Riding Down the iStopMotion Road

If your child loves cars, Lucas Loves Cars is the place for you. Created by the parents of a car lover, Lucas Loves Cars began when Helle Warming had difficulty looking for quality car toys for her son Lucas. To fill this need for other parents, she started a company that would bring all of these toys together in one place. Now, three years later, Lucas Loves Cars features gifts for little car lovers from babies to school age, be it trucks, trains, planes or anything else with wheels.

The problem was that it was hard to show off what these little cars could do through a computer screen. Helle thought that iStopMotion might be the perfect way to give a hands-free overview of Lucas Loves Cars’ product features. The family had been using iStopMotion for a while after a young friend using it for a school assignment introduced them to the app on her iPad, and ever since, they’ve been hooked.

“With Lucas Loves Cars being an online store, I find the biggest hurdle I have is that people can't see how the products move,” Helle says. “A picture can't show you how the truck tray lifts or how cute a car looks rolling across the floor. Using iStopMotion gives these products some life and I don't get in the way. The products are the stars of the clip. These videos work well on the website to give movement to our descriptions, and with video being big on social media right now they get great audience reach.”

Helle makes iStopMotion videos both on her own and with her son, and she finds that it is a great family activity. It gives Lucas a big part in the family business!

“When I do the iStopMotion videos with Lucas, I forget that it’s work,” Helle says. “I wish I had more time so that I could do a movie for all of my little cars and trucks, but I think Lucas would get distracted after about two movies and I would end up with a dinosaur stamping on the trucks and eating the cars!”

When Helle is using iStopMotion by herself, she is quite particular about making small movements. When she’s working with six-year-old Lucas, however, it’s a much faster process. Lucas will act as the photographer while Helle moves the cars, and he’s not at all worried about making delicate little movements. He’s just ready for the next step.

“My favorite feature is that I can delete one frame,” Helle says. “Sometimes Lucas is a bit quick with his photos and my hand is in the way, so its great to be able to find it and delete it. Lucas loves that he can quickly play the video that we have made. It’s much more fun the way Lucas does it, and I actually think the movies we make together are the best!”

Recently, Lucas has started using iStopMotion on his own to play and make movies with his toys. Helle loves that he is a willing helper, and she thinks that iStopMotion will definitely be a part of the Lucas Loves Cars marketing strategy for a while.

Check out this recent video by Helle and Lucas on a car-themed book, and be sure to take a look at one of the Lucas Loves Cars toys in action above!

mimoLive and mimoLive TV

About mimoLive

After 7 years of incremental improvements delivered via more than 30 free updates, BoinxTV 2 is a big leap. So big, in fact, that it also gets a new name:

mimoLive – The Multi-In, Multi-Out Live Video Engine

From now on, all betas will carry the new name. We’ll also be gradually switching to the name „mimoLive“ in the marketing and surrounding infrastructure, like the website, the forums, the manual and Boinx Connect.

mimoLive TV

For our customers, we want to make the change from BoinxTV to mimoLive as smoothly as possible. So we provide periodically episodes on how to setup and use mimoLive to record and stream events, lectures, TV shows and much more.

Bastian Wölfle, the product manager of mimoLive himself, will show you in short tutorials how to get used to and work with mimoLive.

Enjoy the first episode of mimoLive TV above or on our youtube channel.

Learning a Little Luck From Nuki

CK Chiu is the creator of a line of childrens books called Nuki: Het Gelukshondje (Nuki: The Lucky Puppy). The picture books are about the adventures of Nuki, a little husky puppy, and his friends as they learn about happiness. Nuki teaches children all about being happy with who you are, being thankful, following your dreams and listening to your heart. Currently, there are seven Nuki books published in Holland, but CK wants Nuki’s lessons to be heard worldwide. That’s why he’s turning to iStopMotion to help Nuki and his friends appear in their own internet animations.

“Children really enjoy the Nuki books, and their parents tell me how happy they are that I’m writing about subjects that are important in life and that make it easier for them to talk about important topics with their children,” CK says. “When I was visiting the EYE Film Museum in Amsterdam, I discovered the stop motion animation method. I contacted an animator and she told me all about iStopMotion and how it is one of the best and most easy to use programs out there, so I immediately bought the software to create my own animations.”

CK loved the program so much that he decided to transform every Nuki book in the series into iStopMotion animations so children all over the world would be able to watch them. He is currently in the process of creating the first animation, which will be called The Thank-You Game. In this story, Nuki and his friends will play a game that will teach them to be thankful in life.

“You can understand iStopMotion the minute you use it,” CK says. “The animator I talked to from the museum told me that the helpdesk is great as well, which was another reason I chose to work with iStopMotion. I haven’t had to call them yet, though!”

All of CK’s Nuki books are available online, in public libraries and more – it seems that his lovable little husky is finding his way into hearts everywhere. We plan on following up with CK as soon as his first animation is complete so we can share it with all of you here. We can’t wait to see how it all turns out!

“My end goal is for children around the world to enjoy Nuki the lucky puppy’s fun adventures,” CK says. “I’m all about happiness in life, and I hope that my stories can spread some happiness, too.”

So far, he’s doing a GREAT job!

To see more on Nuki, please visit http://www.nukiworld.com/.

“My Favorite Thing is That It is Like Magic”

Typically, it’s the teacher that teaches the students. In Rita Giannakakis’s class at Holy Family Catholic School in Australia, the “flipped classroom approach” is occasionally used, meaning that no teaching has to be done at first because the students drive their own learning.

How does this work? One day, one of Rita’s students came to school and showed the class what he had been exploring at home – iStopMotion! After a discussion, Rita set him up to do a workshop with two other students because she believes that students learn best from each other. Here’s the kicker. It all worked out so well that Rita decided to integrate iStopMotion lessons into her classroom. She documented the whole process on the class blog, ½ G Blog.

“The students were engaged with the first finished iStopMotion video, made by four students, and then they worked in pairs and groups to explore and investigate how to make one themselves,” Rita says. “They learned from each other and through exploration. It is very user friendly – my students are aged seven to eight years, and they started to work the program and its functions right away. They were very excited!”

After teaching themselves through trial and error and completing a rough iStopMotion video, the students worked in small groups with Rita to create their “good copy.” Check out the students making their iStopMotion videos here!

Rita’s iStopMotion lessons included a comprehensive evaluation on how each student felt about the program. She then came up with a blog post detailing their thoughts. Here’s what some of the iStopMotion superstars had to say:

Terry: It was nice because it lets you do a lot of stuff.

Lyen: It was easy to learn because all you actually have to do is press a red button and save it. When I went to school I showed it to Finn and Bailey and it was a little bit hard to teach them but when I finished I checked it and they did it by themselves.

Finn: I thought it was tricky but I learned fast and it can do amazing things.

Nathan: It is good because it wasn’t real but I ate a glue stuck but I actually dropped it. I learned to make a magic trick with it.

Bailey: My first try, it was a bit hard and I didn’t know what to do but when my friends helped me it was easy. I did a magic trick with a blanket. I then started to teach myself and now my videos are nice and funny.

Keyu: When I first did an iStopMotion, Lyen showed and helped me and I tried to do it by myself and I did it. My favorite thing is that it is like magic. Every time I show my videos to my Mum, she laughs. Everyone can learn it if they try and my teacher tells me to try.

Loveleen: When I watched the video from my friends it seemed hard but it wasn’t when I did my own. It was tricky but fun and I liked watching my video.

Check out a compilation of ½ G’s first iStopMotion attempts above! And be sure to check out the class’s final projects below! Happy animating!

½ G's Final Projects:

Ryley, Omid and Amin

Noor, Loveless and Udesh

Emma and Nikki

Diana, Naomi and Madison

Ai and Maddy

Finn and Nathan

Brendan, Ryan and Somnang

Keyu, Bailey and Alicia

Learn the ABC’s of ISM at ABC

Jennifer Garcia is an instructor and learning resources coordinator at Academia Britanica Cuscatleca (ABC) in El Salvador. An accomplished instructor, Jennifer has been involved with ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) for the past six years and has even claimed two awards for her efforts! ISTE is a nonprofit organization for educators and education professionals who are committed to empowering connected learners in a connected world. As stated on ISTE’s website, its mission is “to empower learners to flourish in a connected world by cultivating a passionate professional learning community, linking educators and partners, leveraging knowledge and expertise, advocating for strategic policies and continually improving learning and teaching.”

As education moves forward, an emphasis on the convergence of technology and academia becomes commonplace, making ISTE’s efforts more relevant than ever. As noted by Jennifer, “Technology empowers students to develop and produce exciting, relevant work, with greater ease, in a relatively short amount of time, while focusing on learning and applying important skills.”

Animation technology serves as an important learning tool for Jennifer’s students, as she has used animation as a story telling device with her seventh graders for the past eight years as part of a team of three instructors teaching the unit. Her projects run over the course of the school year and are based off of the school’s values of “Responsibility, Outstanding and Citizenship.” She describes the past technique of stopmotion animation before the advent of convenient, accessible software such as iStopMotion: “The setup was an iMac with a large cardboard box perched in front of it, often on a pile of books, which served as a stage. We used PhotoBooth on the iMacs to take the shots and then imported the sequences into iMovie. It was clunky, the shots were shaky and often got mixed up, but served its purpose.”

Technology such as iStopMotion removes the clutter and confusion that can accompany producing such media, allowing students to focus more on the planning and creative aspects of their projects. Features such as the onion skinning tool and the addition of an audio recording option have streamlined the animation process for Jennifer and her students. She explains, “iStopMotion has allowed us to bring our animation work forward in leaps and bounds in comparison. I couldn't imagine running the animation unit without it.”

This year, Jennifer says that ABC’s animation station furniture has been made to order, including a green screen for students to add in special effects after taking their shots in iStopMotion! Quite a far cry from their days of PhotoBooth animation, we’d say.

We can’t wait to see how the green screen enhances her student’s animations. Until then, you can check out last year’s student work above.