Animation artist inspires students at 3-D drawing
He was able to prove his point by leading children from kindergarten through seventh-grade along with their teachers in sketching exercises that resulted in animated characters on a flat, white piece of paper. The lessons took place Tuesday morning, Dec. 2.
Kistler gave lessons by having those attending the assembly follow his lead as he slowly transformed simple objects into a multitude of cartoon characters in animated scenes. For example, he asked everyone to place two dots on their paper. The he had them connect the dots with an oval circle. Once completed, they drew a semi-circle beneath the oval and instantly there was a bowl on the page.
He said to make the simple drawing three dimensional artists added detail. He demonstrated how the simple bowl could become a moving clam or a dinosaur egg hatching. For the student’s lesson, he added a mound of small circles and dubbed it a cereal bowl. By the end of the lesson aliens had landed and were peeking through the window and a child was diving headfirst into the cereal. The scene was brought to life with the use of various drawing techniques such as shading.
“Figure out where the light source is and then shade areas opposite the source,” he told the student artists.
Kistler guides students in 3-D animation by teaching simple concepts described by what he calls “Renaissance words.” They include foreshortening, shading, shadow, horizon, overlapping, size, placement, contour, density, bonus, practice and attitude.
The artist’s Web site, draw3d.com, describes the assemblies as an “extraordinary imagination adventure.” All four drawing lessons became a story that kept children of all ages captivated and involved in the learning process.
Kistler said he knew he wanted to be an animator by the time he was in the seventh-grade, and he had sketchbooks with pages and pages of his drawings. Some of his students have gone on to work in a variety of industries that include animation, architecture and technical design.
Students inspired by the activity were encouraged to go on the Web site for free lessons or to check out a drawing book he gifted to the school library. He also told students to ask their parents to bring them to two evening assemblies he would hold in the Janesville school gym and at Richmond School.
The Lassen County Office of Education sponsored Mark Kistler’s Drawing in 3-D Assembly. James Hall and Jenni Cesarin from the office of education accompanied Kistler to Westwood. Following his work with students at Fletcher Walker Elementary he went to Westwood High to conduct an assembly in the gym.
During the grammar school assembly one teacher commented, “I am enjoying this, I like the information.”
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