Applying Digital Animation to Common Core Subjects

"Flip Boom All-Star is a lot easier to use than I thought. I feel challenged and I've learned that I am more creative than I thought!" — Palomino, 8th Grade, South Junior High School

Applying Digital Animation to Common Core Subjects

Located in a city known for its popular theme parks, sports teams, and sunny weather, South Junior High School is one of Anaheim, California's hidden gems.

Accommodating approximately 1,500 students, South is home to the Eagles. Ninety percent of the students have a Hispanic/Latino background, and their retention and interest in the Digital Animation grew beyond expectations. Over 120 students signed up for the 38-student capacity class, which uses Toon Boom's All-Star. "Digital Animation is a class for any student, with or without an art background. In this course, the students are learning the principles of animation, while extending their knowledge of the core concepts," says Carol Shaw, Digital Animation teacher. The students combine their skills in art with their individual creativity to develop cross-curricular themed animated short films. From animated Haiku poems, to morphing various shapes into other objects, to making characters talk and move, the students have grasped animation basics through this easy-to-use program. Alex Palomino, an 8th grade student states, "the Flip Boom program is a lot easier to use than I thought. This program and class is fun! I feel challenged and I've learned that I am more creative than I thought!"

In the class

Here is a list of concepts taught using Toon Boom's Flip Boom All-Star:

  • Animation Theory & History
  • Character Drawings (Sketching and Digital Characters)
  • Storyboarding
  • The Bouncing Ball
  • Changing the look of Characters (ex. Hair extensions)
  • Animated Greeting Cards (Halloween and Valentine's Day)
  • Rotating Objects (Draw behind/Push forward tools)
  • The Walk Cycle (Run, Jump, 2-legged and 4-legged characters are included)
  • Perspective
  • Pendulum Float
  • Character Turn-around

As part of the Digital Animation year-long class, the cross-curricular and other long-term projects include:

  • Animated Haiku Poem (English)
  • Animating Fractions (Mathematics)
  • Animating the Life Cycle of an Insect or Animating a Rocket Launch (Science)
  • The Red Dot Project – Morphing objects
  • Figure 8/Jet Pack Project – Character turn-around focus
  • Animating a News Report/People in a News Report (collaboration with Multi-media class)

Here is a compilation of student feedback from the past 2 years:

  • Animating Fractions has helped me understand how to simplify fractions and how to determine fractions in their equivalent form; this is the first time that I understand how to do this!
  • Students have commented that they "have been looking forward to Animation class all day" – it's a class that gets the students to come to school.
  • Using animation has helped students to understand the concept of perspective.
  • This class has helped students to understand English vocabulary such as perspective, follow-through, slow-in and slow-out.
  • This class has helped me understand Haiku poems, which is something I learned in English class.
  • This class has helped in Math, Science, English and Technology.
  • This class has helped me be more patient and makes me pay attention to details.
  • Digital Animation has helped me in other classes because I have learned that in order to do something and have it come out the way I want it, I need patience. For example, in my long Algebra problems, I know that if I work hard, at the end the answer will be worth it.
  • Digital Animation has helped in other school subjects such as English and Math. To get the right angle or rations, I had to know algebra angles. For English, I learned new words that I can use in the future.

Of the 26 students that were surveyed in the Digital Animation class, 20 said they would be interested in pursuing a career or education in Animation.

Video: youtube.com/watch?v=nVAhixiTTD4

In the class

About South Junior High School

Located in a city known for its popular theme parks, sports teams, and sunny weather, South Junior High School is one of Anaheim, California’s hidden gems. Accommodating approximately 1,500 students, South is home to the Eagles. Ninety percent of the students have a Hispanic/Latino background, and their retention and interest in the Digital Animation grew beyond expectations.