SCRATCH Lesson 8: Create a Cartoon Animation Part I


In this lesson, we will create a Cartoon Animation. We will first create a story line. Based on the story line, we will create sprites and scenes, and finally add scripts to put together the story.


Step 1: Create a Story Line

The first step to create an animation is to have an idea. It could be from a joke you’ve heard or a story you recently read. Or better yet, it could be entirely your own. I’ve created a really simply story as shown below.

In a small village far, far, AND far away, there lived a little boy who dreamed big.

Bobby was a 9-year-old kid who got bullied all the time by this crazy bully and his sidekick.

Then he met Master Meow, the Kung Fu master. Bobby was under intense training for many months.

Then Bobby entered Kung Fu competition at school and defeated the bully.

From this simple story line, we have this “ingredient list” for our animation:


Bobby, bully, sidekick , Master Meow


Village, School, Training Ground, Fighting Stage


Step 2: Create Sprites

From this simple story line, we need these sprites:


Bobby, bully, sidekick , Master Meow

By now, I trust that you should be pretty comfortable drawing your own sprites, so we will just create our sprites by importing images from Scratch library.

Create or import a sprite and name it “Bobby”. Add costumes: “front”, “right”, “left kick” and “right kick”.

* * * *


Add a new sprite and name it “bully”. Add costumes: “up”, “down”, and “defeated”.

* * *


Add another new sprite and name it “sidekick”. Add costumes: “tease” and “sad”.

* *


Add yet another new sprite and name it “Master Meow”. Just give him one costume: “happy”.


To create scenes, just add backgrounds for Stage. We will create four backgrounds: village, school, training ground, and fighting stage.


Step 3: Creating the Village Background

Draw outline of mountains. Make sure to draw it all the way to the side of the canvas.

* *

We need light blue for sky and light yellow for the sun light. To select two colors, click first either Eyedropper Tool or Fill Tool to turn mouse arrow to an eyedropper icon. Then select the light blue as main color; click the two-ways arrow to switch colors; finally use eyedropper tool to select light yellow.

* * *


Now we have light yellow as the first color and light blue as second color. Click the Fill Tool button, and select Center Gradient Fill

Bring the little paint bucket icon to where you like the sun to be. I like the sun to be at the upper left hand corner.

After filling, the Canvas should look like this.

Next, we will fill the mountains in the same way. We will first select two color tones: light green for mountaintops, and darker green for area further away, such as foot of the mountains or the mountain in the shadow of the first mountain. But this time, we will use Top Gradient Fill.

Bring the paint bucket icon to the tip of the mountain that is closer to the Sun and click to fill.

This is the result of the color fill.

To make it obvious to viewers that this is the village scene, I also added story line in text to the Canvas. Select Text Tool and click anywhere in the Canvas.


To start typing, click Text Tool, and just start typing. You would see a tiny black square box. It’s the text handle.


To move the text, move your mouse over to where the text handle is and drag it.

Step 4: Creating the School Background

For school background, we will draw a old-school blackboard and several wooden chairs.

Select Box Tool and Solid Box mode. Make sure the Fill Color is dark green. Draw a solid green box.

Switch color so the main color will be black. Then select Box Tool and Hollow Box mode. Create front of a table like shown below: one horizontal rectangle on top as side of the table and two vertical rectangles as legs.


Draw the table top and the side using Line Tool.

* *

Then finish up the table outline by adding another two legs using Box Tool in Hollow Box mode.

* *

Finally, fill the table with wooden color using Fill Tool with Solid Fill.

* *

To move this table, use Select Tool to draw a box around the table and drag it.

* *

Select Stamp Tool and draw a box around the original table to make a copy. Drag the copy to where you like and click to drop the copy. Repeat until you have enough tables that this look like a classroom. I know there are not chairs but hey, tables are good enough. 

* *


Step 5: Importing the Training Ground Background

Training ground background is the easiest of all. We will just import it from Scratch Background Library and rename it “training field”.

Step 6: Creating the Fighting Stage Background

First use Box Tool and Line Tool to create a fighting stage. Select the Fill Tool and the Center Gradient Fill. Then select light blue as first color and dark blue as second color.


Switch two colors and then select Solid Fill.            


Change first color to red and fill the diamond.


Next we will create shadowing effect by using light grey and black. Select light grey as first color and black as second color. Then select Top Fill Gradient. 

Fill from the top of the Canvas.

* *

We are done for this lesson. Go take a break and we will add scripts in next lesson for scene transitions and sprite interactions.


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