There has been stop motion movie mania here recently. First, BalletBoy made a stop motion movie for his Christmas Eve performance. He did it completely on his own, or he would have except I had to figure out how to transfer all the pictures to the iPad for him in a reasonably quick way. In case the plot is unclear, Mary (who the Husband bought a replacement of off eBay for $3!) and her friend Big Frog attend a Christmas pageant. The baby Jesus is portrayed by a baby frog in the pageant and the angel is portrayed by Duck. It’s probably the sort of thing that only a mother could think was excellent, but I’m just enamored so much with the sustained effort he put into it. We put it on Youtube so it could be viewed on the big TV for performances, so you can see it here.
Anyway, since Christmas, the kids have been movie-making mad around the Rowhouse. BalletBoy introduced himself as, “ballet dancer and filmmaker,” the other day. Most creations have been about thirty seconds or less. They’re none so detail-oriented with dialogue and music the way that BalletBoy’s odd Christmas pageant movie was. However, it’s just fun to see a new passion take hold suddenly.
Here’s some of the resources we’ve been using for these endeavors. We already had the iMovie app on the iPad. It’s good for adding music and cutting together a little film, but less good at stop motion, so I added a few things. iMotion is a nice free app, though you have to buy add ons if you want to export your movie to any other format. Also, you have to be sure to take the pictures with the app. There’s no way to import them. So I moved on to Smoovie, which we’ve been very pleased with. It’s easy to use for kids, not too expensive with no more in-app purchases and allows you to import photos so you can take photos with your own camera then add them if you wish by pasting them directly. Since BalletBoy was so fired up, I got him the last minute Christmas gift of The Klutz Book of Animation. He has been excitedly getting ideas from it. If you don’t want to buy the book, you can see the little movies they made to illustrate the ideas in the book for free online here. And if you don’t have an iPad, you can download free software from there to make stop motion movies on your computer. Finally, in looking for the right app, we downloaded a couple of lite versions of two drawn animation apps, and , both of which we’re just starting to play with, but which look fun as well. Maybe we’ll start animating our art as well.