- Animation seems intimidating to start with, but you really don’t need much equipment. Just a pencil and a piece of paper is fine.
- Do as much research and sketching as you can. At the zoo, watch animals moving and try to break down what they’re doing into very small stages.
- It’s also good to be creative. Animation doesn’t need to imitate life exactly. Why not make your kangaroo jump 10 times higher than a real animal could?
- Animation is laborious, so a trick of the trade is to pick a movement that repeats itself. This is known as a ‘walk cycle’.
- Don’t be too ambitious. Start off with simply drawings and slowly work your way up.
- Whether drawing images or filming, make sure each frame is aligned to the one before. Professionals do this with a peg bar (£4 online) or you can attach your pages together with a hole-punch.
- There are now many free smartphone apps and computer programs that can help create stop-motion animation.
- Consistent lighting is important. For best results, animate inside and away from natural light.
- Be patient! Animation is one of the most time-consuming forms of creativity, but keep at it and your efforts will be rewarded.
Do you love animated films? If so, now is your chance to create your own mini-animation with some help from ZSL’s exhibit developer and animator – Tom Sears. Don’t worry if you’re not very good at drawing, you can make great animation using simple stick figures. So don’t be discouraged – let’s give it a go!
These little roos are very simple, and sit at the traditional end of animation. But there’s lots you can do to bring them to life.
- Make a flick book
Print out the pictures from these pages. Stick them into a small notebook, remembering to glue them to only one side of a page – and rifle through the leaves to see the kangaroos leap!
- Make a zoetrope
This traditional device brings images to life by spinning rather than flicking. You can make one at home with a round box or lid, some card or thick paper and an axle – there are plenty of instructions to be found online.
- Make a film
After downloading these images, you can play the frames back to back on your computer to make a film. These 13 images should make a one-second animation that can be looped again and again to make your kangaroo hop for as long as you like.
- Make these pictures your own by customising them with new details. Perhaps you could add a background such as the Australian outback – or try colouring in the kangaroo to make it a different colour?
- These images form a ‘walk cycle’ – a complete movement that can be played over and over. If you’d like a longer animation, simply make multiple versions of each image and arrange the same sequence back to back – twice, 10 times, or even 100 times if you want!
- If you do make a longer film, consider including other elements to add interest to the kangaroo’s movement. What about the sun rising high in the sky – or a bird flying past overhead?