International Animation Festival 20-25.09.2022
Movie creation guide for kids
A simple step-by-step movie creation guide for kids .
Children 10-12 years old

I have an idea in my mind, and I want to make an animated film. How can I do that? I will do it with animated characters! In order to do so I will follow the simple steps below.

Step one: The Idea

I’m reflecting upon my idea. What do I want to share? I write it in a few sentences like Ι am writing a short story.

Step two: Script

I write my story in more details, as if I want to transfer the reader of my story to the place and time that everything happens. Who are the main characters? What are they doing? Where? What are they discussing with each other? Then, I share the story with my friends, my family or even my teacher. Step three: My script in pictures I take an A4 plain paper and draw small boxes with a pencil as in the example (storyboard image). I always have my script next to me and I divide my film into scenes – that is, in the places where every action of my story takes place. It’s my first film so I try not to have more than two or three places. Next, I read the script again and draw in each box a picture of every action that takes place in my film, in the space that takes place. I do not forget to write the dialogues (if any) but also the sounds that I would like to exist in every scene of my film.

Step three: Constructions

I am thinking what the aesthetics of my film would be and I decide on the materials. Will it be flat (ie two-dimensional) or will it have volume (ie three-dimensional)? In two-dimensional movies we usually use flat materials, such as cut paper or objects that do not have a large volume, like caps, ribbons, pencils, crayons, small sticks and so on. (related photos with materials) In 3D films we use, plasticine, objects and in general anything we can build and have volume (eg a wooden house, a paper apartment building, a tree with branches and leaves, etc.) After choosing my materials I think about the size I would like the backdrop / sets of my film to be (as much as an A4 printing paper? Βigger? Smaller?) And I make accordingly what I need for the shooting of my film. Attention: firstly I make the sets and then the characters of my film because I want all the sizes to be in proportion. (related photos with props)

Step four: Shooting my movie!

Having completed the constructions, it’s about time to start shooting my film! In this step, the help of my parents or my teachers is very important. I will need a desk lamp, a large, clean surface without other objects to be able to set up all my constructions, a mobile phone or tablet, a stand or tripod with grip mount to put on the camera and a stop motion animation app. (Recommended application for smart devices Stop Motion Studio). Depending on my constructions, I decide and set up the camera in front of my background (3D photography) or above it (2D photography). (related photos) After placing my constructions on the surface where the photography will take place, I observe the lighting of the space and choose, whether I will illuminate it more utilizing my office light. Then I tape all the constructions that will not move during the photo shoot, my lamp and my tripod. Following the steps shown by the application and always having next to me my script and my story in pictures, I photograph my film frame by frame. At this stage, I can also ask for help from my parents in using the application. I move the character a little and take photos. I continue until I have several photos that show the movement. The smaller movements I make and photograph in a row, the more natural movement my characters in the film will seem to have. During the photo shoot, I always make sure that the lighting does not change and that the camera does not move at all or that the objects that according to my script remain stationary. (related photos) More about the suggested application here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DzV3-1lnTQ

Step five: Compositing my film (image editing)

After shooting is complete, I play my movie in the application following the relevant buttons. I observe the speed at which the images are projected and with the tools of the application I change it if it seems to me that everything happens very slowly or very quickly.

Step Six: Sound and final composition of the film (final editing)

When the editing is completed, the time will come when I will export it in its final form. My parents’ help in this last step is also valuable. I cannot send to anyone my movie along with the application, because that way it will not be shown. To export my final movie, I follow the steps of the application converting it to video. Then I save it in the files of my device and send it to whoever I want, while I can also view it anywhere (on TV, computer, another mobile, upload it on Vimeo or Youtube and so on)

Step Seven: View

The time for the screening has finally come! I fill the bowls with popcorn, turn off the lights and invite my friends and family to watch my first stop motion animation movie together!