Over the course of this year I have been attempting to build my skills in a range of Adobe programs (particularly Photoshop and After Effects). I have given myself a task using the restriction method where I must create as many new animations as possible using the same source material. Each animation must be based around the image you see here (or some derivative of it) - an emblem of sorts that I have created for myself. The animations must also perform a perfect loop so that they can be saved as GIFs. Although not a specific restriction I have also been endeavouring to keep file size small given the nature and use of GIFs.
Skills in programs like Photoshop and After Effects are like muscles in the body - if you exercise them they will grow and strengthen and if not you will begin to lose the ability to do things you once found simple. This exercise has been a great boon for me in terms of my own skills and my creative thinking and problem solving - I can only imagine what students would get out of it.
I look forward to implementing this as a project with one of my classes in the future. It would be great as a weekly or fortnightly task covering the entire year. I can only imagine the sort of creative boost students could get from this. Obviously you could easily change it away from animation to anything else - the restriction and the repetition are the important factors.
This link features a pretty great explanation of the restriction method and some of its benefits.
I've also included links to some of the GIF self portraits and GIF CMYK self portraits I made as part of this task - see below.