Middle school students learn animation

Published 6:31 pm Tuesday, March 5, 2019


southampton middle school animation

Sixth grader Annamarie Goff uses the color wheel to select a color for her character. Submitted | Jennifer Dreibelbis

Southampton Middle School students taking gifted art and art appreciation are experiencing what life would be like as an animator at Pixar or Dreamworks.

In a discussion with art teacher Jennifer Dreibelbis, students learned about Walt Disney and the development of early animation, then watched the animated short “Steamboat Willie,” which was the first cartoon to feature synchronized sound and was also the debut of Mickey Mouse.

After watching some recent animated shorts from Disney and Pixar, students began creating their own original characters. Students are following the same development process as the movie studios, creating a storyboard of key scenes from their cartoon shorts.

This past week, students were using Apple Pencils and the Animation Desk app on iPads to bring their characters to life. Students are excited to try out the Apple Pencils, especially because they can control line thickness and shading just by changing the pressure on the pencil, mimicking the way they draw with regular pencils on paper.

Students are also learning to work with layers and frames.

Once the animations are complete, students will wrap up the animation project by creating a poster to promote their animated short.