Vine Animation Station

Create your own classroom animation studio using an IOS device, a stand and the Vine app. The Vine Animation Station is a quick and easy tool for students to share video of their work. Vine is currently an IOS-only app that records up to 6 seconds of video to your photo album and allows easy publishing to Vine, Twitter and Facebook.

Video is recorded by pressing on the screen. By lightly tapping the screen, students can record a frame or two at a time. By moving the object in the frame between taps, the students can quickly create a stop motion animation. Video allows student makers to show how what they have made works. Even if it is a non-functional prototype, the student can demonstrate the idea using stop-motion animation.

Safety Alert!!! The Vine app is rated 17+ because of some adult/inappropriate user generated content that has been shared through the app. In airplane mode, featured or followed Vine videos are not shown on the Vine start screen and videos will only be saved to the IOS device photo album.

Creating Your Own Vine Animation Studio
IOS Device: You need an IOS device with camera such as an iPod Touch 4th generation or up, iPhone 3GS or up, or an iPad 2nd generation or up. This is a great use for recycling an older iPod/iPhone. Students can also use the IOS device to take still pictures and record videos of their work.

Stand: A hand held camera can create stop-motion animation that induces nausea. Put the IOS device in a stand. There is a customizable Mobile Phone Stand on Thingiverse that can be tweaked to fit your device. I ended up designing my own stand to fit my iPhone 4 in Otterbox Commuter case and then 3D printed on a Printrbot LC. See my design at The stand can be taped down with double sided tape or weighted down with a bean bag.

Starting out, you may want to have students try creating an animation on top of graph paper. (Tape the graph paper down.) Students can practice moving the object set increments between frames. Depending on how lightly students touch the screen, they will record a differing number of ‘frames’. I manage around 60-70 taps in a 6 second clip. Students should be able to capture a simple Vine animation in just a few minutes.  Students can storyboard key moments in their animations before recording. The Vine animation station is perfect for classrooms and makerspaces where time is the limited resource.

Tip: Be sure to have nice even light in the animation area. Wait for the camera to focus after making each adjustment.

Personal Note: I had written off Vine when I first saw it. I didn’t see a good use case for it. Then I started seeing cool videos on Twitter by @attipscast (educator) and @ecken (designer). Those videos really pushed me to see how powerful sharing short little clips and animations can be for quickly illustrating ideas. Thanks guys!