I’m always looking for something fun to add to our homeschooling experience, whether it be cool art supplies, a new game, or a microscope. I wonder how I have been homeschooling for 10 years, and we have never tried anything with animation? When I saw we had an opportunity to review a Stop Motion Animation Kit from Stopmotion Explosion, I was eager to try something totally new to us! I am at the point in my life where both my kids surpass me when it comes to technology. When our animation kit arrived, and all I really had to do was check the box to ensure everything was there, and say “have at it”!
What is Stop Motion Animation?
Simply put, Stop Motion Animation is a technique used in animation to bring static objects to life on screen. This is done by moving the object in increments while filming frame per frame. When all the frames are played in sequence it shows the illusion of movement. Clay figures, puppets and miniatures are often used in stop motion animation as they can be handled and repositioned easily. I was surprised to find out that stop motion has been around almost as long as the medium of film itself!
What’s In a Stop Motion Animation Kit?
- A 1080p HD video camera with internal microphone, manual focus, and clip.
- Stopmotion Explosion Book – almost 300 pages!
- Stopmotion Explostion Quickstart Guide
- Software CD or use a link download from the website
- Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10 & OS X 7.5+ compatible
How We Used the Stop Motion Animation Kit.
This product was out-of-the-box fun for my daughter. She took just a few minutes to read the included quick start guide, and was soon in the floor making our dog toys “come to life”. This was the first time she had ever tried anything like this, and I think she really enjoyed the instant success.
She tried the few Legos we have lying around, dog toys, drawings, and a toy dinosaur. We had the idea of putting a puzzle together……. but it proved that I did not have the patience to complete it in one sitting while she grabbed the images. The ideas are endless!
What Did We Think of the Stop Motion Animation Kit?
We both enjoyed the endless creativity aspect of it. There are so many things you can do! I read several sections of the book that comes with the kit, and it is full of information to go much further if you choose to. We have only scratched the surface. The book contains information using storyboards, building sets, adding sound effects, and more. There are also plenty of chapters devoted to the technical aspects, such as lighting, composition, formatting, and editing. We found it easy to use for what we were using it for. The camera and software worked well, and the book and website offers clear information to refer to. I am not “techie” and was able to figure out how to convert all the image files into a movie fairly quickly.
Stopmotion Explosion offers a great tool to use for school projects. My homeschool mama brain is already thinking about ways to use this in some of our studies. With time and patience, you could really develop terrific animation skills, and possibly begin a new hobby. With summer near, I think it will be a creative alternative to T.V. and the “I’m bored” phase that many of us hear after the first couple of weeks of summer.
Whatever films you create, think about them not as simple exercises, or random artistic doodles but as expressions of your beliefs. Become excellent at your craft. Avoid triviality and mediocrity. Use your skill for good. And importantly…. Have Fun!”Nate Eckerson
Take a few minutes to see what our other reviewers came up with below!