Animated Digital Stories

Last Friday I was at a SLAV/Curriculum Corporation conference about E-books or digital books. There were some great discussions about the place of the traditional books and where books are going. The ideas about story and information delivery, and the examples shown, were stimulating and posed questions about future paths. The general consensus of the speakers is that we will need to prepare our students for the transition from print to e-readers, e-books and e-textbooks. The book readers in the US already have access many hundreds of digital titles,  especially via Amazon’s Kindle e-reader, which makes it very easy to download titles.

One of the speakers was from the Copyright Council who talked about e-books, licensing and copyright law.

She spoke about some of the difficulties for libraries. Terms and conditions for many e-books are written for personal use/downloads. The publishers have yet to come to grips with library use (lending) so a clear understanding of the terms, and definitions, is essential.

In the afternoon we had examples of some research, into some of the various readers, from Melbourne High School and Wesley College. These two schools have trialled them with staff and students. Although they discussed some good points they still see issues with the new technology. The complaints included that the readers can be slow to upload, screens are black and white, page-turning is slow and the titles (in Australia) are limited.

I started thinking about the novel and just what is it the book gives us. It came down to the idea of the story or the place it takes us to via our imaginations. The experience of the reading, how the story makes us feel or captures our imagination, is the key element.

Three quite different stories are told in the following videos. They show some fantastic examples of stop-motion animation and the stories they tell are fascinating.

This is the PEN Story in stop motion. We shot 60.000 pictures, developed 9.600 prints and shot over 1.800 pictures again. No post production! Thanks to all the stop motion artists who inspired us.

The next video was the one that inspired the previous one. It is another great example of stop motion and again tells a story.

At first I photographed stop motion animation. I displayed the photographs in my room and photographed them again. Enjoy a connection with the world of the room and the world in the photograph.

 The final story was one that all students could relate too and it used the simple post-it note to tell the story. The simplicity make it seem so easy, once someone thought of it, but the patience must have been incredible. (as it is in all stop-motion)


It was directed by Bang-yao Liu. “This is my senior project at Savannah College of Art and Design. Where my idea comes from is that every time when I am busy, I feel that I am not fighting with my works, I am fighting with those post-it notes and deadline. I manipulating the post-it notes to do pixel-like stop motion and there are some interactions between real actor and post-its.”

I also loved the fact that they did a “making of” video as well for this last one. The video is filmed by Jay Tseng and edited by Bang-yao Liu

It shows some of the meticulous work that went into the videos. The types of stories were all different but equally well told.

The traditional (paper) book will change but the art of story telling and the willingness of most to be told a story will continue, whatever format it is in.

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One Response

  1. I had seen the PEN Story as a YouTube viral video for a camera company, but i had not seen the others. Thanks for introducing them to me.

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