DIY animations can be a fun alternative to a simple drawing session. A picture from a coffee table book can serve as a landscape backdrop, toys can be props or friends, and the fantasy characters drawn by a child suggest an imaginary story. Karkulaiset is a mother-daughter collaboration during quarantine. The experience of being stuck at home inspired them to produce a DIY animation. The underlying idea is that while their bodies cannot leave the house, they can still inject life into their drawn selves, run away for a walk, play with the snow and enjoy the sun.

Here are their instructions:

My daughter was well aware that I make videos as an artist  and assumed I know how to make animations. She wanted to draw, so I suggested that we use cut-outs to make the process faster. She could draw props and characters, cut them and move them in the space to produce movement. While she was drawing I looked for a free stop motion animation app on the smartphone, we used iMotion. The set where we filmed the story was a simple table with two piles of books, on top of which two sticks from both sides hold the smartphone horizontal with some duct tape.

Then came the real team work. My daughter was moving our characters and pressing the button to shoot. I was advising her to keep the movements between each frame small enough and reminding her which character had already been moved. Our paper cuts were very flimsy which made them hard to operate, so I recommend fixing the drawings on cardboard with glue, or draw on a thick paper.

In iMotion it’s possible to edit out frames, so if there are hands in some frames it’s possible to cut them out, but I didn’t find a way to make sound on the app. So we continued working on the computer on an editing program (iMovie). We recorded sounds ourselves with the smartphone, mimicking footsteps and other sounds. We also used sound effects directly from iMovie. We added the title but didn’t do more postproduction work, although there are many more possibilites of course!

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