SAM Animation with Tux Paint-detailed work flow

Create a Great Animation using Free Software

Tux Paint & SAM Animation

My Garden from Lois Smethurst on Vimeo.

Music – via

Animate A Science Concept

My students have been creating little animations to explain a simple concept such as the life cycle of a plant in grade 2 or a simplified explanation of Global Warming in grades 3 and 4(you can see examples here). The animation project was a bit of an experiment as we hadn’t used Sam Animation before. I’m pleased to say it has been a great success and I can see that the process has possibilities for many areas of the curriculum. SAM Animation is free software as I’ve explained in a previous post.

Tux save a new file

In a nutshell

  1. we used Tux Paint (also free software that you can read about here)to draw a series of pictures and then
  2. import the pictures into Sam Animation.
  3. we created a series of sound files to narrate the animation
  4. import the sound files into Sam Animation.
  5. export to movie

It was easy to adjust the length of the pictures to the length of the sound and to finish off we added a title slide. The final step was to export the completed animation to a movie format that we could upload onto our blog.

This is  the detailed work flow for making an animated movie using Tux Paint and SAM Animation. The project can be completed quite quickly by taking advantage of the easy save features in Tux Paint.

Step 1.

Open Tux Paint and create and save the beginning picture for your series of pictures. The key to this, is to choose a topic that you can illustrate as a continuous process by adding a bit more to your picture each time. Add a bit and save but use “No. save a new file!” to quickly build up a bank of illustrations. Remember to save often until you have a number of pictures to illustrate your story or concept.

Tux for animation

Step 2: SAM Animation

Open SAM Animation and create a new project. Click on the “Manage Time Line” section to import the pictures you made in Tux Paint.

SAM import

Navigate to the “saved” folder where Tux Paint saves all the images. This is the trickiest bit of the process because the SAM import pictures looks for JPEG format images but Tux Paint are PNG format images so it can appear that your “saved folder is empty!



Once the pictures are on the timeline you can adjust the speed of the animation using the “fps” slider under the play buttons or the slider above the import buttons which will adjust the selected frames. (See above “Sam screen shot 1” )

SAM with picts

SAM sound tracksStep 3: Audio

You can import a music and or a narration or record directly into SAM Animation. Importing is as simple as using the button next to the import pictures. Once you have your sound on the track you can stretch or shrink your movie to match using the button. There are two sound tracks so you can have a mixture of voice and music.

Step 4: Movie

The final stage of the process is to export the animation as a movie. There are a multitude of choices but I have found that .Avi works well for us.


Love teaching ICT, and using multimedia as a way to communicate and construct learning. I have developed a passion for blogging as a reflective tool and essential ingredient in learning

3 thoughts to “SAM Animation with Tux Paint-detailed work flow”

  1. Thanks for sharing this Lois. I am now downloading Tux Paint as I have discovered the version I have doesn’t even have slideshow capability. (0.9.12)-2003 wow! Downloading (0.9.21)So I have some experimenting to do. Think I’ll let my prep-2 classes see what they can do next Thursday. I have been thnking of Tux paint as the 2003 version when you speak about Tux paint. However now I see improvements. Looks nice for use in Maths also as we are doing multiplication this week and the stamps are better graphics than kids pix.


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