Animation Merit Badge

This weekend I had the privilege of instructing scouts at the Scout-O-Rama in Logan, Utah. I was asked if would be a counselor for the Animation Merit Badge. I’ve spent most of this week studying and preparing.

I fell in love with this impressive animation by Ryan Woodward:

For the scouts, here is a list of resources I have compiled:

First, here is a great resource of information for this merit badge from Boy’s Life:
Animation merit badge

Animation techniques (see requirement 3):
2D (by hand or on a computer)
3D (requires computer)
Stop Motion
Mixed Media / Experimental

The above video is an impressive 2D animation by Ryan Woodward from hand drawings (20,000, actually). Note the gesture art character animation.

This is another 2D animation that demonstrates how the mind will fill in missing information.

3D Animation, Baxter. Note the list of credits at the end. This took a team of people a year to complete.

Great example of Stop Motion animation with sticky notes.

Good example of Mixed Media/Experimental animation by Hillary Grist

10 Stop Motion Apps:

The 10 Handiest Apps for Stop Motion Animation

Pic Pac $4.4 *4.5
Stop Motion $2 *3.7
Motion *3.5
ClayFrames $3 *4.4
Stop Motion Maker Free *3.6

Open Source Animation Software:
OS: Mac, Windows, Linux


Synfig Studios (2D)
OS: Mac, Windows, Linux
steeper learning curve than Pencil, but more advanced features

Stykz (2D)
OS: Mac, Windows, Linux
simple stick man animation tool

Blender (3D)
OS: Mac, Windows, Linux

Animation schools and careers:

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