Wintergreen students tackle hands-on animation, video production projects

4 years ago

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Students at Wintergreen Arts Center have recently begun learning what it’s like to take an idea for characters and stories and turn them into fun animated videos — not unlike the ones they’ve seen on their favorites shows and movies.


As part of Wintergreen’s After-School Arts program, local videographer Josh Archer and Wintergreen manager Kara Addington have been teaching students how to create their own animated videos step by step. 

After choosing a character, students make drawings, paintings or clay figures of that character and go through the storyboarding process. 

Students then use web cameras on one of Wintergreen’s laptops to take pictures of their character. With video production software, they will edit the photographs together to put their characters in motion, add music and fill the background with colorful settings. 

Kaidyn Sark works on a digital animation project during Wintergreen Arts Center’s video production class on Thursday, Jan. 23. (Melissa Lizotte | The Star-Herald)

Archer has 17 years of experience as a videographer, having worked for local TV productions as well as on freelance projects. He said that the most exciting part about teaching video production is watching students take creative reign over individual projects and producing unique content.

“All of these kids are incredibly talented and they’ve taken their projects in different directions,” Archer said. “It’s amazing to see them combine the physical world with the digital world and learn how to go through the process to reach their goals.”

On Thursday, Jan. 23, students in the fourth through eighth grade session were busy sketching out their latest characters and exploring the video production software in hopes of finding inspiration for their final projects.

Young animators Kapri Griffeth, 10, and Aubree Ciccolella, 11, said that the Wintergreen class has taught them just how many steps are involved in producing the animated cartoons they love to watch.

“There are a lot of things you have to do to get to the end,” Ciccolella said. “I used to think it would be really easy.”

Griffeth said, “I like the drawing part of animation.”

The next session of Wintergreen’s After-School Arts will begin on March 2 and run through April 9.