How Do Moving Pictures Work?

by Megan -

For Tim Ziegler, educating people on animation through the use of iStopMotion has become an enjoyable hobby. Tim has worked in the fields of online journalism and education since the mid-90s, and since then, he’s found that iStopMotion is the best program to suit his educational project needs.

A friend recommended it,” he says about the animation program. “He said it was the best one. I agree … I’ve tried a lot of them.

Recently, Tim has used iStopMotion to create all kinds of animations, including building a 3D printer, for his educational teachings. He has done animation projects at two Maker Faires, an event created by Make Magazine to "celebrate arts, crafts, engineering, science projects and the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) mindset." About 250 people participated in each event.

Tim picked up on the positive initial responses from all age groups involved. “The kids just jumped right in and used it without saying anything,” he says. “A lot of the adults commented on how easy it was to use, how cool it is … I think a lot of them had never used a program like this before. They were surprised at how intuitively useful the onion-skinning is.” Tim thinks that it’s especially fun to show the kids how moving pictures work by creating animations in iStopMotion. He has learned that most never give it much thought until they make their first animation, and then the light bulb in their head goes off. Many of the kids at the Maker Faires stayed at Tim’s stations for a long time to continue crafting their own animations.

On using animation techniques like stop motion animation for educational purposes, Tim thinks it’s wonderful. He comments particularly that time-lapses can be really helpful in documenting educational projects. He also notes that instructional whiteboard animations have great appeal to children, especially to his 11-year-old son. “[They’re] a great way to have kids digest and truly understand ideas well enough to spit them back out as a drawn story … it gives them creative satisfaction,” Tim remarks. “Having to re-tell what you’ve learned is the best way to truly store new knowledge.”

With Tim’s guidance, over 100 new Maker Faire animators were able to create their own stop motion art using iStopMotion for iPad. Check out some of the animations above!

Video credit: Fanboy TV