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UCL Public Engagement Blog



Self-isolation activity – make an animation from your bedroom part 1

By Mohammed Rahman, on 6 May 2020

This Blog has been written by Taylor Jack Smith: Slade School of Fine Art alumnus. This is part of a series of blog posts highlighting and sharing the work of the Schools Engagement team and their network of staff, students and volunteers.

While self-isolation and social distancing may restrict many aspects of your daily life, there are still ways in which you can fill your time creatively. Here is a short activity that you can spend as little or as much time on as you like, to create simple or complex drawn animations.

Stop Motion Studio on App Store. The app can also be found on Google Play.

First, you download the app “Stop Motion Studio” from the App Store or Google Play. This is a free app and allows you to create videos and animated GIF’s easily on your phone.

Once the app is downloaded, create a new movie by hitting the plus button. Once the app can access your camera, you’re good to go.

Select the ‘New Movie’ option on Stop Motion Studio to create an animation.

There are many different ways in which you can experiment using the app. You could compile multiple photographs of real life, making objects or people move inbetween shots, to create animated films. You could make models, or cut out paper characters, and animate them by photographing them, moving them a little and repeating.

I’m going to look at Drawn Animation. This is frame by frame animation which means I re-draw my character each time, but with subtle changes: either an expression or a background or in this case the facial feature.

A drawn animation frame that has been photographed and inserted.

All you need for this is a sketch pad and a pen. The thinner the paper the better but no worries as whatever you have to hand will be fine, even Post-it note packs work well. Essentially, you’re going to be making a flipbook and then photographing each drawing individually to then compile them into a video.

Remember the more drawings included the smoother the animation. And it’s important to try and keep the phone as stable as possible when turning the pages to avoid the film jumping around.

A drawn animation frame created in a sketchbook.


Also, if you want an alternative to a flipbook, you can make one drawing on a piece of paper but take photos of it step-by-step building up to your finished drawing, e.g. drawing each branch of a tree one by one to make it appear to grow.  There is no right or wrong way of exploring the medium, just make sure you have fun with it and be as imaginative as possible.

A sequence of drawn frames. Each frame is redrawn with subtle changes.


Return to the home screen and select the animation you wish to export.

Once you’re happy with your animated sequence, return back to the home screen and then press the select button in the top right-hand corner. Once you’ve pressed this it will allow you to select the video that you’d like to export.

It will give you the option to export it as an animated GIF or video. You can easily send the GIF or short video clip you have created to someone else through the export options or simply save it onto your phone.


Once you select an animation, you can specify the file type it will be exported as.

You can share your animation as multiple file types across platforms.

Once you’re happy with your final animations, please send them in to us via email to e.bryant@ucl.ac.uk. If your file is too large for email send your creation via WeTransfer. We’d love to share all of your brilliant creative ideas online!

Have a look at Taylor’s work and find out more about the Slade School of Fine Art.

One Response to “Self-isolation activity – make an animation from your bedroom part 1”

  • 1
    Lesley Sammon wrote on 1 January 2022:

    Hello taylor
    I have written two short stories about a Rabbit and a Cat and would like
    To be able to draw them both. I have also written a much longer story about a Dragon called Noel loosely based on Bambi which i would like animated can you help me Lesley

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