• Amy Burvall

She’s Alive!!!!! My Frankenstein Experiment with Motion Portrait app


Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 11.10.40 AM

This week I discovered the new Motion Portrait app. Basically, it takes a 2D image (ideally a face) and renders it so it looks 3D and the eyes blink and mouth moves slightly. There have been some amazing posts by some of my favourite Instagram artists like @blairz and @unskilledworker.

I still don’t think I have it down perfectly but wanted to take it to another level and make a mini music video with the clips. I tried out two – the first was using my minimalist sketch of Nico.


It was doing this I learned that using the Ken Burns effect (pan and zoom) in iMovie might make it look even more “alive!” Next, I tried out my #pinkladies – they are a series of pretty, retro girls I sketch using Sharpie and pastel chalk ($1 at Target) on discarded Safeway grocery bags. Its a bit wabi-sabi as the bags are often wrinkled and have obvious lines of demarkation in them. I took some of my favourites (because I now have over 50) and used the Motion Portrait app to create short clips, which I then imported into iMovie and applied Ken Burns.


The whole look is quite mesmerizing and perhaps a bit creepy-cool. I am sure artists using this app and finally bringing their characters to life are having a total Dr. Frankenstein moment.


note bene: I have not yet figured out how to successfully do a voice recording with the app – mine gets funky.

Ideas for Teachers:

I think this would be a great app (or adapt my movie process) to use in Art classes, of course, but I could really see young students (age 3-10) really digging it. If you can get the voice recording to work, they can narrate their characters. Alternatively, create a movie project in iMovie and add a voiceover (with a better mic).

I taught History for years, and this would be a fun way to sketch  or appropriate photos or paintings and make them move and talk (again, if you do the voiceovers) – or perhaps make a music video. Students can even write parody songs first like my History for Music Lovers series. wait- now that I think of it, I have some videos needing production…perhaps I should resurrect Historyteachers?

Finally, Language students may use to illustrate a conversation in a second language OR poetry!

Just remember, like Dr. Frankenstein, the best thing to do with a new app or technology is EXPERIMENT.

#edtech #Nico #art #frankenstein #creativity #mobilelearning #motionportraitapp #app #pinkladies #amyburvall

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