide-shot, establishing shot, or whatever type of shot you need. What’s the angle of the camera? Looking up? Wide? Low? Is stuff moving, if so, in what direction? What’s your lighting going to be like, and in which directions do you want your shadows to fall? Use the shot list as a guide. You don’t have to stick to it 100%, so as you storyboard don’t be afraid to tweak certain elements if you feel a change is justified. Choose a style of storyboard you wish to use. Here are some free examples which you can print out.
Storyboard 1 Storyboard 2
There’s a lot more to choose from. Just go to google and search for “storyboard templates” in images. Once you’ve got all of these preparations made you can then begin drawing. There’s no right way to draw a storyboard, in the end it should serve you, or others working on a project to understand how to shoot something. They can be very detailed, such as this one which made by Shane Acker for Tim Burton’s film “9”.

Or they could be very simple.

All in all the most important thing to remember is that storyboards are a tool which will be used by yourself in this project, however in the future you may have to be working with a group of people who need to take directions while you’re not around. This is where a good storyboard artist comes in handy, because he is essentially choosing many elements which could be very important to the overall feel of the film. Here’s a brief video tutorial from Sherm Cohen who is a storyboard artist at Disney if you’re still looking for inspiration and guidance.