Introduction: Animation With DIY Paper Props

I recently took two of my children to an animation event held at my son's school, where we had fun making plasticine rabbits and had them animated into a ten seconds film. After this we relaxed watching an animated film The Curse of the Ware Rabbit.
When we got home I decided we would have a go at creating our own films, but to do this we would need some props.t this instructable will serve as a guide to give you some ideas for making your own props and animation. I hope you enjoy and have a go, please read on and if you like consider voting in the competition.

Step 1: Materials

The materials for this instructable are all simple and easy to get hold of, however one of the tools is specialised you can do without it and use a knife instead.

  • A cardboard base . This I got from packaging of a sink I was fitting
  • some coloured card greens, brown, black, white
  • PVA glue
  • Masking tape
  • Blue Tac

  • Sharp knife
  • Steel rule
  • Small Cuttle Bug. This is a card making roller cutter used with dies to cut intricate shapes

Although the Cuttle Bug is useful with a bit of patience you can replace it with a sharp knife.

Step 2: Greenhouse

The animation would involve rabbits, so I felt a greenhouse would be a useful addition. This was made using a sheet of white card. I marked out a series of rectangles on it as shown in the images. I have included a pdf file containing the layout. Simply print this and transfer the design to your card.
Then use a steel rule and sharp knife to remove the shaded areas (windows, door frame, roof slope supports)

Use the back of the knife or a stick to score the card down the sides of the greenhouse and along the fold that would help form the roof once bent over. Remember not to cut along the top side of the roof vent or the hinge side of the greenhouse door. Once finished bend the roof into shape and open both the vent and the door.
Stand the greenhouse up, it should look something like image attached to this guide.

Step 3: Stick It All Together

My wife makes cards as a hobby and has a number of Cuttle Bug cutters, so for ease I asked her to cut me some plant pots and flowers, but in the absence of such a resource, use a sharp knife and patience the same as when cutting out the greenhouse. (I have included another PDF with the pots and plants on to use as templates if needed)

Joining the parts together is simply a matter of applying a little masking Tape to the parts and positioning in a way you like.See the images.

Step 4: Landscape and Sky

Making the backdrop for the animation is simply a matter of taking sheets of green card (different shades) adding in some browns black and white - for mountains and snow etc.

The use the sharp knife and cut free hand curves and waves, then layering one on top of the other until you have a design that looks like distant fields, mountains with snow and clouds.

Once you know how the pieces fit together join three sheets of blue for the sky with tape and stick this to the background cardboard. ensure you leave about 3 inches on either side for use later on. Then rebuild you landscape gluing and taping each peace in place as you go.

NOTE start with the piece that is behind all the others and work out from there. You may need to put all the parts in place and make a few light pencil marks for positioning.

Step 5: Make It Stand Up

You need the backdrop to stand up, so use scissors to hut horizontally at the base of the background along the three inches left on either side. Now fold the whole background over on itself so that it is at right angles to what will be the ground.

Take the two (three inch) parts just cut and fold them backwards, they will try to spring back so secure them with an additional length of card taped to each to join together.

The flower pots will also need to be folded so that then stand up on the scene = see the images

Step 6: Animation

To make the animation I use an Android Tablet and an application called "Clayframes" available on play store either for free or for £1.99 for the full version. This app also allows you to make characters fly by using supports for them then letting you erase the supports latter on to make them look unsupported.

There are many offerings in terms of available apps, so try a selection to see which you like, another good one is called PicPac.

To actually create the animation

  • Set up you initial scene minus the characters
  • take the first image
  • Bring in the characters as you want them to appear in the film
  • take a picture
  • move the characters a small bit at a time taking images as you go
  • Then edit the images as you need to before finally generating the film

For my film I took 82 images and them duplicated a number of these, but for a really smooth production you will need to take a lot more.

Take a look see what you think and leave a comment - the linked video is just below.

Thanks for reading hope you enjoyed and if you did please consider voting in the competitions.

Link to the App Store for Clayframes

Paper Contest 2018

Participated in the
Paper Contest 2018

Epilog Challenge 9

Participated in the
Epilog Challenge 9