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My grandchildren have discovered YouTube.

Now I am hoping that both of them, though still quite young, get the moviemaking bug.

This little book of 72 pages is very kid friendly. There's a short chapter on what you need: some form of video camera that will output directly to the computer for live capture. That could be a cheap webcam or an expensive HD set-up, as long it has a FireWire or USB capability for direct capture. They recommend you download the very capable SAM Animation software developed by Tufts University. (The version they suggest is free, but there is also a more advanced paid version as well.) This is followed by several pages on using the SAM program. The SAM program is an excellent choice for the task.

This chapter is very well done and will serve both parents (and grandparents) who want to guide their kids - and the kids themselves. For slightly older children, the instructions are easy to grasp.

There are 18 projects or, if you want o view them this way, lessons, which cover different aspects of stop motion animation. All of the projects are laid out very well in steps-by-step form. Most of the projects have a tip or two, such as how to make it look like a toy car is going over a cliff.

A small amount of Plasticene modeling clay is included for the chapters on claymation.

A number of pages are given over to die-cut pop-outs for use in creating some of the projects. For example, there are six sets of printed lips in various positions for use in making videos of talking vegetables and the like. Providing these is actually a thoughtful touch since it makes it a lot easier for kids to get into the project without having to undertake a lot of extraneous activities.

Overall, this is a very well done book. For kids aged 5 - 9, the assistance of an older person will probably be very helpful. For children aged 10 and older, the book itself should be sufficient.

I can hardly wait for the next visit from the grandchildren. Animation fun ahead!

Jerry
22 comments41 of 41 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 29, 2010
This is just an awesome book. Comes with ideas for making your own animation cartoons with Barbies, cars or the included clay. The possibilites are endless. Includes a link for the computer program so all you need is a web camera. I bought a $10 one with lights and it is perfect. My kids drew their own backdrops and sometimes they used a calendar that had landscape pictures on it which turned out really cute! All of them ages 8 to 12 participate in making the clips. They have used it for hours and hours already and we have only had it a few days. So fun. Can record sound with the software you download for free but if you want much more options, you have to buy the upgraded version which is $49.00. We love it so much that we probably will. This was the best item at Christmas! You will not be disapointed but make sure they have a webcam or you get one when you give it as a gift.
0Comment15 of 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 24, 2010
What a great book! The projects and techniques are fun, easy to follow, and creative. A perfect introduction for any child or adult interested in exploring the world of stop-motion animation.
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on January 17, 2011
This book states that you can use ANY video camera. When you go to the website to download the software, there is an UPDATE that tells you that you actually need a webcam- or a camera that can stream while attached to your computer. We went out and bought a $150 flip video camera, came home, opened it, hooked it up, and then found this key information! All you need is a cheap little webcam!
We're going back out today to get that, but not before we spent an extra $150! ouch!

I'm still giving the book 4 stars, because I use klutz products all the time and they are always fabulous, so we can look past 1 little human error!
11 comment16 of 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 1, 2013
This book was intended for my 11 year old grandson to use in developing stop motion videos using his LEGO characters. It is fun to read and use. Truly, it was created for minds like his!! The software application that is a free download from the publisher is not very intuitive and required some head scratching to retrieve it from their website. Once installed, it was easy to use and our budding producer / director, who wants to be the future Stephen Spielberg, is really enjoying it. Thanks for keeping it simple for me.
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on October 26, 2010
Great book and software (download) for beginners interested in Stop Motion animation. My 7 and 9 year old sons have had so much fun playing with this. Oh and I have too.
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on June 29, 2013
This is the greatest thing ever! My 9 year-old son is making movies all on his own. The instructions are made perfect for this age group. I'm am utterly amazed at quality of the short films he has made. Lego's are a great medium with this too. I recommend this product wholeheartedly!
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on December 4, 2010
I was looking for a book for my 12 year old niece that would teach her about Claymation. A first glance I was dissapointed in the book because it didn't seem to be as in-depth as I wanted, but after looking at it closer I really like it. Not only does it teach about Claymation, but it also teaches about other simple forms of animation that are possible with very simple tools. This book is the perfect level for a 12 year old wanting to learn and start doing animation.
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on March 16, 2012
Children liked the book but were distraught when they could not work the clay into shape(s). I tried myself and discovered the clay was dried out, not pliable and unusable... It only broke into pieces that could not be molded or rejoined.
22 comments4 of 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 9, 2015
I got this book for my 11 yo son, who had never done any stop motion before. I read all the reviews about all the books, and this seemed to be the best fit. It has turned out to be very helpful for my son (and for me to help if he needs it.). He has reproduced some of the examples in the book plus made some videos of his own (with MANY ideas in his brain waiting to happen.) I gave it 4 stars because it did not come with the software (or the little package of clay). I already new it wouldn't since I bought it used, but I just can't attest to the software that it tells about in the book. Our computer already has movie maker and I found other free software online if we needed it. So, there are a couple pages about setting up the software that didn't really help us. I would buy it again for the tutorials on how to make the movies- there are many different ideas. Also a down side- the book names a website to visit to see the videos, but that site no longer exists. I checked it out beforehand and found all but one on a youtube channel, so that was not a problem at all. If you could not watch the videos, the book would be a little less helpful. Overall, we love it!
0Comment1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse