My boys love Legos and they also love lego animations. Not only do they like watching these animations, they also love making them. That is why when the chance came up to review a animation kit, I jumped on it. This is where Stopmotion Explosion comes in and their Stopmotion Animation Kit.
What we received
- a 720p HD video camera with internal microphone, manual focus, and clip,
- a 290+ page Stopmotion Explosion book
- an animation software.
This kit works with both Microsoft and Apple computers. Even if you do not have a CD drive, downloads are available from the website through an access code.
The use of this kit assumes that you do know your way around a computer, but that said it is a good way for young children to learn. When it arrived I handed it over to my 10 and 12 year old sons and let them run with it. My youngest started researching the book and watching the tutorials available on the website. My oldest started making up his background for what he was planning to shoot. It took them quite a while to figure out how the whole thing works, but eventually figured it out, with some minimal help from me.
The way this camera works is that you shoot your motion, frames after frames, then press the button that says "make movie" to turn it into movie. Most scenes takes quite a bit of frames/shot to produce, so it quite intense to produce. The animation below took my son close to 100 captures to produce. Once you've got your movie, you import it into a movie making program (imovie for apple or windows movie maker for Microsoft), and start editing your movie, and add sound if you wish. They had to do a few tests before getting a hang of how the whole thing works, but it just takes a bit of patience to study how it all functions.
As useful as the camera is, with its zoom, the Stopmotion Explosion Animate Anything and make Movies is the heart of this kit in my opinion. It really teaches the how of making great animations as well as all the technical aspects of putting it together. The chapters includes topics such as these:
- Creating stories
- Building sets
- The art of war
- Video editing
- Files and formats
- Frame conversion
My boys really learned a lot playing with this kit. My oldest has been learning about filming, what is needed for a good film, script and the like, and using this kit allowed him to get his hand at actually working on a project and see all the work that is required. The book will definitely add to his knowledge in this field, once he gets to delve into it more deeply. There is a lot to learn and delve into. The boys will have quite a bit to explore in the next few months before they can make something that they really will be happy with since they have big dreams. A definite keeper!
If your child loves animation, this is a wonderful tool to have to hone or improve skills in this field.
Here is the video, they ended up making
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