Dan Beard Merit Badge Challenge Feb/Mar 2020

Completing the Merit Badge

There are 5 requirements to complete to earn the merit badge. We will work on all of them together except for #3. The 3rd requirement is to create an animation of your own and is the big task you need to accomplish.

Your Homework

Before we meet this Saturday, please review the History of Animation by going to these 2 links. You don’t need to read every word. Just review them and get a feel for the history. We will be watching some history videos in class to finish up this requirement.

Day 1

For our first meeting, we will be concentrating on learning about the 12 Principles of Animation. I have a video for this, and then we will discuss which 2 you want to demonstrate. You will be creating a storyboard to show me on the 2nd day we meet. It is an outline of what you are going to be showing in your video. It will allow me to give you ideas and pointers. I’ll help you know whether you are on the right track, if it is going to be too much work, or if it will be too little.

See for the requirements.

12 Principles of Animation

The video you are creating must be at least 8 seconds long and show me the 2 techniques you have selected. If you want to split that up into 2 animations showing one technique each, that is fine. Remember, 1 second of animation is 24 frames, so you will need 172 images or more to create a video that is long enough. We will be discussing techniques you can use to reduce this work quite a bit.

Below are some examples of storyboards showing a plan for an animation. These are just ideas, don’t feel like you have to make anything fancy. I just need to see what you are planning to do so I can help you.

Image result for animation storyboard

The key is to show me the key parts of your animation. How well they are drawn doesn’t matter. This is very much like a cartoon is concerned only with conveying a story.


The other decision you have to make is how you are going to create your animation. You may choose any method you wish. I have listed a few options to help provide some guidance. I’ll be showing some of them in class so we can see how they work. It is important that you pick one that you are comfortable with. Creating 176+ images is going to be hard enough without having to learn how to use tools or work with items you are not familiar with.

  • Cell Animation – Hand-drawn (Disney)
  • Limited – Like old cartoons and anime
  • Stop Motion – Frame by frame picture taking
  • Claymation – Requires skill in modeling with clay
  • Cutout – Paper cutouts
  • Zoetrope – Circular motion with strobe light
  • Flipbook – Most popular and very portable

Here is a video on how to make a flipbook.

There is software out there that can take a lot of pictures and make a movie. These are great when creating a stop motion animation. You can also take pictures of each page in your flipbook and make a movie out of it.

You can also take pictures of each page in your flipbook and make a movie out of it. I can’t really offer much help in the creation of your movie. Whatever you do though, you need to be able to email it to me or bring it to class. I need to see it so I can review it. If you did it on a gaming device or phone, bring that with you just in case. You always want to have a backup of the work you have done. Nothing is worse than working a long time on a project only have it disappear or fail because of a technical problem.

Day 2

When we get together for our second meeting, you will be showing me your storyboard and getting feedback. We will also discuss what you have chosen for your medium, the way you are going to create your animation. We will continue our discussion on the 12 principles as needed to reinforce your understanding of what you have chosen to demonstrate. And we will review a couple of badge requirements such as visiting an animation studio and discuss what jobs exist related to animation and the industry.

NOTE: Creating your animation is going to take a lot of time. Be reasonable on how much you are trying to do. Get an early start and don’t worry about small imperfections. Do your best to work through them. You can always go back and fix things as needed. Don’t forget that you are trying to demonstrate 2 of the 12 techniques. If you find that you just can’t do one of them, email me which technique you want to switch to. Changing your mind is not a bad thing.

Day 3

Requirement 3c : Share your animations with your counselor. Explain how you created each one, and discuss any improvements that could be made.

On our last day, we will be reviewing the animations everyone created together. I like to share them with everyone, so if you don’t want to do that, let me know when I ask for your video.

If your video is done and meets the requirements, I’ll sign your blue merit badge card so you can take it to your Scoutmaster and get your merit badge.

If you are not done, we can continue working together over email and once you have finished the project, I can email your blue card to you. If you just want a partial for the merit badge, let me know and I’ll sign your blue card that way and give it to you at the end of class.

If there are any requirements that we haven’t yet completed, we will finish them up on this last day.