Create Animations for Instruction with Adobe Character Animator

Create animations to be used in instruction
2 teachers like this strategy

About This Strategy

This 5- to 7-hour strategy helps teachers in training create animations to support their instruction. These can be used to facilitate fun check-in activities or to deliver content or instructions.

Because Adobe Character Animator is an easy-to-use tool for creating professional-quality animations, it enables teachers to create fun and creative instructional activities.

Supporting Tools and Resources

  • Student Sample
  • Adobe Character Animator
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Editable Resource Bundle
  • PDF Resource Bundle

Outline for Teachers

300 minutes

Learn. 

Learn how to use a pre-constructed puppet to create an animation. (60 minutes)

Create. 

Using Adobe Character Animator,  create an animation for a daily or weekly check-in or to deliver content, and export it as an mp4. (3 - 5 hours)

Reflect. 

Reflect on how you might use Character Animator with your students and the value in doing so. (30 minutes)

Share. 

Share the video with the instructor as directed.

Steps for Students

As teachers, we are always looking for ways to make our content creative and engaging. In this strategy, you will create animations to support your instruction using Adobe Character Animator. These animations can be used to facilitate  fun check-in activities or to deliver content or deliver instructions.

Thanks to Character Animator, creating animation is quick and easy. Once you learn the basics, it can also become a powerful tool for creating more complex animations. You will begin using one of the pre-built puppets. However, if you’d like to be adventurous, you can create your own puppet using Photoshop or Illustrator. 

Because Adobe Character Animator is an easy-to-use tool for creating professional-quality animations, it enables teachers to create fun and creative instructional activities.

Steps:

1. Begin by learning the basics of Character Animator.  Animator has two tutorials built into it and a link to 11 other tutorials. If you do not see these tutorials when you first open Character Animator, click on the Home icon in the upper left-hand corner.

  • The first tutorial is four and a half minutes long and the second will take approximately 20 to 40 minutes depending on how long you spend experimenting in Animator.

Once you have completed these tutorials, visit the Try Online Tutorials and complete at least the Getting Started (20 min), Recording and Editing (15 min) and Triggers (30 min) tutorials. Note, your timing for the tutorials may vary depending on how long you spend experimenting with your puppet. If you have the time, work through the remaining tutorials. (120 minutes)

2. Create a short 2- to 10-minute animation on a topic of your choice using one of the pre-built puppets. 

Using Animator is a good alternative to a talking-head video or screencast. It allows you to show a creative and playful side to your students and provide information in an engaging way.

Using the guidance below and this student sample as an example, to create your video. To do so:

  • Choose or create your puppet(s).

  • Record your audio. 

  • Add animation, such as lip syncing, gestures, eye gaze, etc.

  • Add additional images or other assets to your animation. 

  • Export your animation as an MP4.

If you are creating a check-in video, remember to: 

  • be welcoming and engaging,

  • be creative,

  • show off your personality,

  • cover key expectations for the week

  • let students know you are there to help.

If you are delivering content, remember to: 

  • collect all the visuals you will need to include

  • provide proper attribution for images you find that are not your own

Your first video will take approximately 3- to 5-hours, depending on how complex your project is. Once you’ve learned Animator, you should be able to cut this down to approximately 30 minutes for a check in and 1- to 2-hours to create a content-delivery animation.

The majority of the work is preparing the visuals, so this time will be shorter if you have already created these materials. If you have a PowerPoint, Google Slides, or a Keynote presentation already built, you can export each slide as an image and import these to Animator. (3 - 5 hours)

3. Once your video is ready, you will create a reflection on how you might 1) use animations in your teaching and 2) use them with your students. This could be a document (Word or Google Doc) but also consider doing a Spark Post, Page, or Video.

For your teaching, consider, at a minimum, the following:

  • Did you do a check in? If so, daily or weekly and why?

  • Did you use Animator to deliver content? If so, briefly describe the content and why you picked it.

  • What puppet did you use? What made you select it?

  • What type of persona did you use? Serious? Friendly, Neutral, Fun? Perhaps use a funny voice? Why did you make that selection?

  • What future use do you have for Animator?

    • Do you want to do a check in? If so, daily or weekly?

    • Do you want to deliver content? If so, does the material already exist or will you have to build it from scratch?

For your students, think about some possible uses for Animator. Consider these possibilities: 

  • Create a digital story

  • Use as an alternative assessment. For example, preparing a presentation on a historical figure, current events, or describing a math or science project. In a foreign language or ESL class, students could practice their pronunciation.

  • The possibilities are boundless so be expansive - think crazy/creative.

  • Have students develop instructional materials for others for you to use with other students.


4.  Share your video and reflection as directed by your instructor.

Rubric for Successful Analysis

Consult the attached rubric to evaluate students' animations.