by Megan - Wednesday, January 30, 2013 - Permalink
We’re back and very excited! Macworld/iWorld Expo is just around the corner and we can’t wait to be back in San Francisco for the iFan event. Tomorrow at the Moscone Center West in San Francisco, the best minds of the industry are gathering together for three days of product demonstrations, debuts, and tech talks. The coolest gadgets, accessories and apps for the upcoming year will be on display. This isn’t an event any technophile or iFan will want to miss out on!
Boinx will be there to show off their latest development with iStopMotion for iPad 2. Introduced this past December, this latest version of the stop motion favorite brings the gift of sound to its users for the first time. The new iStopMotion audio capabilities mimic the ingenuity of the platform that hosts it, the iPad, providing a variety of ways to incorporate sound and flex your creative genius.
“The launch of iStopMotion for iPad 2 is the next step in our success story, adding the second most important moviemaking feature to the app – sound,” Boinx Software CEO Oliver Breidenbach said. “What is a movie without sound, after all?”
PadGadget says the new app is “great for facilitating creativity with simple objects around the house” and “worth the download.” But we encourage you to come find out for yourself! The app, which usually retails at $9.99, is on sale now until the last day of Macworld for only $4.99. So if you’ve got the itch to animate and a few hours to delve into the world of stop motion, get iStopMotion for iPad 2 now and come meet us at our booth. We’d love to check out your animating chops!
Joining us again this year will be stop motion professional filmmakers Gordon Straub and Eli Africa. They’ll be there to help you with any questions about the app, filmmaking, or life in general, along with our friendly and enthusiastic team! Gordon’s iStopMotion film, “Summertime,” can be seen above.
The last day for free admission is TODAY, so make sure you grab your tickets now and get down to the Expo one, two, or all three days. The Boinx Software team can be found at booth 718-79 in the Appalooza. Bring your friends! Bring your family! But most importantly, bring your love for all things techie!
by Megan - Friday, January 25, 2013 - Permalink
Ever wondered what an Angry Bird would look like alongside Mario, out fron the White House, or traveling through space? Thanks to Lars, you no longer have to! Using just a printer, some photo paper, scissors, and some ingenuity, he created a spectacular stop animation short with a little help from iStopMotion. Lars portrays the story of a flock of Angry Bird friends and what potentially happens when you can't see the birds on screen after a game. Two days and 2,084 pictures later, Lars finished his three a half minute masterpiece, thanking iStopMotion for being the "best and easiest software in the market to make stop motion."
by Megan - Thursday, January 24, 2013 - Permalink
Some kids are star students. Some are athletes or musicians. Now, thanks to ScreenPLAY, some are award-winning animators. Started by arts professional and dramatherapist Sharon Hayden and filmmaker Alastair Nisbet in early 2012, ScreenPLAY brings Hollywood magic to the classroom with their stop motion classes geared towards the youngest aspiring filmmakers.
As a not-for-profit social enterprise, ScreenPLAY aims to work with groups and individuals using the creative arts to develop dynamic, expressive, and cohesive communities. They encourage hands-on learning and work to give youth a voice through digital media, animation, and film.
With a full team of all-star artists and filmmakers including visual artist Nic Rawling, music producer Mickey Wills, and scriptwriter Peter Snelling, Hayden and Nisbet provide a complete filmmaking package. From editing to script writing, storyboards to music production, they offer a range of expertise and equipment that engages even the most fidgety six-year-old. As avid iStopMotion users for the past five years, Nisbet notes the rotoscoping feature is his favorite part of the software, allowing for easily achieved dialog animation. ScreenPLAY doesn’t use the software just to develop quality films, but to help develop the kids who are using it.
“We have used iStopMotion in the classroom with young people from five to 18, both able-bodied and those with a physical disability,” said Nisbet. “iStopMotion is powerful but easy to use. A big spacebar clicker makes it accessible for any child with any level of ability. The animation process itself becomes a useful way of developing fine motor skills, concentration, confidence and self-esteem.”
From Greek myths of Perseus defeating the evil Gorgon, Medusa, to ancient British stories of a beautiful princess, the ScreenPLAY website features a wide variety of films by kids. But when it comes to the quality of the work, we leave that up to the professionals. This past November, the film “The Helpful Dead,” created by the filmmaking quartet from Wyke Regis Junior School in Dorchester, was selected for screening at the Co-operative Film Festival in Manchester, Britain’s oldest film festival. Accolades continued to flood in when the film won the top prize of “Best Film by Primary Age Children” at the 2012 Electric Decemember Awards in Bristol.
“It was a wonderful achievement for the ten year old filmmakers,” said Hayden. "We're thrilled their work is being recognized in this way. It’s the first time any of these children have been to Bristol and being part of these awards has opened their eyes to some of the opportunities out there in our creative industries. Best Film in Electric December could perhaps be a first step on the path to a career in film.”
Electric December producer Hannah Higginson said films had been chosen for their imaginative and distinctive style. “I’ve been knocked out by the huge amount of flair and talent on show this year. We are committed to developing new talent and it’s a joy to see the exciting range of films.”
The film, along with three others (“The Big Splash,” “The Portland Race,” and “Running Blind”) has also been selected for screening at Animated Exeter in February, one of the largest animation festivals in Europe. While the recognition is a great boost for the young directors, Nisbet reminds us of the real victory for ScreenPLAY.
“One of the teachers whose class we worked with said the film project was the best thing she had done in 16 years of teaching. Another said it had been a life-changing experience for the children taking part,” Nisbet reminisced. “We have had children who were badly behaved or low achievers, suddenly finding something they were good at doing and that gave them a new enthusiasm for school. We have had children who had not spoken a word for months, taking up speaking roles in our films.”
Whether they are winning awards or winning the hearts of the students, it is clear that ScreenPLAY has a significant impact in the world of creative arts and animation. Nisbet said there are some exciting film, animation, and digital arts projects already in the pipeline. For such a young organization, ScreenPLAY has already done big things. The next generation of stop animators has arrived, and with the guidance of Hayden, Nisbet, and their team, it looks like the industry has a bright future.
by Megan - Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - Permalink
Boinx Software is on the lookout for an intern to help us manage a new Wiki page for BoinxTV, the TV truck – without the truck! This is a paid internship requiring about 10 hours per week. Though we are based in Germany and this is primarily a work-from-home type of job, our marketing team in Boston will assist in managing the internship. This means we are looking for a candidate based in the Boston area who would be available to meet in the Boston office periodically.
Responsibilities for the internship include, but are not limited to:
- Gathering a deep understanding of how BoinxTV works
- Creating and editing wiki entries for documenting app features using Markdown
- Creating and editing screenshots for the documentation
- Responding to customer comments and requests regarding the documentation
- Candidates must be currently enrolled in college and pursuing a bachelor's degree in computer sciences, broadcast technology, journalism, web design/media, IT, film/broadcast, technology, computer and information sciences, or a similar area of study
- Must speak English fluently
- Must be based in the Boston area
- Must be interested and engaged in video podcasting, Public Access TV or similar
- Must be Mac user and own a Mac capable of running OS X 10.8
Think you got what it takes?! Check out the full job posting here and send your cover letter and resume to the corresponding email address. Looking forward to hearing from you!
by Megan - Friday, January 18, 2013 - Permalink
No, this isn’t a post about the best way to flip your iPad without causing the horribly dreaded spider web effect. It’s about transforming the iPad from a consumption device to one that spurs creative thinking and development. It’s true that while many have already discovered the iPad’s potential to truly act as a learning device, others sadly remain in the camp that believes the total opposite – a line of thinking we’re determined to prove wrong. Fortunately, we’ve got a great deal of support on our side, from forward-thinking parents to bloggers to teachers.
Case in point: in an article on Appolicious by Julene Reed, ADE and an “educator with twenty–two years of experience as a technology director, classroom teacher, technology integration specialist, and administrator,” about apps for educators, she argues exactly how an educator can “flip” the iPad “from consumption devices to powerful creation stations.” Julene includes iStopMotion for iPad as one of the appealing apps for educators, explaining how animation in the classroom can stimulate creative thinking. And with over two decades of experience, Julene really knows her stuff!
She tells readers: “The creation of stop motion videos is one of my favorite strategies for creativity with the iPad. These can be used with almost any grade level and curricular area. Stop Motion Video is created with a series of still photos that are 'played' sequentially, creating an animated type of video. Once students are given the opportunity to create 'characters' for their Stop Motion videos using Play–Doh, Legos, small toys, or other objects, their creativity explodes!”
Julene even provides us with some great tips and ideas of how exactly iStopMotion for iPad can be integrated effectively into the curriculum. Here are two of our favorite lesson ideas from her:
• Retell nursery rhymes or scenes from fairy tales, stories, or books using Stop Motion videos. Have students collaborate in small groups to create their videos, then present them to their classmates, having the classmates guess the nursery rhyme, interpret a scene from a story, etc.
• Voiceovers for these videos could be done in a foreign language, strengthening the students' oral language skills.
Julene also provides a link to examples of student work creating using iStopMotion for iPad. Her school’s psychology teacher worked with high school students to create stop motion animations that would demonstrate psychological concepts in order to teach these concepts to classmates. What an amazing idea! Check out the videos here.
How do you use iStopMotion? What other ideas can you come up with for using iStopMotion in the classroom or flipping the iPad? Please share with us in the comments section!
by Megan - Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - Permalink
For many of us, January means blustery days with little escape from the cold bite of winter. Some people get out of their parkas and into a bathing suit by visiting a locale with a warmer climate, but for those of us who can’t just hop on a plane, sometimes just seeing photos of a hot, sunny place can warm us up on the inside. If you’re in the latter camp (like myself), watch this FotoMagico slideshow of Monterey Pier in the beautiful state of California.
The hybrid video, which was made by Uwe Steinmueller, who is the editor of Digital Outback Photo, and his wife Bettina, features a fantastic array of their own original photography and videos. We especially like the video shot of a gaggle of sealions hanging out near the pier. And even though we wish we could actually be in Monterey, we’ll settle for watching this FotoMagico slideshow and simply daydream about the sun-filled pier. Stay warm!
by Megan - Friday, January 11, 2013 - Permalink
Remember when you were a kid, and something as simple as a drawing or your favorite Barbie or G.I. Joe doll could come to life with just the spark of your imagination? What would you do if your drawing actually DID come to life, popping out of its stark-white paper home before your very eyes? That’s exactly what happens in the iStopMotion short above, Højer Designefterskole - Skabt til at skabe! (Danish for Hoejer Design School: Created to Create!), animated by Christian Koch, a Copenhagen-based graphic designer.
After traversing across the workspace from one sheet of paper to another, Christian’s permanent marker figure strikes poses for the iPad camera in the form of some of our favorite Internet memes just before escaping the two-dimensional bleakness. After some reconstructive work, the little guy forays into the world of three dimensions, producing a bright idea along the way.
The short movie was made using Boinx’s Remote Camera App on the iPhone 4s, a tripod, and iStopMotion, which Christian said was “very easy to use and great value for money.” Also in the mix were props, lights, humor, a couple hours of work, and a little help from some sharp-minded friends – which clearly all paid off in the end! Christian’s film was created for Hoejer Design School, which was “Created to Create” (kind of like iStopMotion!), a Danish school where students can develop creativity and their “desire to design.” Students at the design school partake in projects such as producing their own animated films and computer games. Check them out to see what these talented students can create!
by Megan - Thursday, January 10, 2013 - Permalink
iStopMotion for iPad 2 has just been named the App-of-the-Day by Macworld / iWorld - and we couldn't be happier! The honor is all part of the organization's "iFan's Favorite App Contest" for the big show, coming up at the end of this month. As an exhibitor in the Appalooza showcase at Macworld / iWorld 2013, we're being pitted against the many other great apps that will be there as well. But of course, we do think our app is the best...don't you?!
If iStopMotion for iPad is YOUR favorite app, like it is ours, show your support and vote for us! All you have to do is "like" Macworld / iWorld on Facebook, then visit this link to vote (note: the link will not work unless you "like" their page). Voting also enters YOU in a contest to win an iPad mini and iTunes gift card! Good luck!
And in case you forgot how awesome iStopMotion for iPad is, we included a great user video above, "365," created by our super user Ian Timothy, to remind you of the amazing things that are possible with iStopMotion for iPad and a little bit of imagination!
by Megan - Tuesday, January 08, 2013 - Permalink
In this iStopMotion for Mac short, four Halo Spartans are trying to destroy a base and stop a contract between the Covenant and the Trade Federation from going through. Watch and find out what happens! Warning: this film is not for the faint of heart, as it contains violence and in some instances “gore” – Lego gore that is. It sure is an action-packed film, made using iStopMotion for the Mac with a Logitech 9000 Pro by a 10-year-old named Jonn.
He says: “iStopMotion is an easy and basic stop motion software for Mac. I was accustomed to iStopMotion in just a few days.”
by Megan - Friday, January 04, 2013 - Permalink
For most of us, the holiday season is over, or maybe just wrapping up. But that doesn’t mean the spirit of the holidays is gone until next winter! In fact, now that all of the craziness of the holidays has finally settled down a bit, this is a great time to focus on all of the things that had to take a back seat for the past few weeks. One great project to focus on that will help keep that spirit alive is organizing the many photos you probably took during holiday gatherings and celebrations. How to do that, you ask? With FotoMagico of course!
Now, if your family is anything like mine, you’ve probably got a “photographer” of the family (if you’re shaking your head “no,” you just might be that person…), who takes tons and tons of pictures. Every year, during our traditional celebration, we have to get together and pose for pictures, and every year we all ask – where do these pictures end up anyway?! Sound familiar? Maybe, maybe not. But either way, these photos should end up in a FotoMagico slideshow. It’s the perfect way to put these special memories on display and share them with loved ones after everyone says their goodbyes and carries on with their every day lives.
Still not sure FotoMagico is right for you? Just take it from Danielle at GizmoFusion! She gave FotoMagico 4 FIVE stars – so you know it’s good. Here’s a little bit of what she’s got to say about our slideshow app:
“I took the time to create a slideshow using FotoMagico 4, and I was amazed at how simple it really was. The app uses Storyboard to help you create your slideshow. It is as easy as dragging your photos into place on the board in order to choose where you want to display them. It is extremely easy to delete and rearrange your photos, which is as easy as dragging a photo to a different spot or out of the storyboard completely. You can add text, background music, multiple photos to each individual slide, and you can even make the slides line up with the music! It takes little to no effort to add these effects to your slides, and the ability to layer photos on each slide is one of the best features in the app.
…I love using this app to create slideshows, and then displaying them on my Apple TV. This is a great app for creating slideshows, and I have yet to find anything else out there that compares to it. This app is available for just $99.99, which is very reasonable compared to other apps out there that are similar.”
Read Danielle’s full review of FotoMagico 4 on GizmoFusion here!. Plus check out the demo above to see what’s possible when you use FotoMagico 4!