Lights! Camera! Animate!

Youth are encouraged to explore their creativity and apply their digital skills in a new animation program coming to the Nepean Creative Arts Centre this spring.

Is your nine- to 14-year-old a budding digital media artist? Interested in animation? Then the Animate This course, held over March Break at the Nepean Creative Arts Centre, might be ideal.

Taught by experimental film artist Roger D. Wilson, students will learn the basics of animation, starting with flip books and moving through Claymation, to stop motion and exploring the latest in digital technology.

“Starting with a flip book really helps them to understand the process of animation,” says Wilson, “and how much patience they have to have.”

He says even more patience is required when the students move to cameraless animation. “I show them how to paint and draw on clear film stock. It really shows them how the movement works frame by frame and it helps them learn patience in a fun and creative way.”

Although his background is primarily film, Wilson says he enjoys working in digital because it’s fast and immediate. “These students are used to having everything instantly because of technology and digital does that for them and they’re really comfortable with it.”

He says some youngsters come in thinking they won’t know anything, but are surprised at how much they know. “Some of these students already have their own
YouTube channel and they’ve already been posting videos,” he says.

“What we can offer them is the opportunity to learn how to refine their animation techniques and provide the cameras, lighting, editing software and green screens and make it look even more professional.”

Students will leave with their own animated short. Wilson usually pairs the students or assigns them to groups of three. They then must write the story, build the set with Lego or Claymation, shoot it and edit the final product. 

Wilson says he’s constantly amazed at the results. “The students I’ve taught continue to impress me. Not only are they open to ideas, they make me laugh and I learn from them.”

He says he wishes there had been similar opportunities when he was growing up. “The centre is really welcoming and stress-free and everyone works at their own speed.

“Students really learn how to feel good about themselves through their own creativity.”

The program fills up quickly. Visit – March Break Camps 2017 to sign up or call 613-596-5783 for more information.