The art teacher and I collaborated again this year with our superhero animation project. 3rd-grade students sketched their ideas for a superhero in art class then we used computer lab time to draw their superhero and background in MS Paint. The next step was importing the files into Scratch and adding the code to animate them.
The students were engaged and worked hard. They could see where the project was going because they had seen last year’s example videos. Some of them were familiar enough with Scratch to add a bit of flair (or music) to their animations. I saw more color effect changes and even helped implement other effects like this use of the whirl effect to animate Red Jelly Man:
One improvement that I tried to implement this year was the use of additional costumes to create the illusion of animation along with the moving of the Sprite across the screen. This was most easily accomplished by duplicating and then modifying. Modifications generally included a slight rotation of the whole Sprite or to just an arm or other body parts. Little changes really enhance the overall effect of the animation.
Another student’s Animal Man had 8 different animal costumes, all drawn by the student for his shape-shifting superhero.
Another technique we added this year was some simple backdrop animations.
I’m very pleased with the second round of the Superhero project. You can find all the movies here on my YouTube playlist.
Note: The students were able to add the project video of the animation to their digital portfolio without having to convert from the .flv format. The actual Scratch projects are not shared online but completed using Scratch 2.0 offline editor.