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Animation step-by-step guides

Welcome to our animation section. Would you like to make your stories come to life? Perhaps you have made some lego models and you want them to feature in your very own mini film? In this section we will teach you how to make a short stop-frame animation or simple flip book inspired by RAMM’s wonderful collections. Just follow our step-by-step guides below.

How to make your own stop-frame animation

So, what is a stop-frame animation? Stop-frame is when you take a series of photographs and then link them together to form a sequence. The process is quite quite easy. You simply take a photograph of an object or character. Move it very slightly and then take another photograph. Then when you link these images together in a series, the objects or characters will appear to move all on their own!

What you will need to make your animation:

  • A tablet or smartphone with animation software installed. There are a lot of different animation software programs to choose from including Stop Motion Studio and iStopMotion.
  • You will also need some art materials to include: thin A4 card, wallpaper or wrapping paper for a backdrop, coloured paper, scissors, tape, coloured pencils, felt tips, paint, plasticine and white tack.

Getting started:

To start your project you might like to have a look at our Collections Explorer website. Here there are many thousands of objects to inspire your animated story. For our example, we have chosen some butterflies from the ‘Fly on the Wall’ gallery.

An image of The Fly on the Wall gallery at RAMM

The Fly on the Wall gallery at RAMM

Next plan your animation using a storyboard. A storyboard is a series of boxes where you can draw what is going to happen in your film. Please see the example pictured below. You can either download a blank pdf version of the storyboard or simply draw your own.

A picture of a storyboard with butterfly's and flowers drawn in the boxes

An example of a storyboard

Then you will need to set up your animation station. With 2D (flat) animation the camera needs to be looking down on your backdrop. The animation will happen on a flat surface below this.

Here we have used the edge of a table instead of a tripod. You could also tape a smart phone to an angle-poise lamp. We also taped the backdrop to the floor so that it didn’t move. You can use the volume button on your headphones to take the pictures without touching the phone. Make sure you check how much space you have first so that you can plan the size of your characters.

This image is of an ipad on a table set up to film the 2D images which are below on the floor

This shows an ipad set up for filming a 2D animation

Next spend some time making your characters and other props for your story. We printed out some butterflies and then added some paint on top. Then we cut out the wings and made a body out of plasticine. We also drew some flowers, cut them out and added stems.

To shoot your short film you will need to use the stop motion software to take a series of photos. Make sure the photos are framing your animation in the way you want. You can test this by taking some practise shots before you begin shooting the actual film.

When you are ready to start animating open a file in the program and check the frame rate for the film clip. We used 25 fps (this means frames per second). So for each movement we took 3 pictures. For 12 fps we would suggest taking 2 pictures per move.

Also, make sure you set up the onion skinning tool. Onion skinning allows you to see all the photos that you have taken next to each other in a series. To see if your animation is working you can test it by take a few pictures, moving your character and then taking a few more. When you play it back if it looks blurry you are moving character too much. You only need to make very small movements for each shot.

Printed images of butterfly's to be used in the animation

These are the butterfly images we cut up to make the animated versions

Onion skinning is useful as you can see the image you have just taken and the move you have just made at the same time. If you accidentally take a picture of a hand you can always delete a frame. Remember to retake the picture after you have done this. If you view your film take care to resume at the end of the timeline. A test animation will help you make your movements nice and smooth. If you have an assistant or two make sure you all have a go at moving the characters and taking the pictures.

A butterfly made of paper and plastercine

This is one of the butterfly’s we made using the cut outs

If you add any text credits or speech bubbles make sure they stay there for long enough to allow the viewers to read the words. If you have film editing software you can add music or sound effects to your film when it’s finished.

You can also make an animated film using lego or 3D objects using the same technique. If you are stuck for ideas, please have a look at our animated film examples below. The first is the 2D butterfly film we described above and the second one is a 3D lego animation. See if you can recognise some of RAMM’s famous characters in the lego one!

 

 

Butterfly animation film inspired by our wonderful natural history collection.

 

Lego animation film inspired by some of RAMM’s larger more famous objects!

How to make your own flip book

What you will need:

  • A blank notebook
  • A black felt tip and/or coloured pens and pencils

What to do:

  • First you will need to draw your character on a separate sheet of paper, one that is not in your notebook.
  • Then think about how you want your character to move. Perhaps like the video below you might want to make Gerald dance.
  • When you have got your character drawing ready you will need to trace the character you have drawn onto the back page of your notebook.
  • If it is difficult to see the lines of your drawing through the notebook paper you could hold it up to a bright window.
  • Next you will need to trace the character onto the second to last page of your notebook but just make a slight change to the position of the arm or leg you want to move. For example, if you have a hand waving the second drawing would move the position of the hand very slightly to the left or right.
  • Then continue to trace a new character onto each page of the notebook, working forwards from the back of the book. Each drawing should changing the position of the moving body part but remember this only needs to be very slightly each time.
  • Once you have done a couple of drawings flick the book to check how the movement is progressing.

Flip book inspired by our very own Gerald the giraffe!

Good luck and we hope you enjoy your animating!

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Conditions of Hire 1 (a) The council reserves the right to refuse any application for the use of the venue or any part thereof without stating its reason for such refusal. (b) Should the hirer cancel the booking within 28 days of the booking then 50% of the hire fee shall be forfeited. (c) The Council reserves the right to cancel bookings at any time by not less than 24 hours previous notice in writing to the Hirer, and the Hirer shall not be entitled to any compensation in consequence thereof or in connection therewith other than the refunding of appropriate hiring fees agreed. (d) The Council reserves the right to cancel at any time any booking of the said premises should the venue be closed in consequence of any public calamity, Royal demise, epidemic, fire, act of God, war (or its consequences), or is not available for the purpose of the hiring in consequence of the withdrawal or suspension of any license, or by reason of any work required to be done by the Licensing or other Authority, to be any reason of any combination or any strike or lock-out of any workman interfering with the efficient working of the premises, or from any cause whatsoever not within the control of, or not occasioned by default of, the council. (e) The Council’s decision upon the above matters shall be final and conclusive, and in such circumstances the Hirer shall not be entitled to any compensation in consequence thereof, but any charge for hire previously paid shall be refunded. (f) The Council reserves the right to terminate any hiring in the event of the hire committing a breach or failure to observe or perform any of the regulations or conditions. (g) The Hirer shall not without the previous consent in writing of the venue management, use the venue or any part thereof for any purposed or purposes other than those specified in the letter of hire confirmation without prior agreement of the venue manager (h) The Hirer shall not without the consent in writing of the venue management, sub-let the venue or any part thereof. (i) These conditions and regulations for the use of the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and any part thereof may be amended by the Council at any time, without notice and, if so amended, shall apply to all hirings taking place thereafter regardless of the date of such hirings. (j) The term ‘Hirer’ in these Conditions shall be taken to mean the person, persons, or body incorporate making application to hire the venue and any part thereof. (k) The term ‘Venue’ in these Conditions shall be taken to mean those parts of the venue booked as noted on the letter of hire confirmation. 2 (a) The Hirer shall be deemed to have notice of the Conditions attached to such licences and shall observe and perform such Conditions insofar as they affect the hiring. (b) The maximum capacity of the venue is 500 persons however a smaller maximum may be enforced depending on the particular event and set-up required. You should check this with the venue management before finalising your plans for an event. (c) Any bar operating as part of a function may be closed by the duty manager at any time if any person using the bar shall behave in an unruly, disorderly or unseemly manner or it, in the exercise of his absolute discretion, he is of the opinion that such unruly, disorderly or unseemly behaviour may occur there. (d) the Hirer shall comply with the Conditions endorsed on the Premises Licence, and shall not do or permit any act which may imperil the Licence held by the Council or be a nuisance or annoyance to any person and shall not commit or permit any breach of the statutory provision, or regulation for the time being in force relating to the licensed premises. 3 (a) The Council shall not be liable for any accident or injury sustained by the Hirer or any person present in the venue or any part thereof arising from the negligence or default of the Hirer and his servants or agents. The Hirer shall indemnify the Council against all costs, claims an demands in respect of any such accident or injury as aforesaid. A copy of the hirer’s public liability insurance certificate should be made available to the venue management on request. Such public liability should be in force to a limit of £5,000,000. (b) Where requested, the Hirer must provide a copy of a risk assessment for the event at least 7 days prior to the event being staged. (c) The venue shall be in the care and custody of the Hirer and the Council accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage sustained in respect of articles, wearing apparel or other property brought into or left in the venue or any party thereof by or on behalf of the Hirer or any other person. (d) The Hirer will be held responsible and accept full responsibility for any damage done to the venue or any part thereof, furniture, utensils or other property of the Council during the period of or otherwise arising out of the hire of the venue or any part thereof. All internal or external decorations shall be subject to the approval of the management. These should not be fixed to the fabric of the building or internal walls and should be removed to the satisfaction of the venue management. (e) No entertainment shall be held or given which will involve any increased risk of fire unless previously agreed by the venue management. (f) The Hirer agrees not to fix decorations or any other material to the walls, floors, stage, furniture or any other part of the premises. (g) Any liability or expenditure incurred by the Council on behalf of and at the request of the Hirer shall be discharged by the Hirer and the Council will not accept any responsibility in connection therewith. (h) Any caterers engaged to provide food or other refreshments as part of a function shall be taken from RAMM’s list of approved caterers. 4 (a) All seats and tables will be arranged with sufficient gangways in all respects to afford means of rapid exit and the Hirer shall keep such gangways, together with all passages and exits free from obstruction. (b) All doors giving egress from the venue or any part thereof shall be kept unfastened and unobstructed and immediately available for exit during the whole of such time as the venue or any part thereof is being used by the Hirer. (c) All enquiries regarding the facilities available, layout, times of entry etc should be made to the venue management. (d) The Hirer should not use, or permit to be used, any electrical equipment in the venue without the prior consent of the venue management. The Hirer must ensure that a competent person is in attendance during the operation of any additional special effects, stage lighting, additional venue lighting, audio visual equipment or any electrical equipment. (e) All arrangements in connection with the hiring of the premises or any part thereof shall be to the approval of the venue management and the Hirer shall comply with all reasonable requests made to him at any time in respect thereof. (f) Naked flames, including gas ovens and candles, shall not be used on the premises. Red wine, orange juice and other staining or sticky drinks are not to be provided or drunk on the premises without the former consent of the venue management. (g) Balloons cannot be used to decorate rooms or galleries without the express permission of the management due to the risk of them setting off the intruder alarm systems. 5 (a) The removal from the venue of all goods and/or equipment belonging to the Hirer, or brought into the venue in connection with the purpose, for which the venue was hired, shall be the responsibility of the Hirer. In the event of failure to discharge the foregoing responsibility within 14 days of an event, the Council may dispose of the goods and /or equipment as it thinks fit without being liable to the Hirer in respect thereof. The Hirer shall be liable to pay the Council’s costs of so doing save to the extent they are recouped by the Council from any sale of the goods and/or equipment. (b) If the Hirer shall continue his/her occupation of the venue or any part thereof after the designated period of hire for which he/she engaged the same, he/she shall pay such additional hire fees as may be deemed appropriate by the venue management. The Hirer shall also, in addition, be responsible for any loss or damage occasioned by the Council for exceeding the designated times. The designated times being those booked by the Hirer and stated in the letter of confirmation. 6 Sufficient staff shall be provided by the Hirer to supervise properly the function in the venue or any part thereof as the venue management shall, in their absolute discretion determine. 7 The Council’s officers and servants are not permitted, under any circumstances, to accept gratuities of any kind. 8 (a) The Hirer shall not use the venue or any part thereof for the performance in public of any dramatic or musical work or for the delivery in public of any lectures in which copyright subsists without the consent of the owner of the said copyright. The Hirer shall indemnify the Council against all sums of money, which the Council may have to pay by reason of any infringement of copyright occurring during the whole of such time as the venue or any part thereof is being used by the Hirer. (b) The Hirer shall comply with the provisions of the Children and Young Persons Act. 9 (a) The hirer shall not be entitled to grant sound, television broadcasting or filming rights without the prior written consent of the venue management. 10 (a) Smoking is not allowed in any part of the venue. 11(a) In accordance with RAMM's responsibility under the Data Protect Act 1998 the information you provide will be held in an Exeter City Council database for the purpose of fulfilling your venue hire arrangements.  It will not be used for any other purpose unless you opt in to receiving communications from RAMM. 12 (a) a 50% non-refundable deposit is required to be paid upon booking and the remaining 50% one month before the event.

Guided Group Visits, Guided School Activity and External Talk Bookings

(1)    The term ‘Organiser’ in these conditions shall be taken to mean the person, persons, or body incorporate making an application to book a guided visit/guided activities/external talk for any organisation or school (private or public) and any part thereof. (2)    The term ‘museum specialist’ may refer to a RAMM staff member or a volunteer. (3)    The term ‘Council’ refers to Exeter City Council. (4)    The term ‘Guided Group Visits’ includes all tours and talks attended at RAMM that are delivered by a museum specialist. (5)    The term ‘Guided School Activity’ includes all visits to RAMM by educational organisations that are guided by a museum specialist.  It does not include self-led school visits to the museum (6)    The term ‘External Talk’ refers to talks that are delivered by a museum specialist to a group of people at a venue that the Organiser has booked (7)    Payment
  • A 50% deposit is required to be paid upon booking where the overall charge is greater than £100
  • Should the organiser cancel the booking within 28 days of the date of the visit then 50% of the total fee shall be forfeited/requested.
  • Unless you are a school requesting payment via the issue of an invoice, the total cost/balance of payment for the booking must be made in full 14 days before the date of the visit.  Failure to do so may result in the booking being cancelled.
(8)    Cancellation
  • We reserve the right to cancel at any time any booking should the venue be closed in consequence of any public calamity, epidemic, fire, act of God, war (or its consequences), or the premises is not available for the purpose of the booking in consequence if any reason of any combination or any strike or lock-out of any workman interfering with the efficient working of the premises, or from any cause whatsoever not within the control of, or not occasioned by default of, the council
  •  The Council’s decision upon the above matters shall be final and conclusive, and in such circumstances the organiser shall not be entitled to any compensation as a consequence, but any charge for guided visits or guided school activities previously paid will be refunded
  • The Council reserves the right to terminate any booking in the event of the organiser or officers of the organisation/school committing a breach or failure to observe or perform any of the regulations or conditions
(9)    Capacity The maximum capacity of each guided group visit or guided school activity at RAMM will be stated and agreed on the booking provisional and confirmations email. Failure of the organiser to keep to the limit, depending on the number of additional participants, will result in one or a combination of:
  • The guided visit or guided school activity not going ahead
  • The additional participants being excluded from taking part
  • Agreement that the guided visit or guided school activity experience will be compromised in terms of the enjoyment/learning outcomes that will be derived by the participants
  • An additional charge will be requested.
(10) Public Liability Insurance The Council shall not be liable for any accident or injury sustained by the organiser or any person present in the venue or any part thereof arising from the negligence or default of the organiser and his organisation’s officers. Visits by the public to any Council premises is covered by £25,000,000 liability insurance [PDF]. (11) Risk Assessment Guidance for Guided School Visits Supervision One teacher must be QTS accredited (Qualified Teacher Status) and there must also be an additional teacher to circulate between groups. We recommend the following minimum ratio of adults to children
  • Children aged 0-4 1 adult: 3 children
  • Children aged 5-7 (KS1) 1 adult: 6 children
  • Children aged 8 -11 (KS2) 1 adult: 10 children
  • Children aged 12 and over (KS3 +) 1 adult: 15 children
Accompanying adults should not have babies/toddlers/buggies with them. First aid provision RAMM can provide basic first aid in the event of a minor accident. If any pupil has specific illnesses, however, e.g. epilepsy, diabetes, allergies etc., the school must bring an adult who has specialist knowledge and ability to treat these pupils. Minor injury
  • All pupils and adults should wear appropriate clothing and footwear and only walk in the museum to avoid slips and trips.
  • Allergic reaction to materials on open display
  • Teachers need to be aware of allergies amongst their children and if in any doubt about the possibility of allergic reaction to materials on open display then the risk to their children should be assessed in the familiarisation visit.
(12) Risk Assessment for External Talks
  • It is the responsibility of the organiser to ensure that the necessary risk assessments, licenses and health and safety checks are in place at the venue that they have booked for the museum specialist to attend to give a talk
  • The Council accepts no responsibility if the organiser fails to meet the above statutory requirements and in such instances the council will seek compensation should injury through negligence on the part of the organiser or the venue occur to the museum specialist whilst at the venue.
(13) Food and Drink - No eating is allowed in the galleries, but you are welcome to take a snack break in our grassy area by the garden entrance.  Lunch rooms are available to book, please request on making your booking. (14) The Organiser will be held responsible and accept full responsibility for any damage done to the premises or any part thereof, furniture, utensils or other property of the Council during the period of or otherwise arising out of the visit or any part thereof. (15) Any liability or expenditure incurred by the Council on behalf of or at the request of the Organiser shall be settled by the Organiser and the Council will not accept any responsibility. (16) Any liability of expenditure incurred by the Organiser in the hire of an external venue for the delivery of a talk by a museum specialist, shall remain the sole responsibility of the organiser to discharge and the Council will not accept any responsibility. (17) All enquiries regarding the facilities available, content, activity and times of entry etc should be made to [email protected]
  • We reserve the right to refuse additional requests that result in a significant change to the delivery and content of the guided group visit, external talk or guided school activity less than 28 days before the date of the visit
(18) Safeguarding
  • The Organiser and RAMM shall comply with the provisions of the Children and Young Persons Act and the Disclosure and Barring Service
  • Sufficient staff/officers of the organisation/school shall be provided to supervise the visit
  • All children under the age of 16 should be accompanied at all times by an adult over the age of 18
(19) The Council’s officers and volunteers are not permitted, under any circumstances, to accept gratuities of any kind. (20) In accordance with RAMM’s responsibility under the Data Protect Act 1998 and the General Data Protection Regulation the information you provide will be held in an Exeter City Council database for the purpose of fulfilling your booking arrangements.  It will not be used for any other purpose unless you opt in to receiving communications from RAMM.