• 06.10.13

Get An Animation Lesson From A Master With The NFB’s New App

The National Film Board of Canada is at it again, with a new app that puts aspiring animators, or anyone interested in creativity, in touch with an animation legend.

Have you ever dreamed of becoming an animator?


Whether you have, or whether you’re simply a fan of the art form and filmmaking in general, McLaren’s Workshop, a (mostly) free iPad app from the National Film Board of Canada will bring animation into your hands in a new way. The app is based on the work of pioneering Canadian filmmaker, Norman McLaren, and allows users to not only access his films but learn the techniques he used.

For a 75-year-old government-funded arts entity, the NFB, as we’ve noted, has become one of the most interesting sources of digital animation and storytelling innovation. And now the board is encouraging a new generation of animators to get hands-on with the art of the artist that most defines the organization and Canadian animation. The app includes 51 of McLaren’s most popular films, along with easy-to-follow workshops in cut-out animation, scratch-on film, and synthetic sound. You can see how some seasoned animators have made use of the app in the slide show above.

Hat tip to Cartoon Brew.

About the author

Jennifer Miller is the author of The Year of the Gadfly (Harcourt, 2012) and Inheriting The Holy Land (Ballantine, 2005). She's a regular contributor to Co.Create.