Have a Wild Time with iStopMotion

by Megan -

Artist and image-maker Fabric Lenny has had an interest in stop motion animation for as long as he can remember. “I love the magic involved, the wizardry of bringing inanimate objects to life,” he says. “I love the work of Ray Harryhausen and the early work of Aardman.

Lenny chose to work with iStopMotion a number of years ago, and it’s been his go-to program ever since. He particularly likes the stability of the software, its simplicity and its intuitive logic. “It just lets you get on with animating,” he says. “I think the iPad version provides an exciting opportunity for more children to access stop motion animation in the classroom.

Lenny loves using stop motion to help young animators reach their full potential in the classroom. Recently, he worked with a Y3 class at Reinwood Junior School in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom, where the students made artwork in response to the popular children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are. The students let the wild rumpus start by creating their own monsters through a variety of artistic techniques. They used iPads to create digital drawings and storyboards, and eventually, they put together a short iStopMotion film starring their wild creations.

I am really interested in the collaborative nature of filmmaking, and I love to work with large groups of children to realize a project,” Fabric Lenny says. “I love to combine relatively low-tech materials such as cardboard and marker pens with the digital tech of iPads, DSLR cameras and Macs. I use the replacement method of animation a lot when working with groups. That way there is lots of making to be done and everyone can get involved in character making.

Lenny thinks stop motion is a great way to help facilitate learning in the classroom. He says that it’s a great tool to support the teaching of literacy, which includes character and narrative structure. He also thinks that stop motion offers opportunities for team working and collaboration.

Like any art form, the key to stop motion is enjoyment,” Fabric Lenny says. “Make sure you have fun with your animation. Make things that make you smile, and keep it simple!” Wise words!

What’s up next for Fabric Lenny? Well, he recently won a commission to make a creative pixilation animation in a local museum, to which we offer our great congratulations! Check out his website to keep updated on all of his latest and greatest artistic work.

Try your hand at creating a stop motion animation from your favorite children’s book. It’s a great way to make reading fun and, for parents, the perfect after-school activity. We’d love to see your best ideas come from the page to real life.

Read more about Fabric Lenny's Where the Wild Things Are project.