Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Using Green Screen For Making Videos- Part 2

Hey, guys. Here it is... part 2 of using Green Screen in the art room. And again... you'll hear about what worked, the near misses and what I would have done differently.

First up... here's the near miss. As the kids were working with the Plasticine clay, I let them chose what colors they would use. Sophia decided to use green for her alien character. Oh, geez!  Was I ever not thinking...

Once we were about to start filming we realized we had to change up the color of the green alien. Otherwise, he wouldn't show up once the Green Screen came into play. So Sophia had to quickly remake a new alien. Which she did, with some white Plasticine clay. Whew! Close one. Not having the alien show up on screen would have been a problem!

Next up... Backgrounds.  

Before we went to the DoInk Green Screen app we had to choose our backgrounds. We decided we would use two. One of the Milky Way and one of the planet Jupiter. We found these by doing some research on Google images.

We used the image of the Milky Way for when they were travelling. And the image of Jupiter's landscape for when the spaceship has landed.

The kids wanted to try and do some special effects in the video. We decided we would have the spaceship break apart after it lands. Also, we would have the alien fly through the air to fix the spaceship. Our solution for this to happen was to use green string attached to the space ship and the alien. We figure we could manipulate the objects with the string.

We kept our fingers crossed that the green string wouldn't show up once we started using Green Screen. And I'm happy to say... It worked! In the video you can see the spaceship break apart and the alien flying to fix it. all done through the magic of green string, tape and Green Screen.

Every thing has a learning curve! Here are a couple of things I would have done differently.

I would  use more lights while filming. I think it would be easier for me to manipulate the chroma filter and sensitivity on the app. You can see some fuzzy green in the background and sometimes the alien appears transparent. No matter how much I tried to adjust the chroma, I just couldn't fix this. We were in a room with no windows. And all we used was the school ceiling lights. So I'm working on getting some mobile lighting I can bring in in the future.

The other thing I would do differently is to hold my I pad in landscape mode. While we were filming it was held in portrait mode. Big problem! DoInk Green Screen app is in landscape mode. We filmed all the character dancing around in a circle after the alien helps them. It looked great. But none of that shows up on the final product. UGH!!!

So there it is... I'm really proud of what the kids did with this and how much effort they put into this film. Me? I'm still a work in progress when it comes to student film making.

Here we go. Check it out: The Kindness Of Aliens (with Green Screen)

I hope this will help you if you decide to try Green Screen. Let me know in the comments below if you've tried DoInk Green Screen. I'd love to hear about it.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Using Green Screen For Making Videos

Here is my next installment about making  videos in art class. This time I  be  telling you about my attempt at using Green Screen (along with iMotion) with some 5th grade students.

Believe me when I tell you,  I'm not one of those tech savvy teachers who easily breezes along doing fabulous projects using the newest technology. You could easily say, um... I'm on a learning curve here. While making this video, I was learning along with the students. Sometimes, that's the way you gotta do it. And again, I'll be relaying what worked and what I would have done differently in this process.

Before you read this though, here's one FYI. I was lucky enough to pull out a small group of students to work on this video assignment. It would be very difficult to do a lesson like this with one iPad and 25 students in a class.

As with the previous video, the kids started out by creating the story. My only requirement was that the story revolve around kindness and a kind deed, in some way.

The kids settled on a story about some space travelers landing on Jupiter. After they land, the space ship breaks apart. Luckily, a kind alien appears and it offers to help them out. After the alien fixes the space ship, they say goodbye. The space travelers then return to the space ship and take off to continue on their journey.

We had the story all sketch out on a story board before we started filming. The storyboard helps keep the kids on track and know what we're working towards when filming.

The characters

After the story was done, it was time to create the characters. The kids created a walrus, panda bear, narwhal and the alien using Plasticine clay. We used Plasticine so the characters could easily move parts of their bodies during the filming. 

Then it was onto creating the space ship. We collected a bunch of small boxes, decorated them with construction paper and attached them all together. The Kleenex box we used worked great! It had an opening we used for the character to enter and exit the space ship.

Putting together the space ship

To use Green Screen you need to have a green background when you start filming. I decided to switch it up from the last time. So I decided to buy a tri-fold board. The kind that is used for science fair presentation. We covered it  all up with green construction paper. This worked much better then the cardboard box we used for the last video.

The finished space ship with the characters 

The first scene to be filmed was the space ship floating in space. We attached green string to the space ship and suspended it in front of the green tri-fold and. For this film we manually took pictures with iMotion as the space ship slowly descended. We also tied the green string to the alien when you see it flying in the video.

Here are a few scenes from when we were filming.

The alien arrives

The space ship breaks apart

The space ship catches fire

Take a look and see what the video looks like before we used the DoInk Green Screen app. You'll see the green construction paper background and the characters interacting in front of it.

So here it is:
The Kindness of Aliens
This is the first of two post about using Green Screen. In my next post I'll tell you all about what went on when we started using DoInk Green Screen to add backgrounds to this video.

If you want to read about my first attempted with making an iMotion video in art class, you can check it out here. 

What do you think about this project? Have you ever made videos in art class. I'd love to hear about it. You can comment below.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Learning to Make Stop Motion Videos

Learning how to make stop motion videos  has been one of my goals. It seems it would be something incredibly motivating (and fun) for kids of all ages to use in develop their creativity. Well, I've made 3 videos now, with three different groups of kids. And believe me... there have been various lessons learned (by me and the kids too).

So if you're here, following along, reading this, you will learn the whole process- the good, the bad and the ugly of the stop motion video making process.

We're ready to film our dancing robot video

To begin with:

Here.It.Is. The biggest lesson I've learned:

When you fall flat on your face, scrape the egg off, and keep moving forward.

I'm hoping the kids learned that lesson too. And, by reading this you can also learn from my mistakes too!

So here's  the first post in my journey of making stop motion videos.

Our First Video- Claymation Time Travel

The first video I attempted with the kids (while still teaching at middle school) was a claymation video (using the stop motion video app called iMotion) with my 7th grade after school art club. I'm working with one I Pad, so there's no way I could attempt this in a regular class of 26 and one device.

The Storyboard

We started out writing the story and creating a storyboard. Everybody on the team, got to be a part of creating the story. The kids came up with the idea of having the characters enter a time machine. They travel back through time into a jungle with dinosaurs. As the dinosaur jumps out of the bushes, the boys run away. The girls punch the dinosaur in the face and knock it out. They all then run back into the time machine and take off. Very simple, straightforward (and girl power)!

Backdrop and Characters

After finishing the storyboard, it was time to create the backdrop/scenery. At this point, different jobs were assigned to the students- some working on the scenery, some working on the characters. I didn't want to even attempt green screen at this point. So we got a big cardboard box, construction paper and glue and started designing.

Some of the kids started designing the characters with Plasticine clay. We had already decided there would be two girl characters and two boy characters, along with the dinosaur in the video. All I really had to do was show the kids how to work with the clay tools. They did some research about dinosaurs on line to help with its design.

Here it is. Our first iMotion video.

Video Making Takeaways

If I could do it over I would have use a tri-fold card board for the background instead of the box. I also would have brought the camera up closer for the shot. We were lucky to film in the library. It has giant windows that flooded the table we were  filming on with light. (Hint- this is a foreshadowing of future problems that I will write about in an upcoming post.) So lighting wasn't a problem. I liked using the manual mode (instead of pre-setting the timer) on the camera when working with the clay. It made it easier to control each shot. After taking the first few shots, the kids really understood the process of ever so slightly moving the figures to create the illusion of motion.

But I'm really happy how it came out. And I was really impressed by how much effort the kids put into this. It's a cute story. And all the characters have wonderful detail and look great.  They really worked hard with the story, working with the Plasticine clay and in creating the background.

My verdict is: Success, with some lessons learned.

On to the next video!

You can check this out and see what happens when we attempt Green Screen in our next video: The Kindness Of Aliens.

What do you think of our first claymation stop motion video? Have you ever made an stop motion video? 
Would you like to share with us the lessons you learned?