by Megan - Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - Permalink
The last time we caught up with iStopMotion buff Ian Timothy, he reported he’d been commissioned to create a stop motion animation music video for Grace Adele and the Grand Band’s song “All My Dreams.” Ian, an award-winning animator, has become a Boinx Chronicles regular with his superb work in iStopMotion on his original YouTube series, Beaver Creek. In his latest venture, however, Ian’s claymation figures morphed into humans instead of animals.
The video starts off with about 20 seconds of live action, showing Grace Adele falling asleep beside a tree. Dream mode and iStopMotion ensue, as Grace and the man of her dreams (no pun intended) act out what they will do when all of her dreams come true, from eating endless amounts of ice cream (yes, please!) to dancing the night away.
As for Ian, all of his iStopMotion dreams seem to be coming true as well! The 17-year-old’s stop motion animation for Grace Adele and the Grand Band won “Best of Show” in the Kentucky All State art competition (KyAEA). Ian’s iStopMotion for iPad animation, "365" won a Regional Gold Key in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, as well as the Superlative award from the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft. "365" also won a National Silver Medal in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards – which is really saying something, since only 1,500 works out of 200,000 win national medals.
Ian maintains SOME sense of normalcy, and attends St. Xavier High School in Louisville, Kentucky, is the associate producer of their closed circuit WSTX news and (unsurprisingly) a member of the National Art Honor Society.
by Megan - Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - Permalink
The Fourth Annual Green Shorts Film Festival took place this past April with the theme “MOBILIZE FOR THE EARTH.” The film fest, a one to two minute video contest, is all about saving the planet, helping our environment and being green. To help show others how to be green and pragmatic, Jess Riegel, an artist, filmmaker, DJ and unicyclist based out of California, along with his assistant director/animator, Kelsey Crane (and a few others) created a stop motion movie illustrating how to make a delicious salad with ingredients from a farmers market.
Salad She Rides starts off with two young boys examining candy bars at the Santa Cruz Market, seemingly trying to decide whether or not to purchase them. That’s when Jess takes us to the market, where he loads up on fresh veggies for a nutritional – and tasty – treat. Watch as the purple cabbage, heirloom carrots, lettuce, onion and more goodies magically slice and dice into a salad, stop motion style. While it’s all happening, musician Jeff Levy - who also helped with animation - strums away at his guitar, singing the recipe to us.
In the end, a shelf carting the finished salad rides its way into the market, blocking out the candy shelf – leaving the two boys cheering happily at the fact they now have a healthy choice for a snack. Salad She Rides was made using Boinx Software’s iStopMotion Pro and won First Place AND Viewers’ Choice Award at the Santa Barbara Green Shorts Film Festival! We love the video, not only for Jess’s skill at stop motion animation, but also for its ability to spread the word about being green. Plus, we can’t wait to try out Jess’s delicious and healthy salad recipe!
You can make your own stop motion animations with iStopMotion for Mac or for iPad this summer, too! Test out healthy recipes, grow your own plants and record a time lapse of their progress, animate your veggies - anything! And don't forget to share your stop motion animations and tips for being green this summer with us!
by Megan - Thursday, June 07, 2012 - Permalink
Animation has come a long way since its inception – we’re talking a really, really long way. Stop motion animation was one of the first forms of animation and continues to get more and more advanced all the time. One type of animation from the past is 8-bit. You remember the pixilated characters of yesteryear, don’t you? Well, in this animation by Connor Wilson, 8-bit meets stop motion animation – and it is awesome.
Wilson recreated a level from the beloved videogame, Super Mario Bros., using Boinx Software’s iStopMotion for Mac. Not only is the video really well done in terms of animating, but the accuracy of the game itself is spot on (I don't know about you, but it makes me feel like busting out my Super Nintendo for a good old fashioned game of Super Mario Bros.!) – Wilson’s Mario even remembers to hit the secret 1-up hiding just before a death trap! Now THAT'S skill.
The Super Mario Bros. stop motion animation was created for Wilson’s high school computer class, which brings up a point we’ve been saying all along: iStopMotion is an awesome tool to use for school projects! Call me crazy but I’d much rather be recreating a scene from one of my favorite videogames than writing a term paper! (Okay, okay, they’re not always avoidable…). In all seriousness, stop motion animation is a great way of telling a story in a way that’s unique and engaging, and sure to impress classmates! Kudos to Wilson for creating such a clever iStopMotion animation!
by Megan - Monday, June 04, 2012 - Permalink
If you’re a mystery film buff, the short film, Private I, is sure to intrigue you. The movie is an original typographic monologue created by Wayne Thompson, Type Designer for Australian Type Foundry, using iStopMotion for iPad. Thompson filmed a time lapse of drawings illustrating a series of clever typography puns that tell the story of meeting a woman, Georgia, who happens to be “just his type.”
by Megan - Thursday, May 31, 2012 - Permalink
Even though school is close to being out for the summer, more and more people have been catching the iStopMotion for education bug. Whether it’s the original iStopMotion for Mac or the app version, iStopMotion for iPad, educators and students alike agree it’s a great way to explain something in a digital storytelling format. Teach thru Technology blogger Paul Wagner, who’s been in the educational field since 1999, recently wrote an article on the benefits of using stop motion animation in schools and then followed up that article with one specifically on iStopMotion for iPad!
In his first post about stop motion animation for educational purposes, “Say it with Clay(mation)!” Paul says, “Kids love this project because it allows them to be creative and have fun. Parents love it because they can see a product that was created by their child. Teachers love it because it gives the student a hands-on, in-depth look at a concept or process.”
In his follow up post, “A Stop Motion Must!” Paul says, “Why am I talking about this again? Well I had heard about an app that was available for the iPad called iStopMotion by Boinx Software. I couldn’t resist the temptation…I finally broke down and bought the app. It is a $10 app, so I was a little apprehensive at first. When you spend that kind of money for an app you expect it to be spectacular. Well I am definitely NOT DISAPPOINTED! The app, in my opinion, is amazing. It gives you clear images. All of the settings are done for you by default so all you have to worry about is taking the pictures.”
Thank you for the kind words, Paul! We pride ourselves on developing software that is easy to work with for those who may not be as tech-savvy as others, yet still has many capabilities for the techie and creative types. In regards to iStopMotion’s educational application, Paul says, “Claymation, probably more widely known as stop motion animation, is a great way for students to show a process…such as a life cycle, factorization, and word families…in a digital storytelling format.”
To show just how easy to use iStopMotion for iPad is, Paul includes an example from his 8-year-old daughter, who was able to create a stop motion animation without any help from her techie dad. She watched a one-minute tutorial, tested out a couple ideas, and in about five minutes, created a pretty cool iStopMotion for iPad animation. Check it out here!
In an unrelated post, Ryan Moneer Yaman published a video on YouTube illustrating the influenza pandemic using iStopMotion for Mac. The video is an awesome example of how you can use stop motion animation to visually explain something, whether it’s an event, a process, a person - anything. Ryan skillfully animates the definition and symptoms of the flu, it’s history, how and where it spread to, and more. Check out Ryan’s animation above or right here.
As Paul explains and Ryan exemplifies, stop motion animation is a great alternative to your typical poster board, slide show presentation or diorama. Even if school is out soon, summer has so much to offer for stop motion animations. Here are some ideas…
-Bring your toys to life with stop motion animation on a rainy day
-A time lapse of the sun rising or setting
-A stop motion animation of building a sand castle
-A time lapse of the progress of your tan throughout the summer (though don’t forget the sun block!!)
-So many more!!
And what better tool to use than iStopMotion for Mac or iPad?! Be sure to share your summer iStopMotions with us!
by Megan - Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - Permalink
TechnologyTell's Kirk Hiner recently checked out iStopMotion for iPad - here is what he has to say about it:
"I’m a fan of stop motion animation. More specifically, I’m a fan of sword fighting skeletons, and no amount of CGI progress will ever make sword fighting skeletons look better than Ray Harryhausen’s animation work in Jason and the Argonauts [Side note: we couldn't agree more]. Creating such effects can be a lot of fun, and with Boinx’s iStopMotion for iPad, it’s pretty easy, too..."
How does it work?
"It couldn’t be much easier, really. After creating your setting and choosing your subject, you simply set the focus and exposure and take your shot. Move your subject, and take another shot. iStopMotion uses transparency to show the previous layer under the next shot, so you can accurately adjust your subject’s movements. You can adjust the frame rate up to 24 frames per second, but remember that the more frames you use, the more images you’ll need for every second of movement."
by Megan - Friday, May 18, 2012 - Permalink
Playing make-believe can be difficult at times, but it’s especially hard when you’re not familiar with the character you’re trying to portray. This is exactly what happens to David when he and his Batman fanatic friend act out a scene with their LEGO® Super Hero Minifigures. David can’t seem to get it right while playing Batman, and his friend, who’s read all of the graphic novels, doesn’t let him forget it.
Batman Out of Character, animated and edited by Kris Theorin (Bionicle28 on YouTube) and written and voiced by his brother Kurtis Theorin, is a hilarious take on the “art” of playing make believe. Throughout the film, Kris bounces back and forth between Batman scene and playroom scene. The two friends make a bit of progress in their reenactment when the friend (unnamed) scolds David for getting Batman’s persona all wrong. The film continues in this fashion, until David finally (almost) gets it right.
“Batman Out of Character was made for a LEGO Super Heroes contest. We had to use DC Super Hero figures in the movie,” said Kris. “My brother Kurtis came up with the idea because he thought the best way to show off LEGOs in a positive light was to have kids playing with them in a creative way. He also thought it would be interesting to actually see the adventure the kids were coming up with while playing with them.”
Indeed, Kurtis was right. The brother’s collaboration earned them first place in the LEGO Super Heroes Challenge and a screening of Batman Out of Character at the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY). But this isn’t the first award Kris and his brother have won for the animations. The 14-year-old has been animating with iStopMotion since he was just 10, and his brother (now 18), has been working alongside him to write and voice the films. Together, they’ve won awards and contests for films including Spark of Life, The Brain Gobblers From Saturn and Legando.
In addition to using iStopMotion to put together the stop motion animations, Kris uses a Canon VIXIA HV30 video camera, Final Cut Express, After Effects, Pro Scores, Action Essentials Pack, Cinema 4D and a MacBook Pro. Not to mention lots and lots of LEGOs! To date, Kris has animated around 45 films using iStopMotion.
As for Kris's serious work ethic and dedication to his craft, Kris’s mother, Amy says, “I am constantly amazed at how focused Kris is in his creation of his stop motion animated movies. I don't think many 14 year olds can spend five to six hours at a time day after day painstakingly moving characters and the camera around. I know I would go nuts! He always surprises me too with the wonderful camera moves and angles he uses – they are very cinematic!”
Batman Out of Character is a job well done by Kris and Kurtis Theorin. We’re glad to see they work together much better than the characters in the film!
Check out this time lapse of Kris taking down the Batman Out of Character set for an idea of what goes into creating a LEGO stop motion animation - time lapse made using iStopMotion!
by Megan - Thursday, May 17, 2012 - Permalink
Tim Burton may be one of the most famous director/producers in Hollywood, constantly blazing the trail for edgy films. One medium he is most famous for is stop motion animation, producing blockbusters such as The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride. This October, Burton will be debuting a brand new 3D stop motion animation called Frankenweenie, a remake of the live action Disney film that gave him his start as a big time movie producer in 1984. Entertainment Weekly recently caught up with Burton regarding the new film, his career as a filmmaker and his deep love for stop motion animation.
Below is an excerpt of EW's conversation with Tim Burton:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What is it about stop-motion animation that appeals so much to you?
TIM BURTON: It goes back to Ray Harryhausen. You look at his stuff, and you see the fur move! As a child, I recognized this artist. And there was something about stop-motion that felt more like a personal medium, especially because there were so few people doing it. Also, you go back to those kinds of stories, like Frankenstein or Pinocchio, about bringing an inanimate object to life. So here you have a process that does just that! It takes an inanimate object and you bring it to life. As hard of a medium as it is, there’s something so beautiful about that and the fact that it goes back to the beginning of film. The technique hasn’t changed — it’s still animating one frame at a time for 24 frames [to create a single second of film].
by Megan - Monday, May 07, 2012 - Permalink
A beautiful time lapse of a cold day in Dresden, Germany using iStopMotion’s Tilt Shift feature makes the colorful surrounding city and its inhabitants look a bit like toys. Though the footage shows a bright and sunny February day in Germany, the temperature is reported at negative 20 degrees Celsius! Enjoy the tilt shift time lapse – we hope the weather is warmer where you are!
by Megan - Tuesday, May 01, 2012 - Permalink
The changing of the seasons is always an exciting time of the year, as we watch our surroundings change right before our eyes. From bright green trees and lush gardens to fiery red and orange leaves scattering the ground to snow covering everything in sight, the transformations, though slow, are beautiful to observe and experience. The gradual transformations can also be somewhat frustrating at times (would summer please get here already?!) – so watching a year of seasons change in this minute-long iStopMotion animation is a breath of fresh air. See a year of seasons transform in this stop motion short film – and remember, the warm weather is just around the corner!