Dan Beard Merit Badge Challenge 2024

Animation is imagination set in motion

There are 3 classes. If you cannot make a class, email me and we can finish the requirements through email.

January 6th

We will do the following…

  • 12 Principles of Animation
  • Story Boarding – how to describe your animation
  • Medium – Choosing how you will create your animation
  • Project Requirements
  • See examples of animations and how they were made

February 3rd

We will do the following…

  • History of animation
  • Tour an animation studio
  • Future uses of animation
  • Review story boards
  • Review of project requirements
  • Q&A regarding animation project
  • Review of the 12 principles of animation

February 17th

We will try to accomplish the following…

  • Careers in animation
  • Review of your animation project
  • Finish any requirements not yet completed
  • Share your animation with the class only if you wish to, and if there is enough time

Merit Badge Requirements

There is a slide show of the Animation Presentation available on slideshare.net. It is free for anyone to use when working with scouts on the Animation Merit Badge.


General knowledge. Do the following:
(a) In your own words, describe to your counselor what animation is.
(b) Discuss with your counselor a brief history of animation.

“The technique of photographing successive drawings or positions of puppets or models to create an illusion of movement when the movie is shown as a sequence.”  — google.com

“A simulation of movement created by displaying a series of pictures or frames.”  — webopedia.com

 Read the 2 links and watch the 3 videos…




Principles of animation. Choose five of the following 12 principles of animation, and discuss how each one makes an animation appear more believable: squash and stretch, anticipation, staging, straight-ahead action and pose to pose, follow through and overlapping action, slow in and slow out, arcs, secondary action, timing, exaggeration, solid drawing, appeal.


Projects. With your counselor’s approval, choose two animation techniques and do the following for each:

(a) Technique 1

1. Plan your animation using thumbnail sketches and/or layout drawings either on paper or using an animation software program.
2. Create the animation.
3. Share your animations with your counselor. Explain how you created each one, and discuss any improvements that could be made.

(b) Technique 2

1. Plan your animation using thumbnail sketches and/or layout drawings.
2. Create the animation.
3. Share your animations with your counselor. Explain how you created each one, and discuss any improvements that could be made.

How to Create a Storyboard

The thumbnail sketches are called storyboards. They outline what will be happening in the animation. Click on the button below to see a website that covers this in detail with examples. When you have yours done, bring it to class or better, email me so I can give you feedback right away.

Examples of various media used to create animations

Cell Animation

Also called traditional animation (or classical animation, cel animation, or hand-drawn animation) is an animation technique in which each frame is drawn by hand. The technique was the dominant form of animation in cinema until the end of the 20th century, when there was a shift to computer animation in the industry, specifically 3D computer animation. — wikipedia.com

Traditional Animation Demo

Limited Animation

Like cell animation, but a lot less detail and characterized by stylized movement that is more choppy. Examples are cartoons and animated shorts featuring Calvin & Hobbes.


Tracings of live-action done frame by frame. Can create a stylish version of a scene and simplifies the process of maintaining realism with movement and action.

Stop Motion

Technique that moves things a small amount, takes a picture, moves them a little more, and then takes the next picture. Movements need to be small and lots of pictures are taken. Lots of different things can be moved such as people in the example to the left [how it was made], paper cutouts, and brick films which use Legos.


Stop motion but using clay which is easier to mold into various positions than a Lego or toy.

Flip Book

Images are drawn on Post-It notes, 3×5 cards, or anything with lots of pictures. The pages are flipped quickly using your thumb and letting the pages go by one by one, but quickly. Being able to draw anywhere you may be is a big benefit of creating a flipbook. Pages can be created while on long trips, waiting for an appointment, or any time you have nothing to do.

How To Make a Flipbook is the example video to the left. Below are links to some examples.


Grump Cloud



Robotic devices that emulate human and animal movements. A lot of attention to realism is made to replicate muscle movements, skin textures, hair, fur, etc.

3D Zoetrope

Circular motion with a strobe light together give the illusion of movement. The example is of one that was at the California State Fair. There are simple flat types that use paper on the inside of a circle and one with Lego Batman.


Animation in our world. Do the following:

(a) Tour an animation studio or a business where animation is used, either in person, via video, or via the Internet. Share what you have learned with your counselor.
(b) Discuss with your counselor how animation might be used in the future to make your life more enjoyable and productive.

Watch these videos and be prepared to discuss in class..


Careers. Learn about three career opportunities in animation. Pick one and find out about the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss your findings with your counselor. Explain why this profession might interest you.

Some helpful links to find careers in animation