I had done slideshows in the past with windows movie maker and microsoft paint. It was really easy. You import pictures into windows movie maker that you have done in mspaint. Animating in mspaint is fairly simple. You need to know how to create what you are animating and have them to move exactly the way you want them to.
When I started animating, I used a kitty cat singing. I used different shaped circles to express the face in mspaint. I could go in and do edit, undo, eclipse, save, yada.jpg. It was easy and i was able to come up with a singing cat with movine eyes and mouth. I uploaded it to youtube, but I wasn’t too confident about it. Then I started using a freeware/opensource program called “pencil. Pencil gave me just enough tools to draw over an onion skin, edit in mspaint and render in windows movie maker.
There are youtube tutorials on the subject. that give you some idea of what to do. What do you do when you animate? You create movement.. Movement requires a circle to bounce to the bottom of your paint file, back up to the center and off the sides of the box. This can easily be acheived by making a ball from an eclipse. If you want that ball to be 3d you use colors that correspond with one another to make a sphere that looks as if it could pop off the page.
Animating faces can be difficult. Eyes move front, up center, in between and side/side. This movement is off of an oval shaped eclipse inside a larger one carrying all the charactoristics of a face. If you are doing an “eye dance” animation, you would put jpeg 1 center, jpeg 2 left, jpeg 3 right, jpeg 4 down. and you could make the face’s eyes dance by using patterns with the jpeg or basically do sequential over and over again.
If you had a character walking, you would have to take six steps on your own away from your computer to see what it took. Try walking in front of your mirror. How did you walk? What did your lines look like. Emulate in 6 rough drafts how you walked across the floor. Compile them in movie maker by importing them just as you walked across the floor left foot right foot, arms swaying. There is alot of movement isn’t there. You can go into tools and options to extend time on your pictures to make the walk longer or shorter. If the film is too short, you won’t be able to express how your character walked and his characteristics. You just have an extremely fast graphic that looks as though they have seen a ghost. Perhaps they did.
Mspaint and moviemaker are perfect for children and beginners that have no experience in the film industry. Once you become more advanced, you can experiment with synfig, blender and pencil which are fully free software titles for animation. There are many blogs on the subject that you might find helpful. Look in the sites list for more information.