My Intro to Global Animation class did a DIY phenakistoscope workshop this week. My students seemed to enjoy it and they made some creative phenakistoscopes as well.
After a long hiatus due to unexpected life events, I have decided to revive this personal website. Hopefully this time it will be updated regularly.
To kick off, I would like to share (with permission) these two student stop motion projects from my Intro to Global Animation course that I just taught last spring.
I have been teaching this course for three years now and have to admit that the last iteration may be the most enjoyable to teach yet. I had a good group of students who were very active and attentive. In general, they also did a good job with their final project. The two projects that I’m featuring here are the ones that stand out for me the most.
The first project is called Media Pressures. It’s a critique of our contemporary social media culture and its attention economy. This one is technically the most polished compared to the other projects in the class although I made comment to the group that their stop motion would be much better with music soundtrack.
The second one is called Old Town Road. Story-wise, it plays with the usual western movie trope. What I like about this stop motion project is because the students who made this tried to apply what they have learned about the concepts of “limited animation” and “cartoon physics,” and I think they quite nailed it. Plus, it’s also sort of a reimagination of Lil Nas X’s song 🙂
PS. I had to upload my students’ videos to Youtube since Vimeo is (still) blocked in my home country, hence the downgraded quality. Once I am back in the States, I will switch them with the version on Vimeo.
Last Fall, I designed and taught a new course called Introduction to Global Animation for the Media and Society Program at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. It was a rewarding experience for both my students and I. We explored the history and practices of animation not only in the centers of global animation industry such as US and Japan, but also in places like Russia, China, and Iran. Through various case studies, we considered how local, national, regional, and transnational perspectives contribute to the historical trajectory of animation at a global scale.
In addition, to couple the writing assignments and exams, I asked the students to do a final group project creating a short stop motion animation covering one of the topics that we studied throughout the semester. At the end of the semester, many of them admitted that they gain a deeper knowledge about different aspects of global animation culture and that they really enjoyed the process of creating stop motion animation. I can’t say it enough that I am really proud of the overall students’ engagement in this class. Below is one of the best projects from the class, which discusses the historical role of women in animation industry. The title of the project is “The Dream of Feminine Aesthetic in Animation.” Enjoy!