Creating Digital Animations: Animate Stories with Scratch!

Creating Digital Animations: Animate Stories with Scratch!

by Derek Breen


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The easy way to start animating today!

Creating Digital Animations is your ticket to learning animation! Learn how to animate your very own characters using Scratch—the free multimedia tool that lets you create interactive stories, games, and animations. Designed specifically for kids aged seven and up, this easy-to-follow, full-color guide introduces you to important game design concepts through three simple projects. Step-by-step instructions walk you through the four major phases of animation design, showing you how to turn your idea into a real animation with sound effects and more! You'll work just like the pros as you sketch out your main idea, add your own details, and develop a complete, workable character from scratch.

If you're curious about coding, animation is the perfect place to start exploring. The Scratch platform doesn't require an actual programming language, but it gets you used to thinking like a programmer while you develop your very own animation. Short on rules but big on fun, this book is your friendly animation coach to get you started on the right foot.

  • Use stick figures to design your characters' 'bones'
  • Flesh out your design and animate movements
  • Create scenes and background locations
  • Add sound to take your animation to the next level

Animation is fun! Building your own characters is exciting! And putting the finishing touches on your animation project shows you just how much you can learn while you play. Coding is a valuable skill that will serve you throughout school and beyond, and this book teaches you the basics in a way that leaves you hungry for more. Where will you take your new animation skills next? Creating Digital Animations takes you on the first steps of your journey to wherever you want to go!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119233527
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 03/28/2016
Series: Wiley's Kids for Dummies Series
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 1,193,347
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 7 - 11 Years

About the Author

Derek Breen is a former designer for the Education Arcade at MIT and teaching fellow in the Digital Media Arts and Instructional Design program at Harvard Extension School. He is the author of Scratch For Kids For Dummies.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About Scratch 1

About This Book 2

Icons Used in This Book 3

Access Scratch 3

Create online account 3

Use Scratch offline 4

Project 1: Animation Essentials 8

Draw Your First Character 8

Create project 9

Draw body parts 9

Sculpt the body with the Reshape tool 10

Adjust the thickness of multiple lines 11

Animate the Stick Figure 12

Draw a simple backdrop 13

Adjust movement against the backdrop 14

Putting the jump in jacks 15

Animate with Code Blocks 17

Bring Humor to Your Animation 20

Add Stick Man's Best Friend 20

Modify parts to create a new character 21

Develop your humorous story 22

Walk Like a Man 23

Rotate parts with the Select tool 24

Animate the Dog 26

Add code to animate the stick dog 26

Animate tail wagging 27

Talk Like a Man 28

Project 2: Animate Great Characters 31

Keep It Simple, Stupid 31

Getting a Head Start 33

Create a new project 34

Paint a new sprite 34

Quick hairstyling 35

Open wide 36

Give 'em a nose job 37

A Little Body Work 37

Add simple legs 38

Arming your characters 39

Apply Finishing Touches 40

It's Okay to Clone Scratch People 41

From Dead Skin to Furry Beast 41

Fangs Make the Beast 43

Undress the Beast 44

Strike a Pose 45

Add Finishing Touches 45

Create a Third Character 47

From zombie girl to bland boy 48

Design character clothing 50

Tweak facial features 50

Add a set of teeth 51

Posing clothed figures 52

Assembling Your Cast 52

Project 3: Location, Location, Location 54

Planning Animation Scenes 54

Design an Interior Scene 55

Make Scenes More Immersive 59

Change a backdrop into a sprite 60

Design see-through windows 60

Build your own furniture 63

Design an Exterior Scene 66

Draw scenes with perspective 69

Scale characters inside a scene 71

Project 4: Sounds Good to Me 74

That's What He Said 74

Write dialogue for your characters 75

Record Dialogue in Scratch 76

Find the Record button 77

Edit Audio Clips 80

Trim Beginning of Sound 81

Use sound editing effects 82

Play Sound with Code Blocks 83

Animate Character Speech 84

Mouthing the words 85

Easy lip-synching 86

Achieve more realistic lip-synching 87

Create custom phoneme costumes 90

Switch costumes to match phonemes 91

Project 5: Lights, Camera, Action! 95

(Not) Starting from Scratch 95

Create a night scene 95

Turn out the lights 98

Camera (or What Do I Focus On?) 101

Increase the costume size 101

Create a back view of characters 103

Create a side view of characters 104

Action! (or Let's Get the Story Moving) 104

Animate sprite entering the scene 105

Add a (slightly) more realistic walk 105

Broadcast Animation Messages 106

Send a broadcast message 106

Receive a broadcast message 107

Switch between Animation Scenes 108

And Cut! 111

Author Notes 112

Share Your Scratch Projects in the Scratch Online Community 112

Share project from the online Scratch editor 113

Share project from the offline Scratch editor 114

Broadcast Scratch Animation on Any Website 114

Record/Export Scratch Videos 115

Export Scratch Graphics to Other Applications 117

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