Category Archives: Capstone

Reflecting On Presenting In Front of the Parents – Capstone Blog Post 7

The lat step in Capstone is the final presentation in front of the parents. When the day came to present in front of the parents I was really nervous. I really didn’t want to screw up in front of a lot of parents. I was presenting in my classroom. There were three kids in front of me that preformed before me. When it was the third person’s turn, I was freaking out in the inside. Finally, it became my turn. I stood up and went to the side of the screen. For a second I blanked out and couldn’t remember what to say, but then I started. I got through my whole presentation and then it was time for the video. I was so relived that I wouldn’t have to do any more speaking. After the video was done I said thank you and then went back to my spot on the carpet. I was so happy that i just completed the final project of elementary school.

Overall, This project was really fun and interesting. I learned a lot and got better at working hard on researching and presenting.

Here is a video of my presentation:

Working On My Final Project – Capstone blog post 6

The last thing I have to do before our final presentation is make our final project is make a slideshow for final project. This was a very long and hard experience. I had to make a script and a slideshow. I am going to explain my experience of doing this.

First I had to make a script. I created a table and started writing. At first, i didn’t know where to start. I just wrote, “Hello, my name is Matthew and I will be talking about my Capstone project.” I had know idea what else to write. I was really nervous, but before I knew it I had five slides done. After I did this I went back to my slideshow and did the slide for each one of these. I kept on working and then, a few days later I had my whole script done. When I had my whole script done I was so relieved I was almost done with my whole project. I just had to finish off the slides and then edit them when this was done I was ready to move on the practicing. practicing was really hard I thought I would never memorize all of my lines, but, after a lot of practicing over and over again I had my whole script memorized and was ready for the parents.

Answering Main Inquiry Question – Capstone Blog Post 5

The next step in Capstone is to write an essay about answering your main inquiry question. This essay took a lot of hard work to write because we had to write about a lot. I based mine on the three essential steps of making a stop motion film. I hope you enjoy it.

Have you ever wanted to make a stop motion film? If you have, you are reading the right essay. You may think that regular animation movies are easier to make than cartoons, but it is actually the opposite. In this essay I will talk about the essential elements in each stage of making a stop motion film which are pre-production, production, post-production.

The first stage is pre-production. According to Nick from the DAE (Digital Arts Experience) this is the most important stage. The main essential elements in pre-production are, story boarding, gathering the things that you will need and Getting everything set up. The first essential element is story boarding. A storyboard is where you plan out each scene on paper. You do this so when it is time to shoot you know where each character is going to be and what is happening. Story boarding is one of the most important parts in making a stop motion film because it is the plan of what will be happening in your film. Another essential element is gathering the stuff that you will need to make a stop motion film. You will need a camera, tripod, characters, props, an editing software, a set and something that you can use for lighting. Like a lamp or just the sunlight. You will need to make sure that you have everything before you start because you don’t want to find out that you need to get something in the middle of making your film. If you do you may have to stop what you are doing, go buy the thing that you need and then get back to work. It would be much easier if you just get everything at the beginning. The last essential element in pre-production is Getting everything set up. You will need to set up your green screen or make your set, Get your camera ready and in position, your characters and props ready, and the lighting set up. Those are the most important essential elements in pre-production.


The next step is production. Production is when you are making your film. The essential elements to this step are moving the characters/set, taking photos at the right time and controlling how fast the character moves. The first essential element is moving the characters/set/props at the right time to the right place. You have to move the characters and set the right amount and at the right time. If you don’t your film could get messed up because it won’t look like your characters are moving right.. This is where a lot of filmmakers mess up. If you make one mistake you may have to set up a whole scene again and retake a lot of pictures. Another essential element is taking the picture at the right time. You have to make sure that your last picture was in the right position and your next photo will work with your last photo. You also have to make sure your hand is out of the way because you may not notice that it is but, you have to make sure you wait before you take the next shot. If your hand gets in the way and you don’t notice it you may have to redo a lot of shots. It is very annoying when this happens. The last essential element is probably the hardest. Controlling how fast and slow your character moves. You may think this is in post-production, but it is actually in production. Usually a film is 24-30 fps(frames per second), but if you want your character to go faster you take less pictures and if you want your character to go slower you have to take more pictures. Another way to make it look like your characters are moving faster or slower is by moving the background (e.g. Make the clouds move.) Those are the most important essential elements in production.


The final step in making a stop motion film is post-production. The essential elements in post production are finding an editing software, adding sound effects, and adding music. The first essential element is finding an editing software. Your editing software is where you will be putting your film together. The editing software that Nick recommended and that I use is iStopMotion for the Mac, but another good one is ClapMotion. The editing software is where your film will come together. You can also export your film from your editing software. The next essential element in post-production is adding sound effects to your film. Sound effects can really be important because they can make actions more extreme. For example if someone fell down and hit the ground, to make that more extreme and believable you can add a thump. Sound effect are really important if you want your film to be lively. The final essential element in post-production is adding music. Most films have music in it. You should add music if you are trying to tell a story because it will keep the audience awake and interested. Your music should match the tone of your film. For example if your character is lying down on the beach you shouldn’t have horror music playing. To do this you might have to change the music, if a big shark jumped out of the ocean the music will probably change. Those are the most important essential elements in post-production.


In conclusion, these are the most important essential elements in making a stop motion film. Don’t think that this is all that you have to do to make a stop motion film. There are many more little things that you have to do. It is a very long and hard experience, but it is very fun. If you want to try one I definitely encourage you and number one rule is to have fun.


Interview – Capstone blog post 4

The next step in Capstone is an interview. We have to pick someone to interview which is easier said than done, and then come up with questions for them and interview them. In this blog post I will talk about my process of finding my interview and planning it, and my actual interview. It was a very difficult and fun experience.

First, I met with Mr. Cassal. He texted a few people that he knew and were stop motion experts. He also gave me a few websites to look at and to help me find people to interview like, The School of Visual Arts, Studio Nos, Helen Quinn, Robofun and The Digital arts Experience. None of his friends responded so I called The Digital Arts Experience. I asked them if they had a stop motion expert, and they gave me someone named Nick. Nick is the director of operations at the DAE. We scheduled an interview for May 23.

When I was going to my interview I was really nervous. I felt prepared but I didn’t wan’t to mess up or find out in the middle of my interview that one of my questions didn’t make any sense. When I got there Nick took me into a room and I got set up for the interview and we started these were the questions I asked.

  1. What is your favorite and least favorite parts about being the Director of Operation at the DAE?
  2. What is your specific expertise in animation?
  3. When/why did you start doing stop motion?
  4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of stop motion compared to other forms of animation?
  5. What are the different responsibilities associated with making a successful stop motion film?
  6. What are the most important steps in making a stop motion film?
  7. What are the difficult and easy times during the process of making a stop motion film?
  8. What steps are taken during post production (e.g., editing) when making a stop motion film?
  9. What do you find rewarding and challenging about teaching kids about stop motion?
  10. What is your favorite type of stop motion?  What is your favorite stop motion film?


He gave interesting answers. For question 6 the answer that he gave was different than I thought it would be. He separated the process into pre-production, during production, and post-production. He said that pre-production was the most important step. I thought he was going to say something like making the set or storyboarding. After the interview he gave me a little demonstration and answered some of my other questions that I had. He gave me some editing software ideas after showing an example of stop motion.

This interview was very helpful. I learned so much that I will use for my final project.




Site Visit – Capstone Blog Post 3

One of the things we have to do for our Capstone is have a site visit. We pick a place to visit and we go there to research our topic. your site visit should really get you to picture what your topic is about. In this blog post I will explain my process of finding my site visit and my experience there.  

For my site visit it was hard at first to find somewhere to go. I looked on the internet and the first thing that came up was The Museum of the Moving image. This place looked really cool to me and it looked like it had a lot about stop motion, so that is where I decided to go. When it was time to go there I got a pencil and a piece of paper to take notes and then I got in the car and went there.  I had a really good and helpful experience there. It talked about adding sound effects and voice over into your film. There was also a station to make your own short stop motion film. There were different computers with different backgrounds, characters and props I had to create my own scene using these.  After that, I went to a section where it explained the history of television and stop motion. There were many interesting objects like the kinetoscope. There were so many other interesting things that I saw and learned about.

I am so happy I went there, and definitely recommend going to this cool museum. I learned so much while having a great experience.


This is a picture of Edison’s kinetoscope.

Choosing a Main Inquiry Question and Sub Questions – Capstone Blog Post 2

The second step of capstone is choosing a main inquiry question and 5 sub questions. These are what my final presentation will be about so this is a very big step.

First, I had to come up with my main inquiry question. I got a sheet to help me come up with questions from every subject. I found out much more about what I could research than I knew. I liked a lot of these questions but ended up liking two the best, what is stop motion, and What is the difference between animation movies and stop motion movies. Mrs. Edwards then looked at my inquiry question and changed it to What are the essential elements of making a successful stop motion short film? I liked this question a lot, after doing a little more research I ended up sticking with that.

Next, I had to come up with sub questions. At first, I was clueless. I couldn’t think of any questions related to my inquiry question. After a little thinking I was able to come up with one. What people are needed to make a stop motion film? I thought about what I would do if I were to make a stop motion film. I knew that you would need a camera guy, people to make the puppets, etc. Another one that I thought of quickly was what things that you would need? I thought this would be interesting because there are many things that you need and a lot to explain about why you would need those things. I also watched a video about the different types of stop motion, and that gave me the idea of doing what types of stop motion are there? I have always wondered, about how they put animation in Wallace and Gromit when all they do is take pictures. That led me to my fourth question, how is a stop motion film animated. As my last two questions I wanted to do them on me making a stop motion film. One is bringing a stop motion film to life which is mostly jest going to talk about my process, and my last one will be my final stop motion short film. I decided to do six because I might want to take one out and if I do I will still have one extra.

That was my process in choosing my main inquiry question and my sub questions.

Choosing a Topic – Capstone blog post 1

In school we are doing a project called capstone. The first step of capstone is choosing a topic. For me choosing a topic was pretty easy because I knew that my biggest interest was baseball. My first idea was to do it on that. But then I remembered what I did last year for my passion project, I did short films. I wanted to learn more about how those are made so, instead of doing that I decided to do movies. The reason why I decided to do this is because I was interested in shorts but I wanted to do something more interesting and different.

Half way through my research I had a chat with Mrs. Edwards and we thought that I should do something a little more interesting and specific. I decided that stop motion would be interesting. After doing a little more research I came to the conclusion of doing stop motion films. Now I am on to the next step, choosing an inquiry question.