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December 28, 2020 – December 29, 2020

Morning Class - Monday & Tuesday | 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. | Afternoon Class - 1 p.m - 3 p.m.

Instructor: John Summerson

Location: Online

Stop Motion Animation For Kids

This short course will cover the basic principles of stop motion animation, and give participants the essential toolkit they’ll need to create their own animated films using a simple (and mobile!) setup. We will discuss how to create different kinds of animated movement, experiment with some fun and interesting materials (just about anything can be a ‘puppet!’), and learn how to use our tools to make clean looking work. Participants are encouraged to think creatively about what we choose to animate — and what kinds of stories we can tell with those objects. This course is designed for participants with little to no animation experience, but those who do have some experience will be prompted to create more complex works. More than anything, we’re going to be having lots of fun learning how to make our stop motion films look awesome!

Dates: Monday, December 28, 2020, & Tuesday, December 29, 2020
2 classes offered:

Morning Class | 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. – SOLD OUT

Afternoon Class | 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. – REGISTER HERE

Instructor: John Summerson
Age: This course is for students ages 9 – 14 yrs of age.
Class size is limited.

Participants will need to have available/acquire:

1. An Android or iOS smartphone

2. The Stop Motion Studio app by Cateater (this is free). Available on Google Play or Apple.

3. A phone tripod with bluetooth remote control (~$20 on Amazon. Here’s a good example)

4. A clear work surface (a sturdy table or desk — preferably not carpet)

5. Some beans (dried beans are an excellent starting point — I prefer jelly beans because they’re colorful and are delicious)


John Summerson is an award-winning animation director and storyteller. He specializes in creative nonfiction in animation, and he happily conflates visual media like stop motion, digital, and hand-drawn 2D animation, video, and sequential art, with inventive reportage practices from creative nonfiction writing, to create a unique friction between fabricated images and fact.

His accolades include the Grand Prize at the LG Art of the Pixel competition, the ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Educator’s Forum Scholarship, and the Princess Grace Undergraduate Film Scholarship. His work has been exhibited internationally, most recently in Budapest, Madrid, Berlin, and London, and in Times Square in New York City.

John holds a Master’s Degree in Documentary Animation from the Royal College of Art in London, UK, and earned his BFA in Animated Arts from Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon. He is also an enthusiastic pinball player, has a great recipe for fried chicken popcorn, and is really good at making lists that have three things in them.

For questions please email

Information on tuition assistance and scholarships is located HERE.


This class is in: Youth Classes, Classes

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.