Top positive review
41 of 41 people found this helpful
A marvelous how-to guide for kids on stop motion animation
on February 28, 2011
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!