Animating new interests

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Rhoda Dizon

Dizon’s classroom, where she also teaches fundamentals of art and art history.

With the interest in animation among students steadily growing, Diamond Bar High School will be offering a class in the filmmaking art next school year.
English and art teacher Rhoda Dizon will be teaching the new addition to the school’s variety of applied art classes during the 2021-2022 school term.
Though she is already teaching Intro to 3-D Art, AP Art History, Fundamentals of Art and English 1, Dizon said she wanted to create an animation class that brought those concepts together.
“I have always dreamed of teaching an animation class as it combines what I teach in fundamentals of art and 3-D design,” Dizon said via email.
Current technology has made animation much more prevalent and accessible, and is a growing industry that combines STEM and design into one career. Dizon explained that she’s already begun to develop possible animation units to teach in her new class.
The first semester of the class will be geared toward strengthening individuals’ technical skills in animation, based on what’s become known as Disney’s 12 fundamental principles of developing animation. These principles were derived from the work of animators and were boiled down to 12 basic concepts, which includes squash and stretch, anticipation, staging, straight ahead action and pose to pose, overlapping action, slow in and out, arc, secondary action, timing, exaggeration, solid drawing and appeal.
In the second semester, students will work together on both traditional and stop motion animation. The curriculum will also include information on animation careers and individual project development.
Students in the class will learn how to use industry-standard animation programs, like Toon Boom Harmony and Adobe Animate, while also learning the history of animation, creative writing and visual storytelling.
“I anticipate having at least one section of the pilot animation class,” said Dizon. “But I will definitely welcome more classes if there’s high enrollment.”
The class will also serve as an opportunity to add depth to students’ portfolios, which are an important component of any art school or college art program application.
“I hope students can participate in national animation contests as well as the Doppelganger Film Festival at DBHS,” Dizon said. “I’m enthusiastic about planning for the new animation class and can’t wait for Fall 2021.”
Those that have signed up for the class can use the class to gain experience in different forms of art or because they simply find enjoyment in it. Sophomore Jenny Luo plans on taking the class in her senior year and using it as an introduction into animation.
“I wanted to take the class because animation is a hobby of mine and I want to pursue it as a career in the future,” Luo said via Instagram.