Curriculum Animation
Optical toys: making drawings move using techniques based on optical toys
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The roller

The easiest way to make drawings move is with a two-page flipbook called a roller. It is called a roller because you roll the top page around a pencil so it curls up, then use the pencil to roll the top page.

To make a roller, fold a piece of A4 paper lengthways and cut it in half. Then fold it in half lengthways.

The roller

Draw a face on the bottom page without a mouth, then trace over it on the top page. Put a sad mouth on the top one and a happy mouth on the bottom one. Now roll up the top page with the pencil, and just run the pencil up and down to flip the page.


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Search: Draw a cartoon face



If you are using a pencil it may be difficult to see the drawing on the bottom page. There are four ways of making this easier:


Use a lightbox so that the bottom drawing can be seen through the top page. If you don't have a lightbox then an overhead projector can be used or even put the roller up against the window.


Put a piece of carbon paper under the top page (making sure the carbon side is down) then draw the head without the mouth on the top page. If you don't have carbon paper then you can rub pencil or crayon on the underside of the top page so that it marks the bottom page when you draw.

Carbon copying


Use black marker pens, or soft lead pencils like 3B that can be seen through paper.


Photocopy sheets of paper with the heads but no mouths. Fold them so the heads are registered.

When you have tried changing the mouth try making the eyes move from side to side, then the ears extend and the hair grow. Eyebrows and moustaches can also wiggle.


Search: Drawing Faces

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