by Megan - Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - Permalink
It’s Halloween, one of the scariest days of the year, and to celebrate, we’re bringing the most notorious monster of all back to life – Frankenstein! Or in this case, Frank N Stein, Brandon Bowman’s claymation creation. In true mad-scientist fashion, Brandon – who brought us SpartaCup – was sculpting his famous mugs when he realized one bore a slight resemblance to the monster; the wheels in his head began turning and his imagination took control. And so, Frank N Stein was born.
“One mug in particular had a pronounced forehead and brow, and when I attached the arms to it I could not help but to see a resemblance to Frankenstein's monster. I was immediately taken off task, and in a fun and playful way I toyed around with that mug. Positioning the arms in an upright reaching, zombie-like manner,” Brandon recalls. “My imagination of course (like usual) took over and I began to see images of a Frankenstein inspired stop motion animation. An animation where a Frankenstein mug/stein might be created and brought to life similarly to the original story of ‘Frankenstein.’”
Drawing inspiration and influence from the many adaptations – funny and scary – of Mary Shelley’s original Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus, after six months of preproduction and one month of shooting and postproduction, Brandon’s own creation was done. With iStopMotion 3 launching at just the right time, Brandon was able to use the software to produce the entire film. To achieve a grainy, scratchy look for his film, he pulled out his old Sony Mini DV Handycam with a standard Car Zeiss Lens. “I was pleased with the result.”
“It was a ‘Frankenstein’ production of found objects and handmade parts, all brought together in one little 3’ x 3’ x 3’ space,” Brandon says. He used miscellaneous parts (much like the original mad scientist) to bring his set to life – cardboard, wood, recycled plastic, glade air fresheners (helps cover up the smell of the dead…just kidding!), CO2 cartridges, pinball machine bulbs, electrical wires, push pins, and the list goes on.
No stranger to stop motion animation, Brandon used iStopMotion for iPad in the past to recreate a gladiator battle in SpartaCup. This time, however, he used the full version for the Mac. “Well first off, they are both pretty awesome,” he tells us. “I really like the convenience of iStopMotion for the iPad; it’s easy to set up and start shooting, and the portability and comfort makes for less aches and pains while carefully altering the characters and or scenes. It is pretty amazing what Boinx has managed to do with the limitations of the iPad.”
“The Mac version, on the other hand, is superb, professional, powerful, and fast, with lots of great features and options,” Brandon says of iStopMotion 3. “The ability to use tilt shift, color correction and chroma key are obviously superior functions compared to the iPad version.”
So, what’s the total damage for an iStopMotion creation like Brandon's?
Time: Seven months total.
Six months planning preparing and creating the set, props, and characters
Two weeks of shooting/animating
Three days of editing
Three days for titling and special effects
Three days for sound effects, and music accompaniment
“All brought together for one seven-minute video.”
Happy Halloween, all! Hope it’s a spooky one!
For more information on Brandon, his mugs, and Frank N Stein, click here.
by Megan - Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - Permalink
The Wired Educator took FotoMagico 4 for a spin and was pleasantly surprised at what he found. Here's a taste of his review:
This is the slideshow software you want. This is the slideshow software you need.
I am so impressed with Boinx’s FotoMagico 4! To be honest, my expectations for “slideshow software” weren’t very high. I have always enjoyed Boinx’s software in the past, but I thought, “What more could you really want from slideshow software?”
Boy was I wrong! FotoMagico 4 delivers and easy to use interface with an assortment of professional tools allowing you to create commercial quality slideshows with music and multiple effects in just a few clicks. Slideshows like you’ve never seen before! You know… the ‘wow’ effect!
This is the slideshow software I will be using for my classroom, school, and home. I didn’t know I needed it, and now I wouldn’t do a slideshow without it. I like the image quality, the flexibility control with which I can create, and its fast performance. I love finding new software gems like this.
Typical slideshow software gives you very little control of what you are doing. FotoMagico’s controls and options are robust. It has similar features to iMovie but with more creative input and control than iPhoto and everything is much faster and simpler.
The bottom line is you can create amazing slideshows easily. I am talking about slideshows that will leave you audience guessing, “How’d he do that?”
So, did FotoMagico 4 make the grade? You betcha! The Wired Educator gave our slideshow software an A+! Read the full review here.
by Megan - Monday, October 29, 2012 - Permalink
According to Mac360, "The Mac’s Coolest Photo Slideshow And Video App Just Got Better (and less expensive)," so of course they had to check it out for themselves. So they got up close and personal with the latest version of FotoMagico, giving it the up and down from every angle. Here's what they've got to say about FotoMagico 4 after putting it through its paces.
How many applications are on your Mac that you truly love to use? Safari? Browsers are pretty much the same. Mail? Please.
iTunes? Too cluttered. iPhoto gets used often, but many of us who have used it for years often long for it to do more. If you’re ready for professional grade photo slideshows with video, audio, and moving text, then you’re ready for an app you can love.
Static Photos That Move
We’ve reviewed FotoMagico a few times in the past. It’s one of few professional-level slideshow apps for the Mac that combine photos, videos, audio, and text.
It takes only a few minutes to realize that FotoMagico is the brainchild of a photographer, not an app developer looking to make a quick buck.
FotoMagico brings a unique interface to slideshow creation. Drag and drop photos, video clips, text, music and sound to create a full-fledged motion production with high precision tools.
by Oliver - Sunday, October 28, 2012 - Permalink
Keir Ansell writes: "The best feature is FotoMagico's ability to use full resolution photo's rather than compressing them to the point where the quality is terrible (which is what iPhoto/iMovie/Aperture does). Very easy to use, and I was also able to produce a slideshow at my Retina MacBook Pro's resolution which just looks fantastic!"
by Oliver - Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - Permalink
A video slideshow with photographs from across Australia by Australian landscape photographer Scott Leggo, made with Fotomagico. Includes coastal, forest, outback, alpine and city images from all states of Australia from Scott's limited edition print collection.
Scott says about FotoMagico 4: "So simple and easy to use. Adding photos, music, changing transitions and timings was all so easy and intuitive. Once finished, exporting for multiple uses such as web based or mobile device was a breeze. A very quick and easy process."
by Megan - Tuesday, October 23, 2012 - Permalink
...Or should we say Five Blue Kings gave FotoMagico 4 Five Blue Kings? Which, according to their website, means "it's a sure bet"! Here's what reviewer Michael has to say about it:
"This is a killer slide show Mac App that comes with complete control for super professional presentations. It’s great for control-freaks. If you’re doing a serious slide show for weddings, business, etc, try this app. It’s robust but still very easy to use."
Thanks for the stellar review, Michael! Be sure to check out the full article here!Five Blue Kings image courtesy of fivebluekings.com.
by Megan - Thursday, October 18, 2012 - Permalink
We hit the Mac Computer Expo a few weeks ago to show off some Boinx products, see old friends, meet new ones, and learn more about current industry trends. We had a lot of fun catching up with exhibiting developers and even got a tour of Leo Laporte's TWiT studio. On Saturday, Allison of NosillaCast caught up with Oliver to chat about iStopMotion for iPad. Watch the video above for the run down!
by Megan - Monday, October 15, 2012 - Permalink
When fall arrives and the leaves on the trees begin to transform into magnificent reds and yellows and golds, the feeling that you’ve just witnessed a bit of magic seems undeniable. But capturing that sensation seems almost impossible without altering it in some way. Leave it to iStopMotion guru, artist, and experimental filmmaker Jeff Scher to accomplish just that. In his latest film for The New York Times Opinion Page, Scher doesn’t just animate a series of what must be hundreds of leaves meticulously collected on the walk to and from school with his sons, he gives them life.
And because I couldn’t say it any better myself, I’ll leave you with Jeff’s own words, as featured on The New York Times Opinion Page:
“After a few cold nights the colors come on like glowing embers. Then they burst into flame. They crackle in flickering reds, yellows and electric greens. They are beautiful and surreal against the infinite blues of a chilly October afternoon sky. Entire landscapes are transformed into a state of agitated Technicolor. It’s nature’s color-coded warning of the approaching longer nights and colder days sneaking up the calendar.
Beautifully said and beautifully done! Watch Jeff Scher’s film Leaf and Death and learn more about how he made it here. Don't forget to share your own interpretation of the changing of seasons with us! Submit iStopMotion clips here.
by Megan - Friday, October 12, 2012 - Permalink
Exploring a volcano may not be on everyone’s bucket list, but for Keir Ansell, designer and self-proclaimed tech addict (and Boinx-proclaimed adrenaline junkie), it was just something he had to do. To be fair, the volcano, Thrihnukagigur (yeah, we didn’t bother trying to pronounce that either), is dormant, and has been so for the past 4,000 years. Aside from it’s three peaks – Thrihnukagigur actually literally translates as “Three Peaks Crater” – what makes this volcano stand out is that it’s the only known dormant volcano that hasn’t imploded. In the opening of a FotoMagico video he created of his trip to this Icelandic landmark, Keir writes:
“In early May 2012, I read an article on a news website about the currently dormant volcano, Thrihnukagigur.
By the time I had finished the article I was convinced that it was somewhere I wanted to go, and a few hours later, me and a friend were already planning the trip.
A few weeks later we were sitting on a plane on our way to be some of the first people to set foot inside the only known volcano that hasn’t collapsed in on itself.”
To commemorate their exploration of Thrihnukagigur, Keir also explored another new territory: FotoMagico 4 Beta. He created a slideshow of the trip, using photos and video clips combined with titles, which help explain what you’re seeing in some of the pictures. For example, to explain why the rocky walls are multiple colors, Keir titles one slide, “Heat from magma draws the minerals from the rocks creating the range of colours.”
“The best feature is FotoMagico's ability to use full resolution photos rather than compressing them to the point where the quality is terrible (which is what iPhoto/iMovie/Aperture does),” Keir says. “It’s very easy to use, and I was also able to produce a slideshow at my Retina MacBook Pro's resolution which just looks fantastic!”
by Megan - Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - Permalink
After much anticipation, FotoMagico 4 is officially here! We’d like to thank all of our Beta testers who jumped on our bandwagon earlier this summer, and offered us useful feedback to help perfect the software. Even if you didn’t test out FotoMagico 4 beta, it’s all good! FotoMagico 4 is here to stay. Here are some of the key features that have been upgraded and added to our slideshow software, making it the best yet. We know you'll love it!
Mix and Match Photos, Videos and Titles on a Single Slide
A limitless amount of combinations means a story that can be told in unlimited ways. Users can now easily work with up to six layers per slide, allowing a multitude of combinations of images, videos and titles. Animate a variety of unique titles, add picture-in-picture effects, display movies on images, and more.
It’s Your Story, Tell It the Way You Want To
Timing is everything - especially when it comes to storytelling. FotoMagico 4’s new Timeline mode is perfect for making precise adjustments to each individual slide’s duration as well as the transition length between slides. Users can now toggle between the original Storyboard view, which allows them to easily rearrange slides, and the Timeline view, which gives them total control over timing.
Sync Sound Like Never Before
Perfect harmony between music and images is essential to telling your story. Seeing the Audio Waveform helps users to match slides with music at just the right moments, as well as adjust volume and fades right from the Timeline. Syncing music and photos is now even easier by simply setting Audio Markers to trigger transitions in the slideshow.
Slideshows So Real You’ll Want to Step Inside
With the MacBook Pro’s new Retina display, creating slideshows with FotoMagico 4 is an immersive experience. Images are so vivid and so real, the experience pulls you in and compels you to create a slideshow as vibrant as the real images themselves.
The Little Things that Make a Big Difference
Beyond its groundbreaking features, FotoMagico 4 delivers a sleeker and more intuitive user workspace. For example, both the Storyboard and Timeline display popover alerts for common authoring errors and offer simple one-click solutions to problems when they arise. Existing users will also find that many controls and elements are exactly where they think they should be.
We hope you enjoy FotoMagico 4 as much as we do! And don’t forget to share your photo magic with us – submit your FotoMagico 4 masterpiece here.