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One More Frame
iStopMotion for iPad
One More Frame
Last year, I wrote about the fun application called iStopMotion by Boinx.com. In returning to iStopMotion on iPad, I'm glad to see that the app has gone through many changes and upgrades. Most recently, Boinx has announced the ability to export up to 200 frames in an animated GIF! It's not only a fun application to have as an animator, but it's a teaching opportunity too.
When I teach older animation students, they usually understand the importance of timing and number of frames per second. At home with my kids, iStopMotion for iPad is a fun way to craft stories and express creativity. For both older students and young kids, iStopMotion is an accessible way to start making stop motion animations right away.
Last year, in the summer of 2012, we ran a review of the iPad version of iStopMotion which revealed some pretty great opportunities for beginner animators. It doesn't matter what your skill level is, iStopMotion allows you to get up to speed relatively quickly, and with a few experiments, your kids will start to create animations of their own.
My daughter and her friends decided to make a simple cardboard box race around the yard, while the older boys decided to destroy a lego building with a lego car. Although the girls accepted direction, the boys figured out by themselves that they could replace a lego man with a skeleton in one frame, creating lego zombie.
Since then there have been many updates, including one that just released last month, allowing users to create animated GIFs (limited to 200 frames). If you're like me, and have missed some of the updates, you'll be pleased to see that (in addition to some bug fixes), there is now FULL AUDIO SUPPORT in the clip editor, including an option to record audio directly inside the clip editor. You can also see the audio waveform - that visual representation of the amplitude of sound. This visual cue for the audio can help you line up some of your timings.
While this has kids as a target audience, I'd suggest that your kids be old enough to appreciate the theory of stop motion animation. It takes a long time to set up each shot. It's not enough that they "like to watch 'Robot Chicken'", but really appreciate the work that goes into making these tiny films.
The current version (2.2) weighs in at just under $10 at the time of this article. For the visual storytelling, composition, and animation lessons - AND FUN - that this app produces, you have my permission to go get it from the iTunes store now.
Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles. In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design. When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
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