Wednesday, April 15, 2009

JibJab animation

I was trying to come up with a way to teach some simple animation techniques to my multimedia kids recently and I remembered the JibJab films. Specifically how they take a picture of a still face and animate the jaw to create the illusion of talking. It has the look of a ventriloquist dummy.

I wanted to show the kids who couldn't draw that they could still create some interesting effects. So, using Fireworks, we created faces with moving jaws and twirling eyes. I refer to these as JibJab animations because a lot of my students are familiar with the their films.

We exported them as animated gifs. The kids can now use them on web pages, movie projects and even Powerpoint presentations. Although I haven't figured out a way to show them in this blog or Google Sites. When you upload a picture to those two online services they are automatically turned into jpegs which breaks the animation. (At least I think this is what is happening......anyone else run into this?)

I can teach this skill to a group of kids (who already know Fireworks) in a class period. The majority of them seem to like it and I have caught them creating other JibJab animations on their own time. Because of student interest, I am working on a unit to use with my video class next year. I think we will attempt a short feature.

[Image captured from "This Land": JibJab:]

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