Filmstrip Animation- FilmstripLastFirst

cool world

One frame from the movie “Cool World” where animation is drawn right over the video- you will create your own filmstrip this way!

To create an amazing animation, we will work in three basic steps:

  1. draw our animation idea on paper- 25 pts
  2. film and edit a practice animation- 50 pts
  3. film and edit our final animated filmstrip- 100 pts

Drawing your Ideas

Students will start by drawing a basic animation based on the idea of a 10 second clip of themselves doing something simple, like talking or burping or jumping. Remember to draw in you plus the animation you will add.

storyboard_template best

Your first filmstrip animation is on paper and will be worth 25 points.

They will draw a practive version of this simple animation to see the concept of having parts that move and parts that DO NOT MOVE in order to show relative motion.



How do we know the ball bounces? – The line at the bottom of the drawing is our reference. It does not move.

Now we will film you for a five second practice video that you will import into Adobe Photoshop. Use the ideas from your drawing to come up with a very short video of you doing a simple motion.


5  second Practice Animation

Once you have your raw video in your folder, choose File- Import- Video Frames to Layers. Watch the clip in the small preview frame a few times. Now you may choose to edit the clip further by selecting only part of it- hold down shift and click and drag over the play head to show which part of the video you wish to import. You must have no less than 5 seconds of video imported for your practice version!

For those of you with a school Instagram account, upload your filmstrip there. Add the hashtag #filmstrip and #digitalart, then tag me so I get notice that it is uploaded- use @digphotowclancy


Starting your Filmstrip Exercise- FilmstripLastFirst.psd/mov

Your first version (the practice one) will be only 5 seconds long. Since we shoot using the standard NTSC, you will have 30 frames per second, that is 150 frames to draw on! Please name it FilmstripLastFirst.psd when you are saving it. Be aware that Adobe Photoshop allocates a lot of the PC’s RAM (Memory) to keep track of your work, and with so many layers it will need all the RAM is has available. If you choose to forget to Save your work every few minutes, you may lose all that work if it crashes. Also be aware that having multiple applications running at the same time takes both RAM and processor speed, so be careful.

Now use any and all tools in Photoshop to edit your frames to create your animation. I recommend using the Brush Tool (B) to paint on each frame. You may also experiment with the use of Filters if you wish. Really you are limited only by your imagination.

Done with your first filmstrip? Choose File- Export- Render to Video. Now watch your movie to see how you did. Upload it to your Vimeo account so i can watch and grade it. It is worth 50 points turned in on time.

Starting your final (10 second) Filmstrip- FilmstripLastFirst.psd/mov

Now we will videotape you once again, but this time for 10 seconds. Choose a new idea for this animation and film for 10 seconds this time. Once the video  has been imported into Photoshop you may begin the process all over again. Remember that with a 10 second video clip, at 30 frames per second, you will now be editing 300 frames! Please save this file as Filmstrip2LastFirst.psd right away. Be aware that your PC will have it’s hands full with a Photoshop document that contains 300 layers! Save your work carefully each few minutes.


Here are the Export settings for Photoshop!

Done? Time to export it as so that it is an MPEG-4.  Once you have it exported, its time to use Adobe Premiere to do the finishing touches on your filmstrip.

Working in Premiere!

Create a new folder inside your student folder on the “R” Drive, call it Filmstrip Video. Save a copy of both the original 5 and 10 second videos into this folder. Then save a copy of both the 5 and 10 second animations that you created and exported from Photoshop as movies. In this same folder you will keep all of the relevant files for the video you are about to edit. Any title that you create in Photoshop, must be in this folder. Any music file (MP3 or .wav file) must also be kept in this same folder. Now we will import both the “before” and “after” videos into Adobe Premiere.

Done? Post To Vimeo!

Once you are done editing your before and after vid, added your titles, credits, and music- now it is time to turn in your work by posting your rendered video to!

You should have received an invitation in your email to join our online group, simply click on the link to follow. Once you are following our group…CIHS Multimedia Class, you can upload your finished product. I will only grade this project from Vimeo! This project is worth 100 points!

Those of you who have an Instagram account (and a video less than 20 seconds) can upload your final filmstrip to Instagram. Don’t forget to add the hashtags #filmstrip and #digitalart then tag me @digphotowclancy


Here is my finished filmstrip from 2012. Check out my Instagram to watch it play!

Check out this great example of the finished project!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s