Young Volunteers’ Animation Workshops

young vols stampA word from James who delivered some top notch animation workshops at Jubilee Library as part of his Gold Arts Award journey…

Last week I ran one day of workshops at the library, showing children ages 8+ how to bring their own mythical monsters to life using two simple methods of animation; the praxinoscope and thaumotrope.

The praxinoscope is an animation tool that has been popular for over one hundred years. It works with a strip of pictures surrounding some mirrors in a barrel-like cylinder that spins. When spun, you can view the mirrors, which ‘play’ the animation drawn on the strip of paper. This worked better than the thaumotrope, but took a longer to make. It was also more popular.

The thaumotrope is a lot more simple and easier to make. It has also been used for over one hundred years, and only uses a circular piece of card and some string for it to work. On one side of the card something is drawn, which will be the foreground. The background is then drawn on the back of the card. Two pieces of string are attached to each side and then spun. A basic animation is played, blending the two pictures into one, placing the first image into the background.

We started at 11am and finished at 4pm, with four workshops completed over the day. It was fun, and everyone enjoyed themselves! All kinds of creatures were designed and then animated, from Medusa to an angry slime monster. I hope to do some similar workshops at the library in the next few months.

James, Young Volunteer, Jubilee Library

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