Stop motion video

Over the 2012 Olympics and in the following couple of years, the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology held ACE grants which enabled it to work with 16 year olds from 3 schools (grammar, comprehensive, special), a panel of undergraduates and a professional animator, interpreting Greek pots. The participants were introduced to objects in the Museum by a curator and a learning officer, and taught how to create storyboards by the animator (see for example a discussion of the pedagogic use of the technique at teaching-and-learning-ancient-religion). They created their own interpretations which were then animated (see examples at

When funding for a professional animator was no longer available, the activities were continued with pupils creating their own animations. Pre-prepared silhouette cut-outs of figures, each limb being a separate piece, were placed on terracotta-coloured large pieces of paper. After some experimentation, we found the best configuration was to have the students working on the floor, with an iPad on a table above, its camera lens just over the edge. Pupils posed the figures, a photo was taken, slight movement made and repeat. Music was added afterwards. This activity was used subsequently at family days and at Open for Art events in a shopping centre. Videos were loaded to YouTube so that participants had a memory of the activity, and could pass it to others.

This stop motion technique requires patience and planning which proved challenging for some. In this case, an articulated artist’s model was used, enabling ‘Pandora’ to pick up the box.

Techie stuff – in this instance, equipment owned by the Museum was used. iPads had a (free) stop motion app loaded. Most visitor smart phones would be able to do the same nowadays (for example, using iMotion). Other ‘equipment’ comprised black paper cut outs of figures from Greek pots and a large sheet of paper for the background. The completed video had music added to it (for example, using Microsoft’s movie maker on a Windows machine) and was then uploaded to YouTube.