This is my 4 year old's first ever animation.
She made this herself. She wrote her own story, found all the
characters she wanted to be in it and, once I had attached my camera to
the PC and opened up Stopmotion Studio 4.0 she was able to position her
characters, crounching down out of the way of the camera and then take a
photo by pressing a button on the screen. It took us half an hour to
make a 5 second animation but I was so proud of how well she
concentrated, how seriously she took her story-telling and how excited
she was when she saw the finished product.
I had been on the lookout for a piece of software that would start to
teach my daughter about computers - about cause and effect and the power
of software. Stopmotion Studio 4.0 by Honestech
may not seem like the answer to this problem but is certainly was. The
software is so easy to use and it really does help to teach children
about the power of software - press this, click this and hey presto, a
Creating your own animation also helps imagination and story-telling.
My daughter has already decided the next animation she wants to make - a
caterpillar turning into a butterfly, all made out of play doh. This
sounds pretty adventurous but I'm sure she will manage it. And when she
does, I shall share it with you.
Stopmotion Studio 4.0 isn't just limited to children though. It is a
very powerful piece of software that I think I will enjoy using too. I
can see it being a way to produce great entries into competitions, or to
complete homework projects with something that little bit different.
You can take photos by connecting your camera to your PC (I'd recommend
using a tripod to ensure the photo is in the same position for each
frame), using a webcam or by scanning in photos (you can even connect
directly to a scanner).
The software is very powerful (admittedly, my daughter hasn't really
started to explore all of the different options but I am sure we will
do). You can add sound, titles and text captions. You can also use
'green screen' technology to add funky backgrounds - I can't wait to try
this feature out. Perhaps the most handy feature is the ability to
adjust the transparency while you are positioning your next frame so
that you can see what the last frame looked like in comparison. This is
very handy for ensuring you haven't moved your characters too far. You
can also adjust the number of frames per second which can give a very
If you are prepared to invest the time and effort in tuning, editing and
perfecting each of the frames in your animation I am sure you could
make something really very special with this software.
Stopmotion Studio can create high definition videos in resolution up to
1920 x 1080 (with an HD video recorder), and the completed stop-motion
video can then be converted into MPEG-1, MPEG-2, HD MPEG and WMV
formats, or MPEG-4/AVC format to watch on your portable device. My
daughter and I loved the fact that we could upload her animation to
Youtube and Facebook directly from within the software so that all of
our family could see it and share it. They were all very impressed at
Stopmotion 4.0 costs around £59.99 and I think it is going to be an
amazing application to have in our house over the coming years.