F-L-I-P Tools: Animate With A Digital Felt Board

Use Google apps, the undo/redo button, and a screencaster to created basic animations.

Q: Ever need a short drawing that includes some basic movement?

Q: Not an artist but know how to use Google’s image search?

Q: Have a basic screencaster and a plan?

If you have some or all of these things you to can use the digital work spaces in Slides or Drawing to created basic felt board-style animations.  

Let me define a felt board for people under the age of 40.  It is literally a solid surface covered by felt fabric that allows you to place other shapes made of felt on the board using the properties of curled fibers and static electricity. (hint, if the felt doesn’t stick, rub it on the leg of your jeans to add a little extra grab)  This allow you to position and re-position shapes and characters to tell visual stories.  If this sounds weird it is actually the basis of Flash-Animation (think Teen-Titans/Power Puff Girls). 

I know that I said in the first entry in this series (link) that I would be doing quick and basic training for a number of tools for beginners, but I came across a need in my classroom and I can’t help but share my solution. It all begins with a need to take a complex application problem and simplify the visuals and sub-components for students to wrap their heads around.  I am no animator, and I am sure there are programs and apps that do a better job more easily than my result, but I needed the animation in a matter of an hour and so I just used what I knew.  I think this mentality is at the heart of surviving as a teacher in a flipped class; “Does it need done? or Does it need to be perfect?” 

Check out the Vlog here...


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