Stop Motion #1 – The Animation Program 2021

It started when a Facebook ad popped up in my newsfeed. The local North York Arts council was teaming up with an animation group, Toronto Animated Image Society to host a 12-week course in animation called The Animation Program 2021. It was geared towards adults 55+ and gave the basics in making stop motion film.

Stop motion refers to the process of making animated film one frame at a time. In the early days, the pictures were hand drawn. In another post, I spoke about thaumatropes but more likely, you’ll associate animation with cartoons like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Stop motion is distinguished from drawn animation in that images are typically made with physical materials.

One of my first assignments was to create a character using ‘found’ objects. In my recycling bin, I’d found egg cartons, bubble wrap and old magazines. That coupled with copious amount of hot glue resulted in my very first stop motion film … and a topic for a Friendly Friday Challenge.

For the second assignment, we graduated from egg cartons to plasticine. As I rolled, squashed and pressed out pieces of plasticine, I was transported back to my days in kindergarten. Nothing recalls childhood so much as the smell and texture of crayons and play-dough.

The assignment was to demonstrate the principles of movement, pacing and transformation. It was in two parts – 1) show a race with balls and 2) a face with different expressions. I read the instructions quickly and rushed ahead to do my modeling. I completed all my homework in record time. (I am such a keener!) Then, I re-read the instructions and found I’d missed a crucial point. I had to re-do it all. (Back to the rolling board.)

This became a trend. I’ve come to realise that a key part of my learning curve, is making mistakes. It’s a lesson I’ve had to learn over and over again. Luckily, I enjoy the process.

These assignments took up the first six weeks of the workshop. The next six weeks were devoted to making our final film and getting ready for an online premiere event.

I’ll share more about that in another post!


  1. I really enjoyed the video, especially the face – or rather faces. You clearly have a talent for modelling different expressions and emotions! I’m looking forward to seeing your final film πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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