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Resources for Educators and Parents

Hello Teachers and Parents:

We have assembled some websites that you may find useful in educating your students about the various technologies we use at the VTL Lab. It might be wise to introduce students to animation in general before discussing Motion Capture. We have included links on 2D cel animation.

Another area of animation that students may be familiar with is stop-motion animation, sometimes referred to (erroneously) as “claymation.” Some of the greatest classics of children’s film and television have been created using stop motion animation from Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer to James and the Giant Peach, and recently such films as Frankenweenie. We have listed several sites that demonstrate and explain stop-motion.

Motion Capture is one of the most exciting technological advances in the history of motion pictures. Motion Capture has been used in hundreds of films, including Van Helsing, Lord of the Rings, Happy Feet, The Polar Express, Beowulf, Iron Man, A Christmas Carol, Avatar, TinTin, Real Steel, and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Motion Capture presents wonderful learning opportunities for young people.

Many children are familiar with 3D stereo from trips to theme parks such as Universal Studios and Walt Disney World and entertainment venues such as Imax Theatres. Many children have seen recent 3D films such as Brave.

There are several no or low-cost activities that can be done in class. (Explained in detail in 3D stereo links.).

I hope you find your learning time with us very special. If you have any questions, please call me at 313-845-6478 or email me at


Dr. George Popovich
Director of Theatre, Henry Ford College
Director, Virtual Theatricality Lab, Henry Ford College
Phone: 313-845-6478


This detailed and fun overview of cinema visual effects will delight young and old alike. Click Here.


  • How A Walt Disney Cartoon is made. This 8 minute video detailing the making of Disney’s Snow White was made in 1938. Nevertheless, it is a comprehensive overview of the cel animation process.

  • Optometrists Network. This site could be used for a week’s worth of activities. Be sure and explore the “free viewing”. 3D stereo pages: your students can see 3D stereo without any glasses or equipment in just a few minutes.
  • Berezin: A commercial site that offers low cost viewers and books for children.

  • Ray Harryhausen: A compilation of clips of all of Harryhausen’s creatures. To find out more about Ray Harryhausen, see:
  • Do It Yourself: Feeling particularly energetic and creative? A handbook that explains all you need to know to make your own stop-motion film. You may also be interested in “framegrabber” software. You will need to create a password to access this site.

  • The Matrix: Shows various Motion Capture Rigging systems that lift actors into the air, spin them, etc.
  • Vicon: Vicon Motion Capture equipment has been used in every major Mo-Cap Film to date, including Beowulf, Polar Express, Spiderman, Spiderman III,The Incredible Hulk, Terminator 3, and A Christmas Carol.

  • Everything there is to know for kids!
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    Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences - Visual Effects1.81 MB