Okay, Walt Disney I’m not, but I’ve always been fascinated by how the original cartoons were put together as illustrated by flipping through a set of drawings, each one of which is changed slightly in order to convey motion. Then, I remember seeing stick figures and clay objects in motion as captured by still-frame photography, again making minor changes from frame to frame. Talk about your painstaking process . . .
iStopMotion from Boinx Software Ltd. has simplified the process so as to “Tell your story, one frame at a time.” If you want to animate something for a minimum investment, this is the answer. No need to hunt for talented actors, or build a stage or even write a script. A bit of clay or a toy can be the star of your animated masterpiece. You can watch your family member(s) tap their creative potential and be amazed at what they create. iStopMotion for iPad is also ideal for use in the classroom and in all disciplines, honing creativity, problem-solving and communication skills in students of all ages.
As their website describes, a movie is actually a sequence of photos paraded before your eyes at high speed, usually at about 25 frames per second. Things seem to move because of small differences from one picture to the next. Early film makers invented stop motion animation (also known as stop action animation or claymation) to create a giant gorilla climbing up the Empire State Building. The gorilla puppet would be moved a tiny bit in between taking images, coming to life when the images were played back as a movie. With iStopMotion for iPad you can now easily create your own masterpiece at home.
In the alternative, if you want to watch a flower bloom or the fog clearing from the Missouri River twin bridges, you need a lot of time and patience or you can watch a time lapse movie. If you play back a sequence of images at a higher frame rate than you captured them, slow things seem to speed up. This technique also helps to discover patterns like how clouds form which happen too slowly in real time to notice. iStopMotion for iPad can be set to capture frames automatically at a given time interval. It also allows you to control camera exposure and focus, helping you to easily create fascinating time lapse movies.
It is important to have a solid steadfast mount for your iPad, like a tripod. Their website shows a variety of devices that will solve this issue. My first animation was purposely simple using the iPad’s own folded case as the stand to capture “The Journey of the Paperclip” across my computer keyboard. The built-in grid and last-frame shadow are valuable assets to help guide the action, along with other frame adjustments to gauge the speed of replay. Its also nice to be able to save it to my photo collection, or DropBox or Youtube.
Learn more about iStopMotion at http://boinx.com/istopmotion/ipad/. It is available on the App Store for $9.99. There is also a free iStopMotion Remote Camera app available for both the iPhone and iPad 2. It is easy to be the Director and Producer of your next animated treasure (hmmmm, wonder if Pixar needs some help?).