I am yet to find a child who is not interested in cartoons. It is also a common complaint of parents that their child is glued to cartoons.
But have you ever thought why children like cartoons? In simple words “Anything is possible in a child’s mind and anything is possible in cartoons!”. They ignite curiosity. They evoke emotions. They are an excellent form of storytelling.
Instead of fighting with children on media time, how about we encourage them to do cartoons (or in technical words learn to make animations)?
Why to learn animation?
Animation improves patience
Animation requires serious involvement. A 30min cartoon takes at least 2 months’ work. If you don’t believe me, check the list of artists who worked on your child’s favourite cartoon.
From story boarding to audio editing, animation has different phases which requires patience.
Animation is a way of expression
Having troubles with rebellion teenager? Animation is an excellent way to express thoughts and emotions. Many studies in development psychology shows that children who are involved in this kind of skills grow to be happy adults.
Animation reduces media influence
Do you know most advertisements (even adult products like cars), target children? Yes, these advertisements are tweaked to attract children. When children learn animation, they develop more objective view and get less influenced by false media.
Animation improves confidence
Any new skill improves confidence. Animation is a medium which everyone loves. Children can get huge appreciation for their work. It will boast their confidence.
Animation helps in studies
Animation involves observing real life objects and depicting them on the screen. This involves physics (how objects hit each other and bounce back, how animals move), geometry (drawing shapes, views), anatomy(human and animal body structure), biology(textures of natural elements), mathematics(setting right frame per second) etc. This also helps children to understand how theoretical academic topics map to real life.
Animation helps in career
Are you thinking that your child will become doctor and don’t need to learn animation? Think again. There is a huge demand for animated videos explaining medical concepts. A boring PPT in a corporate meeting can be spiced up using animation. Animation improves presentation skills which helps in all careers.
Animation as a career
A skilled animator earns as much (sometimes more) than an engineer. There are huge freelancing options in animation. It is an excellent career choice.
How children can learn animation?
Creating animations involves following steps
Initially most children try animation without any story. They feel excited just to be able to move things on the screen. Later they start developing story through animation. Story board involves story building, drawing rough scenes as a starting point of the animation process. This develops planning and organizing skills in children.
Script writing may happen before story board or can be combined with story board. This involves writing the concept, story, dialogues etc for the animation. Animation may or may not contain dialogues.
It is easy to create animations if your child is good in drawing. But don’t stop if your child is not so good. By definition, animation is something with illusion of movement. Moving shapes or photos with great story line can make an excellent animation.
Children can use photo editing softwares to edit the photos.
Most animations have characters. Creating attractive characters is a separate skill on its own. But initially children can use stick puppets or basic shape characters. Check this animation which my son did when he was 7 years old. He said, he wanted to say, ‘Games can develop friendship’!
Backgrounds make animations attractive and add details to the story. Drawing backgrounds can be boring to children. Children can use free stock photos or copyright free drawings as background.
In next blog post, I will write about types of animation and animation software.
But what if you want to keep your child away from the screen? No issues. Flipbook animation is for you.
If your child is really into animation, consider investing in this book – The Animator’s Survival Kit. This book is excellent for beginners as well as professionals.