Creating animations can be a fun element to add to a creative writing project. Creating the animation could be the final piece of the project in which students bring their short stories to life. You could also have students create short animations to use as story starters for their written works. Here are five free tools that students can use to create animations.
ABCya Animate from ABCya (disclosure, an advertiser here)allows students to create animated GIFs containing up to 100 frames. On ABCya Animate students build their animation creations by drawing, typing, and inserting images. Students can change the background of each frame, include new pictures in each frame, and change the text in each frame of their animations. The feature that I like best about ABCya Animate is that students can see the previous frames of their animations while working on a current frame. This helps students know where to position items in each frame in order to make their animations as smooth as possible. Students do not need to register on ABCya Animate in order to use the tool or to save their animations. When students click "save" on ABCya Animate their creations are downloaded as GIFs.
Stop Frame Animator from Culture Street is
a neat tool for creating animated stop motion movies. Creating your
animated stop motion video is a simple drag and drop process on Stop
Frame Animator. To get started creating your stop motion video select a background scene
then drag your characters into place. While you have nine background
scenes to choose from, the only characters you can use are wooden
manikins. You can position the manikins' arms and legs in every scene.
After choosing your scene and characters you can add some other props
like chairs and beach balls. And if you want you can add sound effects
and music to your video by selecting them from the Stop Frame Animator gallery.
is an iPad app (free and premium versions available) for creating
short, animated videos. The app allows you to create drawings using just
your finger on your iPad's screen. In the free version of the app (the
version that I tried) you can create up to 50 scenes in each of your
projects. In each scene you can include as little or as much as you want
to draw on the canvas. There are a few different brush and pencil
effects that you can use in your drawings. The opacity of the colors you
choose can be altered too. When you have completed drawing all of your
scenes hit the play button to watch your animation unfold. If you're
happy with your animation you can export it to YouTube.
Draw Island is a free online tool for creating drawings and simple GIF animations. Draw Island
offers you your choice of four canvas sizes on which you can draw. Draw
Island offers two canvas sizes for creating simple GIF animations. To
use Draw Island just head to the site and select a drawing tool. You can
draw free hand (or should I say free mouse?) or select pre-defined
shapes to use in your images. When you're done drawing just click the
save button to download your drawing or animation.
Wideo is a service that allows anyone to create animated videos and Common Craft-style
videos online. You can create an animated video on Wideo by dragging
and dropping elements into place in the Wideo editor then setting the
sequence of animations. Each element can be re-used as many times as you
like and the timing of the animation of each image can individually
adjusted. Wideo's stock elements include text, cartoons, and drawings.
You can also upload your own images to use in your videos.
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Untamed Science is a producer of educational science videos. I've featured some of their videos in the past. Most recently I featured their video about why leaves change color. On Tuesday, October 22 Untamed Science in collaboration with Pearson OLE will run a free virtual training on making science videos for your classes. In the webinar you will learn some best practices and interesting video techniques that you can use either for yourself or as an engaging classroom project. You can learn more about the webinar and register for it here.