Moving Pictures - Digital Promise Global

Moving Pictures

Objective: Students will employ digital storytelling techniques using Stop Motion to create their own short film.

Tools/Materials Required: HP Sprout, modeling clay (optional), 3D Printer (optional)

Depth of Knowledge: Strategic Thinking

Teacher’s notes are in purple. For the student’s version, see Moving Pictures Student Guide.


Prepare: Learn about the key ideas in this project

Stop motion is a film animation technique that uses a series of pictures to create the effect that an object is moving. You’ve probably seen stop motion before –The Lego Movie, Wallace and Gromit, and The Nightmare Before Christmas all used stop motion.

In this project you will create a stop motion video using the HP Sprout’s Stop Motionapp. Start by opening the Stop Motion app in the Sprout Workspace, and follow the short guide that comes up to familiarize yourself with the software (frame grabbing, playback, exporting, etc.).

It is important to plan your story before you start making it. This video shows how the team at Pixar used storyboarding techniques to plan out Toy Story. Keep this planning process in mind when making your short film, and try making your own simple storyboard on a piece of paper before starting the actual filming.


Practice: Try as many activities to as you would like to build your skills

Draw a simple picture (i.e. smiley face, stick figures, etc.) in the Stop Motion app on the Sprout. Select the ‘Mat’ view option and press ‘Show’ on the touch mat to show the touch mat controls. Use the stylus or your finger to draw a little bit at a time and capture each frame, then play it back and watch it draw itself. More frames and smaller changes from frame to frame will make the stop motion even better.

Complete the project Toy Workshop. Use what you learned to create props, characters, settings, and any other objects to use in the film. In particular, try creating objects with ball joints that can move little segments at a time to be ideal for stop motion.

Create an animation with the clay using the Stop Motion app. Form modeling clay into a character and have it move through the frame in a ten-second long animated video.


Produce: Dig into the project and make it your own!

Make your film!

Come up with a plot and storyboard (see the Prepare step) for your film. Use the Sprout Stop Motion application to create your short stop motion movie (about 1-2 minutes) using any of the three camera modes (Top Down, Front, or Mat).


Produced by Digital Promise Global, with thanks to the Open Educational Resources listed throughout this guide. Distributed to Learning Studios schools as part of HP, Inc. and Microsoft’s Reinvent the Classroom.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. You may share this project or modified versions of it under this same license.

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