Why animation moves them

Students at SVCTE working on animated short for upcoming international festival

Jessica Berton and Caitlyn Schlaman



Branham offers art classes on campus, including 2D and 3D art as well as photography. For those who want an extra step, taking an off-campus animation class at Silicon Valley Career Technical Education is a free option.

Students taking these classes are currently learning the process of creating an animated short. They are given animation programs such as Adobe Animate. Currently, they are working on projects to be due in March for the Teen Animation Festival International.

Though the animation is short, ranging from 30 seconds to 2 minutes, the process of making the film is actually quite lengthy. These projects can take students up to eight weeks to complete.

The full process of creating an animation is broken down into stages.

The first step is storyboarding, or laying out what happens, and scripting. This can take weeks to do because of revisions and editing.

After the storyboard is completed, the voice acting and sound recording is needed before animating in order for the lips to move with the words smoothly. Then they have to animate every frame, possibly 24 frames in a second. A student recently brought a bagpipe to record background music.

“You have to make every single scene, every single cut,” said senior Kirsten DeMarquez. “You go back and revise that…that’s when you start going into animation to create backgrounds, characters, the music.”

In order to create these productions proper tools need to be used. These include a Windows Touchscreen monitor and a Wacom tablet to illustrate, but there are more unconventional ways to do it.

Senior Kyra Bouchereau got into animation through the Nintendo DSi handheld gaming console, which had a program called Flipnote.

“That’s why I got into (animation),” said senior Kyra Bouchereau. “It’s really fun. It’s stressful, but at the same time relaxing because (of) the end product.”

Even though animation can be stressful and labor intensive, these students enjoy what they do. Animators often make salaries from $60,000 to $150,000 in animating video games, advertisements and films.

“I’ve just always been intrigued by the process of making an animated movie,” said DeMarquez. “I decided that I want to try and then decided that I liked it. My dream job is to work as [an] animator one day whether it’s at Pixar or another studio.”

One’s passion for animation can also stem from their adoration for drawing.

“I’ve always liked drawing,” said senior Emily Pacini-Carlin. “It’s one of those things I’ve always wanted [to do].”