Every drawing that you have can be brought to life through animation. Animation is seen in many movies and cartoon shows, where creators take drawings or 3-Dimensional models or objects and make them move. A good way of seeing professional animations is to watch Disney animated films, some of which are available through the Charles County Public Library system. 

The concept of animation can seem intimidating, however, there are many ways that you or the people you know can go about doing it without specialized equipment, expensive programs, or even technology. Sure, you can purchase a program to use on the computer to make a character move, or even find something free, but a really good way to get started that doesn’t require you to learn how to use a program, is to animate by hand. Flip Book animation is a wonderful way to get started; it is a series of images or drawings that change slightly after each page, so when they are viewed quickly in order, it looks like they are moving. This can be done with a stack of papers, a notebook, index card, you name it. Just make sure you do not draw on anything important. The Library offers how to draw books, in case you are in need of instruction or inspiration. 

Another fun option for animation without a computer program is Stop Motion. For stop motion, the same general idea applies as with flip books, except this time you need a model of some sort to move. A nice starting point would be to use something like Legos or action figures that have parts that can move and can stand on their own. Just like with flip books, you want to move the parts of these objects little by little, but this time, take a picture after each little movement. When you view the pictures quickly one after another, you will see that you have made your toys come to life on the screen!

If you need help learning about animating or are curious about the history of it, CCPL offers access to several databases, one of them being the Library of Congress, which has a segment on the history of American animation. Kanopy has documentaries and how-to’s, like “How Hollywood Does It: Animation” and “The Great Directors: Animation”. There are also plenty of books that show different ways to animate as well as different examples of how to do what was covered in this post; simply search the CCPL catalogue to get started!