by Megan - Friday, December 13, 2013 - Permalink
Yesterday we announced the latest update to FotoMagico, and v4.4 is by far the most significant update to version 4 yet! We’re so excited for you to get your hands on this sweet upgrade, and just in time for the holidays. What better way to showcase the many memories from the most wonderful time of the year than with a slideshow that can be shared with loved ones near and far?
According to our very own Oliver Breidenbach, “This update to FotoMagico is not about fancy new features; it’s about improving the platform and preparing for the future. This is the most significant update to version 4 yet. While you might not realize the changes at first glance, they won’t go unnoticed once you dive into creating your slideshow.”
FotoMagico 4.4 Updates Include:
• Export has been completely overhauled to provide up to six-times faster export, better color accuracy and better quality for H.264 and Apple ProRes formats
• FotoMagico 4.4 is compatible with OS X Mavericks
• Modern 64-bit Architecture makes working with large slideshows with many slides and videos a breeze
• Transition from QuickTime to AV Foundation improves video playback and enables smoother transitions between slides
• Now supports legacy video formats via automatic conversion to modern formats
• Use the “c” key during video playback to separate a video clip into multiple consecutive clips for easier video editing of long videos
Luckily for us, our old friend Pelle, a professional photographer from Sweden, just released two new slideshows he made using FotoMagico … and as usual, they wowed us! Pelle says that with the new upgrade, FotoMagico has reached another level, and sharing the final slideshow is so much better and quicker than before. He also noted the improved split-screen capability of the updated version, which can be seen in action in his first slideshow.
The slideshow above was created to give a short presentation of a new cookbook Pelle recently produced with chef KC Wallberg. The book is called “My Culinary Kingdom,” and as you can see, Wallberg’s food definitely looks like it was made for royalty. Pelle’s pictures are so colorful, vibrant and delicious that the slideshow has left us salivating. We’re pleased that Pelle used FotoMagico to produce his vision, even though we’re now all starving!
Pelle’s second slideshow was made with material from a photo session with the Swedish Junior Culinary Team, who he works with often. The slideshow gives an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at what goes on in the kitchen, including, you guessed it … images of more tasty dishes! We especially love the transition effects Pelle used in this one. It gives us an idea of just how upbeat and fun it is in the back of the house. Check out Pelle’s slideshow here.
Curious to learn more about FotoMagico 4.4? Watch our webinar here, which features FotoMagico creator Peter Baumgartner and our video expert Bastian Wölfle explaining the new upgrade and answering questions from webinar participants.
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!
by Megan - Wednesday, December 04, 2013 - Permalink
When Phillip Barnhard and the rest of the team at M/C/C decided to take a different approach to their yearly holiday eGreeting card, they turned to iStopMotion. M/C/C is a full-service integrated marketing communications agency based in Dallas, Texas. Because they always encourage their clients, which include Texas Instruments, Harris CapRock and Chuck E. Cheese’s, to do something different and bold, they wanted their holiday greeting card to echo that sentiment.
“I ran across several Post-it stop motion videos that other filmmakers had posted to YouTube and I remember being blown away by the production and technique,” Phillip, a video producer at M/C/C, says. To incorporate their company’s values, Phillip had the idea to add things you might find at an employee’s desk. He pitched the idea of creating a wintery scene out of Post-its, and the rest was history. Everyone was on board.
The project consisted of three crewmembers, 632 sticky notes, 11 binder clips, six pencils, a stapler and a highlighter. The holiday eGreeting card, titled “Snow-motion,” was shot in M/C/C’s video suite using a Sony Handicam hooked up to a Macbook Pro.
“My favorite feature is definitely the onion skinning,” Phillip says. “During our big blizzard scene at the beginning of the film, the onion skinning feature allowed us to isolate which Post-its had not been moved. When you’re moving more than 75 pieces per frame, you lose track of which Post-its have been moved. Onion skinning made it easy for the crew to identify which ones were left to move and complete the shot.” Phillip also loves how easy iStopMotion is to use. He notes that you rarely run across sophisticated video software that you can download, learn and start production in a matter of minutes. He thinks it’s the perfect tool for amateur filmmakers to create entertaining films from home.
The response to the eGreeting card was overwhelmingly positive. Several clients said it was the best holiday video they had ever seen! Phillip says that the most gratifying moments came when industry peers recognized their hard work. “Snow-motion” won three awards in 2012 – a Silver Telly for Online Video, a Silver Davey for Online Advertising-Video, and a Bronze ADDY for Advertising Industry Self-Promotion: Interactive. It’s one of the most decorated creative pieces in M/C/C’s 27-year history.
Want to do something special for your holiday greeting this year, too? Check out M/C/C’s eGreeting card above and their YouTube Channel for some inspiration. Here’s another good one from M/C/C – not stop motion animation, but still hilarious. If you’re ready to give stop motion or time-lapse movies a shot, download iStopMotion for Mac (free five-day trial available) or iStopMotion for iPad and get animating! Happy Holidays!
by Megan - Monday, December 02, 2013 - Permalink
Cyber Monday-Shmyber Monday (amiright?!). This year, it's all about WINNING an iPad mini 2, courtesy of the Animation Chefs. But hurry - you have until midnight on Tuesday December 3rd to submit an animation. Remember, this is a contest, so animations are not judged, but rather give the creators an entry. Names are tossed into the Chefs' Pot-O-Problems and chosen randomly.
Check out the video above from Kids Create Art - an iStopMotion Humpty Project-slash-Doctor Who tribute to inspire your own creation. And don't forget, you can download a FREE trial version of iStopMotion to get you started on creating a stop motion animation for the Animation Chefs' Humpty Project contest. Simply visit this page and click download, then you'll be prompted to register for the free trial version. Happy animating, and good luck!
by Megan - Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - Permalink
The technique of tilt shifting is becoming increasingly popular in the film world. This effect uses tilt shift lenses to manipulate the depth of field and perspective of scenes filmed through a normal lens. By rotating the lens against the image plane (tilt) and the movement of the lens along the image plane (shift), filmmakers are able to obtain a very shallow depth of field, distorting the focus of the image.
Using the tilt shift technique often results in “miniature faking.” The effect of this is a life-sized scene being “faked” to look miniature. This is what Keith Loutit achieved with “The Lion City,” his time-lapse animation of the beauty of Singapore. His idea behind the film was to use the tilt shift technique to let the viewer experience the focus and distance of Singapore for themselves. He also wanted to translate Singapore’s constant heat and humidity, which resulted in some really great shots that played on the distortion of the image’s focus.
The film was shot in all digital stills on Nikon D3s and D4 bodies along with the Canon 5D MKII/Little Bramper combination for some day to night work. Keith also used an extremely large-scale dolly for the tracking shots, and he used lenses whenever possible for the different focusing effects. He edited the film in Final Cut Pro and added effects in After Effects. All of this resulted in an incredibly unique and surreal view of Singapore. Check out Keith Loutit’s “The Lion City” above!
Want to try your hand at creating a film like “The Lion City”? iStopMotion offers features that give you the perfect opportunity to mimic the tilt shift effect in a time lapse just like Loutit’s. Keith Loutit used time-lapse animation to speed up different aspects of his film, such as traffic racing along below the buildings. Try using iStopMotion’s time-lapse feature to show movements sped up in time, like the blooming of a flower, the melting of ice or a sunrise or sunset.
iStopMotion also has its own tilt shift feature that mimics the effect created with specialized tilt shift lenses. It does a fantastic job of tricking the eye into seeing something a bit differently, just as “The Lion City” does. Tilt shift is perfect for stop motion animation’s small movements and individually photographed frames. This unique pairing of tilt shift with stop motion and time lapse recording software allows animators to expand creative expression, manipulating the depth of field of their images so that life-sized locations or subjects appear miniature in size. For a great example, this time lapse from the Munich Olympic Tower was created using iStopMotion’s tilt shift effect. To make your own film using tilt shift, just draw the line you want your image plane rotated against right on the screen, and then adjust the focus. You can even adjust the picture’s color using the scales on the side of the screen to give it more of an interesting effect. Use iStopMotion’s tilt shift feature to show off your own unique perspective!
We’d love to see what you can do with iStopMotion! Hit us with your best “shot!”*Please note: the above example was not created using iStopMotion
by Megan - Friday, November 22, 2013 - Permalink
Check out this great iStopMotion time-lapse video submission from Mathias Thibaud! It details a day in the life of Korpo, which is a small island in the Finnish archipelago. The short film was made using an iPhone 5 connected by Wi-Fi to a Mac using iStopMotion.
“En dag i Korpo,” or “One Day in Korpo,” poses a question we’ve all heard in relation to our home town: “But what do you really do there?!” The film takes us through all of the things a resident of Korpo does on an average day. They include chopping wood, cooking and eating pizza (our personal favorite), cleaning dishes, building furniture, going out to eat at cafes, watching boats go by, reading, and of course, relaxing!
Isn’t it lovely to live in Korpo? We sure think so! Show us what’s wonderful about your own hometown by creating your own iStopMotion video!
by Megan - Monday, November 18, 2013 - Permalink
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty won an iPad that’s small! Want to win an iPad mini 2? Our friends the Animation Chefs are giving one away! Just follow these simple steps to enter:
1. Subscribe to Animation Chefs. All you need to do is submit your name and email, and you’ll be on your way to joining all of the exclusive animation fun!
2. After you’ve subscribed, head on over to the members area and watch the short video (also above) to download the cutout template of Humpty Dumpty.
3. Now it’s your turn to create! Use your Humpty Dumpty cutout to make your own short animated film. Seem a bit daunting? Don’t worry … they’re only looking for a 5-15 second movie!
4. Then send the link to your film over to the Animation Chefs, and they’ll toss your name into their Pot-O-Problems. In their next episode, they’ll draw a name from the pot; that person will receive a brand new iPad mini 2!
You must be 18 years or older to enter. Teachers, parents and media mentors: help your young animators win by entering on their behalf. Hurry to enter, though, because the contest ends on December third! Keep in mind, this is not a competition, it's a contest - so everyone has an equal chance at winning.
Best of luck to all of you aspiring animators out there! And don’t forget, iStopMotion is a great way to create stop motion animations. You can even download a FREE trial version of the software (just click "download") to get started! As the Chefs would say, Bon Animate!
PS: Check out episodes and animations from the Animation Chefs, plus read their tips and tricks on animating for inspiration and guidance when creating your own Humpty stop action clip!
by Megan - Friday, November 15, 2013 - Permalink
From October 10, 2013 to August 31, 2014, visitors to The Museum of Modern Art can visit its latest Art Lab installation, which focuses on movement. Located on the first floor of the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building, MoMA Art Labs are designed to offer children and families an immersive experience during their Museum visit.
Now in its sixth year, each Lab installation features a different theme, with activities set up throughout the space that facilitate a deeper relationship between the visitor and the concepts of modern art. We’re extremely proud to say that Boinx’s iStopMotion for iPad plays a role in MoMA Art Lab: Movement. One of a variety of activities in the Lab, iStopMotion for iPad – and stop motion animation in general – enables visitors to experiment with the act of moving objects to create a short film. Other activities featured in the Lab allow visitors to experiment with performance art, discover the gestures artists make when creating art, play with balance while making a mobile, and much more.
MoMA Art Lab: Movement is a great place for kids to explore their creative side and learn more about different ways artists can represent movement in art, design, and film. We strongly encourage everyone out there to visit the Lab and try their hand at some stop motion animation. MoMA Art Lab is open Saturday through Thursday from 10:30am to 4:30pm, and Fridays from 10:30am to 6:30pm. Learn more about MoMA Art Lab: Movement here.
by Megan - Monday, November 11, 2013 - Permalink
If you’re one of over a billion people worldwide that have an iPhone, chances are you use it for nearly everything. When Markus Oertly decided he wanted to use his for quick, on-demand filming of his stop-motion movies, he knew that iStopMotion with its companion Remote Camera app were the perfect choice for him. While he enjoyed the program, he knew the phone would benefit from a stand that would optimize the stability of the image. So Markus decided to create one.
He tried a few different methods, including glue and paperclips, before deciding that the best design was to build the iPhone stand using only a (sturdy) sheet of paper. His 12-year-old daughter was more than happy to make the initial ten working prototypes with the promise of a money reward!
Markus is currently working on several projects with his new iPhone stand prototype for iStopMotion. He’s gotten quite a positive reaction so far. One school that he introduced the stand to thought it was a great idea. Since then, the school has been working on developing a few more ways to get the iPhone and the iPad into the filming scene. Talk about planting the seed of knowledge and watching it grow!
On iStopMotion itself, Markus says that it’s “a cool software, and it has good user interface.” For the past eight years, he has taught students to work with iStopMotion since its very first version.
“It’s very important to know how to use stop-motion or time-lapse movies as a didactical method to learn something new,” Markus says. “Right now, we’re preparing a course for higher-education students. The problem is that they know too much! By building a stop-motion movie, they have to reduce the content as much as possible. With iStopMotion, they have the perfect tool to do this.”
Markus recently taught a course on stop-motion at “Schweizerischen SFIB-Tagung” in Bern, Switzerland using iStopMotion. He was happy to find that the students were really impressed! One person said that Markus’s panel was the highlight of the whole conference. “Later that evening, I got an email with a stop-motion clip which was built right after the panel during the rest of the conference.” He laughs, “I told them before … it’s addictive!”
Be sure to print out one of Markus’s iPhone stand templates to help you create your own iStopMotion film! It’s as easy as pressing “record!”
In case you don't speak German, here is a cheat-sheet for Markus' iPhone stand:
1. Use a sturdy/thick sheet of paper.
2. Cut along the dotted lines.
3. Fold along the solid lines.
Check out this slideshow for further help.
Enjoy the time lapse video above of Kristiansund Harbor in Norway, which Oliver created while at the Nordic Lights Festival earlier this year!