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Balaam's Donkey

click HERE to play the animation
size 12M bytes in wmv format

balaam, doneky and angel

Have any of you see the Shrek animations with the talking donkey? But did you know that there is a talking donkey in the Bible too?


In January, the children in Kidzone split into three groups to do various activities with the aim of putting on a show for their parents. One of the groups had a go at animation and the story that was chose was that of Balaam's donkey.


The story can be found near the beginning of the Bible in the book of Numbers chapter 22 verses 21 - 35.


We started by trying to build models of the main characters using plastercine along the lines of Wallace and Gromit but after the first session two things became apparent:


1. It would take an awful lot of plastercine to make big enough models to be able to do the job properly. (I have seen the real Wallace model and it is probably about 40cm tall!)


2. It would take a lot longer than we had to make the 3 main characters (Balaam, the donkey and the angel).


Plan B was put into effect and a raid on Toys Я Us over the intervening week resulted in the purchase of a couple of small rag dools and a Shrek style donkey.

The animation was achieved using a variety of techniques mainly constrained by the lack of time. Balaam riding his donkey was achieved by putting the Balaam model on the donkey and moving the road (a strip of carpet) under them.

Some scenes were done by the "move it a bit, take a picture...etc" approach and others by an (usually) unseen hand moving the characters (including the beating of the donkey).

The talking shots were done by using a single picture of the character and creating multiple pictures on a computer, each with slight changes to the mouth position, and then stringing them together in various sequences. In the cases of the Angel and Balaam, about 20 frames were created but fewer for the Donkey as each was a great deal more work to create.

Balaam's Donkey Animation

The final result lacks a certain amount of refinement but is quite amusing. Janion  is threatening to put it on YouTube at some point too.

 




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This document maintained by ken.burgin@EastingtonMethodists.org.uk .
Material Copyright 2002 Ken Burgin