by Oliver - Monday, February 24, 2014 - Permalink
This is the last post to the Chronicles.
After almost 10 years, the old Boinx blogging platform is ripe for retirement. Over the last couple of months, we built a new platform and today, we are restarting the Boinx Blog under a new URL and with new gusto!
Posts from 2004 to today will remain available on this site for reference and permalinks will continue to work.
by Megan - Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - Permalink
Lindsay Olsen teaches at Calistoga Elementary School in Calistoga, California. However, he’s no ordinary 5th grade teacher. Lindsay knows how beneficial iPads can be for the learning process, and he has been using them for PBL, or Project Based Learning, for several years now. He likes to incorporate various “App-tivities” and QR Scavenger Hunts into his curriculum to help his students learn in a contemporary way.
“The idea of stop motion videos originally came to me when I tried to tie in my photography background,” Lindsay says. He was a commercial photographer before becoming a teacher. “I searched for an app that students could use but that was powerful enough to create a professional look.”
His search led him to iStopMotion for iPad. The first iStopMotion project Lindsay and his 5th graders created was an animation telling the story of the Age of Exploration. They used PlayMobile figures, boat models and simple backgrounds. To create the sound, they overlaid an audio track scripting State Standards for Social Studies. After that first project, Lindsay knew that iStopMotion was the perfect tool for his class. It’s simple enough for his 5th graders to use – in fact, they discovered that it was simple enough for a kindergartener, too! Lindsay’s 5th grade students have been teaching their “KinderBuddies” how to use iStopMotion to create their own animations.
The 5th graders and their KinderBuddies work together to create a “Kinder” story using white boards and Expo markers to tell their story. The project was wildly successful. Lindsay and his students shared the project with the school administrators, and they loved it so much that they plan on bringing eight outsiders from San Francisco to observe the process. Most recently, one of Lindsay’s 5th graders helped a kindergartener make a video about the water cycle. They presented it to 40 classmates and 12 visiting administrators from San Francisco. But what did the students themselves think about iStopMotion? Lindsay says they loved it!
“I saw them using iPads and iStopMotion during their personal time. They were making videos of soccer games, horses, and simple pencil drawings. They really enjoyed the ease of the program as well as the cool-looking finished project.”
The students particularly enjoyed the onion-skinning feature. They liked how they could line up each frame for a better, more accurate animation. They also liked iStopMotion’s ability to change the playback speed of their movies.
“Any time students apply and create, they learn … not when taking a bubble test!” Lindsay says. His experiences with iStopMotion have convinced him that it’s a great way for students to learn in a fun way that will stick better than studying straight out of the book, especially with a topic they’re interested in.
Lindsay plans on putting together an iStopMotion production of American Independence and the Boston Freedom Trail next with his students. After they’re finished with the animation, they’ll have a Skype discussion of the finished project with the Daughters of the American Revolution, a non-profit organization for women directly descended from a person involved in the United States’ independence who work to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism.
Congratulations to Lindsay Olsen and his students on all of their hard work! Help us promote educational iPad use in the classroom by submitting your own informative iStopMotion animation!
by Megan - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - Permalink
In the tradition of animators like Ray Harryhausen, Sleeping Dog Video Productions decided to animate a traditional Norwegian folk tale using stop motion animation. “Three Billy Goats Gruff” was created using iStopMotion and a commendable amount of research and preparation. The Sleeping Dog visited the goats at Fife Animal Park in Scotland to see first-hand how they moved, ate grass, and even how they butted each other. As a result, the Sleeping Dog’s three billy goats gruff were born!
The movie itself was made working from sketches and a five-panel storyboard. The goat models were created with wire-armature for movement. Their bodies were padded with strips of foam cut from an old seat cushion and were glued on with epoxy glue. Their heads came from baked Sculpey clay and the horns and legs of twisted wire, and after were covered with clay and baked again. Then, they were covered with acrylic felt of different colors for the different goats. The troll was made in a similar fashion, but it took a bit for the Sleeping Dog to come up with an idea for its head. In the end, he used a pattern to cut out six felt sinusoidal strips, sewed them together, and stuffed the resulting ball with cotton wool. The troll’s head had to be detachable to fit under the bridge, so a rubber washer was added to the bottom of the head to make it fit better on top of the aluminum wire neck. Other useful tools for the set included the “usuals”: a hot glue gun, scissors, a ruler, a needle, pliers, a hobby vice, a model holder with crocodile grips and a magnifying class, a paintbrush, a hammer, a pencil, and clamps.
The lighting came from three bendable, clamping LED lights, and the camera’s color temperature was set manually to make for a more natural look. The animation was done in iStopMotion, and the Sleeping Dog used audio segments from GarageBand to create the sound in iMovie. All of the narrating was done in five separate GarageBand files using the Male Narrator track preset. The Sleeping Dog loved that iStopMotion was simple and reliable, and that it integrated well with iMovie. He says that the timing down to frame, 1/12 second, was easy to synchronize with audio, and that it had handy video playback.
All of this resulted in a spectacular iStopMotion movie that grabbed our attention straight away! Check out “Three Billy Goats Gruff” here! Also be sure to check out the Sleeping Dog’s blog for future projects!
by Megan - Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - Permalink
Florida’s Tampa Theatre was built in 1926 as a movie palace. Gorgeous and historic, Tampa Theatre is the perfect setting to teach children about the basics of visual storytelling through film. The Tampa Theatre Film Camp is a collaboration between the Tampa Theatre and the Florida Center for Instructional Technology at the USF College of Education. Founded by FCIT Director Roy Winkelman and long-time Tampa Theatre Community Relations director Tara Schroeder, the camp launched in 2004. Since then, a number of educators have jumped on board as camp counselors, from teachers who graduated from the USF program and pre-service teachers currently enrolled at the College of Education, to college students studying filmmaking who have come through the camp themselves.
At the Tampa Theatre Film Camp, young people learn about visual storytelling through film and teachers are taught how to integrate technology into their classrooms, all while promoting community interest in the historic Tampa Theatre. The camp began holding a stop motion animation week during its third year using Boinx’s iStopMotion app. They loved it so much that they never looked back.
“We looked at several different programs, but iStopMotion was the obvious choice because of its simplicity,” says Allison Papke, one of the educators who lead the stop motion animation week at Tampa Theatre each summer. “It’s a powerful tool that is easy to use. After a few minutes, no one thinks about the interface. They are free to concentrate on their creations.”
Allison says they regularly teach groups of eight-year-olds to use iStopMotion and typically, they’re really good within the first session. “The onion skinning is an excellent feature because it allows the campers to see how much they have moved the object before taking the next picture,” she says. “Also, accidents happen at camp and sometimes an entire set may get bumped. The onion skinning allows it to be reset to how it was.”
The students at Tampa Theatre Film Camp love seeing objects come to life through their stop motion animations. They also love being able to easily use many other tools in conjunction with iStopMotion, like GarageBand and iMovie. Allison thinks that techniques such as stop motion help students to expand their knowledge, too.
“Stop motion allows students to film things that couldn’t happen in real life, such as walking Legos or stuffed animals,” she says. “They have also done ‘people-mation,’ which allows them to do things that they wouldn’t be able to do in real life. Animation allows students to be creative because, unlike live action filming, the sky is the limit!”
Tampa Theatre Film Camp’s stop motion week is loaded with fun. On Monday, students practice animating with cut paper animation and white board animation. On Tuesday, they advance by practicing with clay and object animation. Wednesday is the day their final animation begins to form. Students share their ideas with the whole group and then form small groups of three or four, where they decide on a medium or mixed media. Then, they write the script and create the storyboards for their animation. They also begin creating the backgrounds and characters. The students spend Thursday animating their movies. On Friday, they record voiceovers and add titles, music, transitions and special effects in iMovie. At the end of the day on Friday, the parents come for a sneak preview of the finished stop motion animation movies.
Like any good film camp, Tampa Theatre holds a Film Camp Festival every year to premiere the movies created during the camp. It serves as the premiere for over 40 original movies, including both live action and stop motion animation. It’s a great place for students to get credit for all their hard work and get a taste of the success and satisfaction that comes with being a filmmaker!
“My advice to aspiring filmmakers is to watch movies with a critical eye, paying careful attention to shots and angles, costumes, setting and dialogue and applying these techniques to your own movies,” Allison says. “Don’t be afraid to try new things, and don’t ever stop making movies!”
Check out Tampa Theatre online to learn more about the theatre or to sign up for the next Tampa Theatre Film Camp! You could be the next one showing off your work at the Tampa Theatre Film Camp Festival!
by Megan - Monday, January 06, 2014 - Permalink
Artist and image-maker Fabric Lenny has had an interest in stop motion animation for as long as he can remember. “I love the magic involved, the wizardry of bringing inanimate objects to life,” he says. “I love the work of Ray Harryhausen and the early work of Aardman.”
Lenny chose to work with iStopMotion a number of years ago, and it’s been his go-to program ever since. He particularly likes the stability of the software, its simplicity and its intuitive logic. “It just lets you get on with animating,” he says. “I think the iPad version provides an exciting opportunity for more children to access stop motion animation in the classroom.”
Lenny loves using stop motion to help young animators reach their full potential in the classroom. Recently, he worked with a Y3 class at Reinwood Junior School in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom, where the students made artwork in response to the popular children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are. The students let the wild rumpus start by creating their own monsters through a variety of artistic techniques. They used iPads to create digital drawings and storyboards, and eventually, they put together a short iStopMotion film starring their wild creations.
“I am really interested in the collaborative nature of filmmaking, and I love to work with large groups of children to realize a project,” Fabric Lenny says. “I love to combine relatively low-tech materials such as cardboard and marker pens with the digital tech of iPads, DSLR cameras and Macs. I use the replacement method of animation a lot when working with groups. That way there is lots of making to be done and everyone can get involved in character making.”
Lenny thinks stop motion is a great way to help facilitate learning in the classroom. He says that it’s a great tool to support the teaching of literacy, which includes character and narrative structure. He also thinks that stop motion offers opportunities for team working and collaboration.
“Like any art form, the key to stop motion is enjoyment,” Fabric Lenny says. “Make sure you have fun with your animation. Make things that make you smile, and keep it simple!” Wise words!
What’s up next for Fabric Lenny? Well, he recently won a commission to make a creative pixilation animation in a local museum, to which we offer our great congratulations! Check out his website to keep updated on all of his latest and greatest artistic work.
Try your hand at creating a stop motion animation from your favorite children’s book. It’s a great way to make reading fun and, for parents, the perfect after-school activity. We’d love to see your best ideas come from the page to real life.
by Megan - Thursday, January 02, 2014 - Permalink
The Animation Chefs recently held a contest to animate Rudolf's nose. They announced the winners on Christmas Eve - prizes included four iStopMotion for iPad app codes! Did you win?! Watch the video above to see some of the best animations from the contest and to find out who won. Read the full story here, and be sure to join the Chefs for the inside scoop on upcoming projects, contests and more. 2014 will be a big year for these guys - you don't want to miss a thing!
On behalf of Boinx, we hope you all had a wonderful holiday and a happy New Year. Here's to 2014 - let's make it the best year yet!
by Megan - Monday, December 23, 2013 - Permalink
Every year, UK department store chain John Lewis collaborates with adam&eveDDB, a communications company, for a holiday commercial. This year they really went the extra mile with their ad “The Bear & the Hare” by producing an incredible, hand-drawn stop motion animation. It went viral almost immediately.
The commercial is centered on best friends Bear and Hare in the midst of a Christmas-decorating extravaganza in the forest. Bear watches sadly, knowing he will soon have to hibernate and miss the holiday with his friends. However, this year Hare has an idea that will change everything.
“The Bear & the Hare” took a long time to create – just the animating portion took over six weeks to accomplish – but it was well worth it! Most of the figures that appear in the ad are traditional 2D hand-drawn animations, but all of the sets were created in 3D. And rather than doing standard 2D animation, the team decided to go the full mile and film it all in stop motion. What resulted is an absolutely fascinating scene that truly captures the holiday spirit in a unique way.
Read more about “The Bear & the Hare” and watch the short film above to find out what happens in this heartwarming Christmas story. To see a behind-the-scenes look at how this beautiful animation was created, take a look at “The Bear & the Hare – the Making Of.” It’s a great place to pick up some pointers!
Are you planning on creating something for your own holiday celebrations, but in need of a “jolt” like Bear? Have no fear … we’ve got some ideas to get awaken your creative mind!
• Try your own holiday iStopMotion animation. You could use the stop motion feature to make some of your favorite holiday food come to life (like candy canes, holiday cookies, eggnog … anything can work!), to animate Claymation reindeer on a makeshift roof or to create a snowy wonderland animation on a chalkboard.
• How about time-lapse movies? Use iStopMotion to create a time-lapse video of a snowstorm, opening presents, decorating a Christmas tree, lighting a Menorah, or baking holiday cookies! iStopMotion’s time-lapse feature is great when it comes to documenting a process that changes from start to finish.
• Use FotoMagico to create a picture slideshow of your family around the holidays. Mix it up and throw some pictures of a family dinner (as you can see, we’re big holiday food fans here), present opening, playing in the snow, or playing board games and drinking hot chocolate by the fire. You’ll be able to look back on it for years to come.
We’d love to see your take on some of these ideas and new ideas of your own! Send in some of your best holiday creations for a chance to be featured here on Boinx’s blog! Happy Holidays!Please note: The above animation "The Bear & the Hare" was not created using iStopMotion.
by Megan - Wednesday, December 18, 2013 - Permalink
Do you like free stuff? We sure do! Well, luckily for you, the Animation Chefs are holding another prize-filled animation challenge. They’ll be giving away more than $150 in gift cards before Christmas – all you have to do is pick Rudolf’s nose!
Well, sort of. Join in all the reindeer games by animating Rudolf’s nose for the contest. We’re talking the kind of animation that will do his big, bright red nose justice … after all, there’s an entire song written about it! Remember, it doesn’t matter how long or short the video is, or even how skilled you are at animating. The contest is a drawing, so everyone has an equal chance at the fun.
You’ve got to hurry to win though! The contest ends the night before the night before Christmas – December 23rd – at midnight. If Santa can deliver in such a short time, so can you!
And as a bonus, Boinx will be giving away some iStopMotion for iPad codes to the contest winners. $150 in gift cards + free iStopMotion for iPad = a whole lot of early holiday happiness. So get animating and shout out with glee, because if you win, you’ll go down in history!
by Megan - Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - Permalink
Craig Lauridsen began working with stop motion animation five years ago through teaching children at Newtown Movie School, a program that provides fully interactive movie making programs for children ages 9 to 15. Since then, the school has filled up their YouTube channel with over 250 student-made stop motion movies. “Children are great at making stop motion movies,” Craig says. “We find the best way to solve most challenges on a budget they can afford, but to a standard that is the highest quality we can achieve.”
Craig says he’s been able to apply his experience in stop motion through making movies, visual communication, sound editing and, of course, by teaching it. And that’s exactly what led to Craig creating his iBook, “iPad Animation.” Featuring Boinx Software’s iStopMotion for iPad, Craig’s iBook teaches hopeful animators how to weave together story, pictures and sound to create amazing stop motion animations right from the iPad. Readers will learn how to use iMovie, GarageBand and djay in conjunction with iStopMotion for iPad. “iPad Animation” is available now through Apple’s iBookstore for just $7.99 – but hurry! Special pricing ends December 28th, when the iBook will resume regular pricing at $9.99.
“iPad Animation” was also designed to serve as a resource for schools and teachers looking to integrate the iPad into the curriculum worldwide. “We’ve had teachers tell us that their board has purchased a suite of iPads, and now they have to prove to the parents that they are a benefit to the learning, and not just a browsing device,” Craig says. “‘iPad Animation’ 100% meets that opportunity to turn the iPad into a creativity station. We want to get a copy of this book into every school – and the iStopMotion app as well of course.”
Craig was even able to include some of his own stop motion films in the iBook. He created a short stop motion film on the water cycle to be used as a case study. “I was looking for a more curriculum-based example of stop motion to balance the drama and art examples. I felt the water cycle was a good and simple topic that could be described in a short example for the book,” Craig says.
A Japanese exchange student at Newtown Movie School introduced the house to the art of origami, and, after seeing her models, Craig knew it would be the perfect addition to his water cycle movie idea. The script was researched and written in an hour, and the audio recorded in another hour. Then, Craig passed the dialogue audio on to his musician Theo Corfiatis from bluexrysalis.com to create in GarageBand.
“I was a bit ambitious thinking I could record the pictures in a day,” Craig laughs. “It took a day to make all the origami models. I thought through each scene like a storyboard to ensure I had the right models prepared.”
Recording the pictures took another day and involved quite a few rig setups to set each scene, which Craig particularly likes creating in order to achieve cool camera moves. Eventually, Craig wants to make the water cycle film available as a movie of “pictures and music” for the iBook so people can voice their own translation. He thinks it will be really great to see German, French, Italian, and Russian versions. To get involved in the global project, follow the simple steps posted on Craig’s site.
“iPad Animation” is now available through the iBookstore. It includes 26 movies, 23 sounds and about 700 images. For more information on “iPad Animation,” check out Craig’s website. Don't have iStopMotion for iPad yet? Not to worry: it's currently on sale for 50% off, at just $4.99 - special pricing ends December 15th, so get it before it's too late!
Win an Apogee MiC With Your “iPad Animation” Purchase
To celebrate the launch of his book, Craig Lauridsen will be giving away an Apogee MiC, provided courtesy of Apogee Electronics. This studio-quality microphone connects directly to the iPad, iPhone and Mac and lets you record any sound you can imagine, from vocals to voice-overs, instruments to interviews, and absolutely everything in between, so you can build a great track for your stop motion movie.
To enter this contest, simply purchase the “iPad Animation” iBook, then register and download the soundtracks on Craig’s site, which are high quality MP3s and original, fully editable GarageBand files. Participants will receive 15 extra soundtracks as an exclusive bonus. All soundtracks are original and have been composed by Wellington musician Theo Corfiatis. Participants must complete these steps by January 31, 2014 to be eligible to win. Craig will draw the winner randomly from all valid entries.
by Megan - Monday, December 09, 2013 - Permalink
When it comes to learning, we think a hands-on approach is the best way to get concepts through to kids. Plus, now with iPads in classrooms across the globe, it's more important than ever that we provide students and teachers with the best apps to help maximize the potential of iPad-learning. In steps our very own iStopMotion for iPad. Luckily, iPads in the Classroom, a UK website, is backing us up here in their article, "Bring Learning to Life on the iPad with iStopMotion."
They say: "Stop motion animation is a style of movie making that involves single photographs of an object in various positions that, when stitched together, appear as though the inanimate object has a life of it’s own. Some of the most impressive ways of creating a stop motion video include the use of clay or puppetry — both of which are still popular today, like the tv series Wallace & Gromit or the hit film Coraline. iStopmotion is the go-to app when it comes to creating a stop motion animation on your iPad."
iPads in the Classroom gives iStopMotion a 5-Star Super rating! "Overall, iStopMotion is the complete package for creating animations on the iPad. It’s fun, easy to use and is perfect for all ages."
For those looking to use iStopMotion for iPad in the classroom, they provide some great ideas on what you can do:
- Document how the weather changes throughout the day
- Time lapse of a plant growing over a period of time
- Record a painting being created
- Animate your school logo
And don't forget, iStopMotion for iPad is also a great tool to use at home with your kids. Animate all of your toys, record a time lapse of a blizzard while staying warm by the fireplace, and bring all of your Christmas presents to life! We've included a time lapse above of us baking some delicious holiday cookies (recipe here) - hopefully it inspires you to "cook" something up of your own!