Summer Animation Camp

By Justin Gabaldon
Educator at CCM

Summer camp is upon us, and so far it has been an amazing success! We’ve just completed our first Three Day Animation Workshop and I’d like to share a little of what that was like.

We started camp by watching a clay animation classic: “Wallace & Gromit in The Wrong Trousers.” Since we’d all seen the film before, we took the opportunity to discuss the techniques used by professionals like Nick Park, the creator of Wallace and Gromit. After the film, we were all eager to get our hands on some clay and start animating. In the Animation Lab, our goal for the morning was to practice animating using a couple lumps of clay. Oddly enough, those lumps of clay started gaining personality—and would eventually become the stars of the show!

Our next stop was the Innovation Lab where we began dreaming up stories and building sets. We spent an hour drawing and laughing and building the silliest story we could think of. With our basic story in place, we moved on to set-building. Here at the Children’s Creativity Museum, we have so many bits and pieces of recycled material that once we decided that our story would take place in a cosmic cul-de-sac, we had no problem finding everything we would need to make a block of houses for our little clay creatures.

As the last activity of the day, we moved our production into the studio where we would spend the next two days.

We spent all of the second day animating our film. Obviously, we broke for some lunch, but the campers were so eager to tell their story that even during our break, we continued to discuss those details that weren’t quite clear yet. By the end of that day, we’d had fun animating but we were excited to move on to the next stage of the process.

On the third and final day of camp we still had one last scene to animate before we could begin recording sound. Once that scene was complete, we moved camp into our Children’s Creativity Theater (site of our summer Film Festival on August 19, where you’ll all get a chance to catch the terrific films our campers produce) to record dialogue and sound effects. We took turns individually recording voices for the characters we’d made. Then we all recorded sound effects together!

The third day was nearly done but we still had to combine the video we’d made with the audio recordings. Our Design Studio served as the editing room and screening room for the Grand Premiere! The campers made a quick round of the museum, collecting other visitors to attend their first film premiere. It was standing room only when the film began. We’ve included it here as well.  We hope you enjoy it.

We all learned a lot over the course of this three day camp.  As an educator, I was proud to watch as these students actively shared their ideas and learned to collaborate with one another on a project they cared about.  As an animator I was amazed to see these young artists create a film with dynamic characters that interacted with each other in a way that told a unique and interesting story.  I can’t wait to see what the next round of visitors create.

If you have a child who would be interested in creating their own animated film, we have three more camps scheduled this Summer.  The next one is coming up this Sunday. It’s a one day camp for visitors 6-8 years old. Then we have another three day camp starting August 15th through the 17th for visitors 9-12 years old.  Our final camp, on August 19th, is another one day event for 6-8 year olds. Later that evening we will be holding our big Film Festival where all the films made this Summer will be shown on the big screen!  For more information or to sign up you can visit our website at We hope to see you soon!

Click here to register


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