by Megan - Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - Permalink
Lindsay Olsen teaches at Calistoga Elementary School in Calistoga, California. However, he’s no ordinary 5th grade teacher. Lindsay knows how beneficial iPads can be for the learning process, and he has been using them for PBL, or Project Based Learning, for several years now. He likes to incorporate various “App-tivities” and QR Scavenger Hunts into his curriculum to help his students learn in a contemporary way.
“The idea of stop motion videos originally came to me when I tried to tie in my photography background,” Lindsay says. He was a commercial photographer before becoming a teacher. “I searched for an app that students could use but that was powerful enough to create a professional look.”
His search led him to iStopMotion for iPad. The first iStopMotion project Lindsay and his 5th graders created was an animation telling the story of the Age of Exploration. They used PlayMobile figures, boat models and simple backgrounds. To create the sound, they overlaid an audio track scripting State Standards for Social Studies. After that first project, Lindsay knew that iStopMotion was the perfect tool for his class. It’s simple enough for his 5th graders to use – in fact, they discovered that it was simple enough for a kindergartener, too! Lindsay’s 5th grade students have been teaching their “KinderBuddies” how to use iStopMotion to create their own animations.
The 5th graders and their KinderBuddies work together to create a “Kinder” story using white boards and Expo markers to tell their story. The project was wildly successful. Lindsay and his students shared the project with the school administrators, and they loved it so much that they plan on bringing eight outsiders from San Francisco to observe the process. Most recently, one of Lindsay’s 5th graders helped a kindergartener make a video about the water cycle. They presented it to 40 classmates and 12 visiting administrators from San Francisco. But what did the students themselves think about iStopMotion? Lindsay says they loved it!
“I saw them using iPads and iStopMotion during their personal time. They were making videos of soccer games, horses, and simple pencil drawings. They really enjoyed the ease of the program as well as the cool-looking finished project.”
The students particularly enjoyed the onion-skinning feature. They liked how they could line up each frame for a better, more accurate animation. They also liked iStopMotion’s ability to change the playback speed of their movies.
“Any time students apply and create, they learn … not when taking a bubble test!” Lindsay says. His experiences with iStopMotion have convinced him that it’s a great way for students to learn in a fun way that will stick better than studying straight out of the book, especially with a topic they’re interested in.
Lindsay plans on putting together an iStopMotion production of American Independence and the Boston Freedom Trail next with his students. After they’re finished with the animation, they’ll have a Skype discussion of the finished project with the Daughters of the American Revolution, a non-profit organization for women directly descended from a person involved in the United States’ independence who work to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism.
Congratulations to Lindsay Olsen and his students on all of their hard work! Help us promote educational iPad use in the classroom by submitting your own informative iStopMotion animation!
by Megan - Tuesday, January 28, 2014 - Permalink
Today, Boinx Software released PhotoPresenter 3 for iOS, the newest version of the popular photo-sharing app that allows you to keep your private photos private! Adding two new features as in-app purchases while making the app free, non-linear photo presentations are now more fun and professional than ever before.
“You can poke the nose of the cat, like this. Very funny,” Boinx Labs scientist Dr. Term T. Bowman Ph.D. says as he explains the new Finger Pointer in a video created to make it easier for the App Store team to review PhotoPresenter 3. “At Boinx Labs, we solve many problems, like Time Travel, Cold Fusion and in-app purchase for PhotoPresenter. Please always wear safety goggles when doing in-app purchase – it is more dangerous than cold fusion.” He summarizes, “Cat is very important.”
New Features – Available Now at 50% Off for a Limited Time Only
• The Laser Pointer Tool, featuring a traditional Laser Pointer, a Mouseposé style spotlight and the new Finger Pointer, is available as an in-app purchase of 0.99 USD (regularly 1.99 USD), though customers who purchased previous versions of PhotoPresenter for iOS will continue to have this feature for free.
• By adding a custom logo to the blackout-resting screen, users can brand presentations with their company’s logo or for an event. Or just impress friends, family or classmates with a seriously high-class show. The custom logo feature is now available as an in-app purchase for 9.99 USD (regularly 19.99 USD).
On episode 386 of TWiT MacBreak Weekly, Andy Ihnatko, technology columnist of the Chicago Sun-Times, named PhotoPresenter for iOS his “Pick of the Week,” saying, “This is one of my favorite alternate presentation apps. […] Not every presentation you give is a linear presentation. Often times, you just know that you're going to be talking for about 30 minutes. There’s going to be a meeting, a lot of different topics are going to come up and you want to be able to dynamically display whatever piece of information is going to be relevant at that time - and that’s what PhotoPresenter is all about. […] This is just absolutely the perfect app for that sort of thing.”
More Information on How to Use PhotoPresenter for iOS
Visit the FAQ page to learn more about PhotoPresenter for iOS
How to connect a second screen via airplay
How to connect a second screen via HDMI or VGA
Special Intro Pricing Through February 2nd
PhotoPresenter 3 for iOS is available now for free through the Apple App Store, with in-app purchases available at 50% off for a limited time only. The Laser Pointer Tools can be purchased in-app for 0.99 USD (regularly 1.99 USD). Customers who purchased previous versions of PhotoPresenter for iOS will continue to have this feature for free. The custom logo feature can also be purchased in-app for 9.99 USD (regularly 19.99 USD). To explore pricing and availability of other Boinx products, please visit http://www.boinx.com/. Special in-app pricing is available through February 2, 2014.
by Megan - Thursday, January 23, 2014 - Permalink
In the tradition of animators like Ray Harryhausen, Sleeping Dog Video Productions decided to animate a traditional Norwegian folk tale using stop motion animation. “Three Billy Goats Gruff” was created using iStopMotion and a commendable amount of research and preparation. The Sleeping Dog visited the goats at Fife Animal Park in Scotland to see first-hand how they moved, ate grass, and even how they butted each other. As a result, the Sleeping Dog’s three billy goats gruff were born!
The movie itself was made working from sketches and a five-panel storyboard. The goat models were created with wire-armature for movement. Their bodies were padded with strips of foam cut from an old seat cushion and were glued on with epoxy glue. Their heads came from baked Sculpey clay and the horns and legs of twisted wire, and after were covered with clay and baked again. Then, they were covered with acrylic felt of different colors for the different goats. The troll was made in a similar fashion, but it took a bit for the Sleeping Dog to come up with an idea for its head. In the end, he used a pattern to cut out six felt sinusoidal strips, sewed them together, and stuffed the resulting ball with cotton wool. The troll’s head had to be detachable to fit under the bridge, so a rubber washer was added to the bottom of the head to make it fit better on top of the aluminum wire neck. Other useful tools for the set included the “usuals”: a hot glue gun, scissors, a ruler, a needle, pliers, a hobby vice, a model holder with crocodile grips and a magnifying class, a paintbrush, a hammer, a pencil, and clamps.
The lighting came from three bendable, clamping LED lights, and the camera’s color temperature was set manually to make for a more natural look. The animation was done in iStopMotion, and the Sleeping Dog used audio segments from GarageBand to create the sound in iMovie. All of the narrating was done in five separate GarageBand files using the Male Narrator track preset. The Sleeping Dog loved that iStopMotion was simple and reliable, and that it integrated well with iMovie. He says that the timing down to frame, 1/12 second, was easy to synchronize with audio, and that it had handy video playback.
All of this resulted in a spectacular iStopMotion movie that grabbed our attention straight away! Check out “Three Billy Goats Gruff” here! Also be sure to check out the Sleeping Dog’s blog for future projects!
by Megan - Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - Permalink
Now announcing the latest beta version of iStopMotion for the Mac with brand-spanking-new support for Live View with Nikon DSLRs! We promised you Nikon users we wouldn't forget about you. Download the beta today and help us improve the application so we can deliver you the best user experience possible. Please provide feedback using the "Provide Feedback" menu command.
Here are a few things to know before you get started:
This Beta version requires a valid license key to be used. If you bought the application from the Mac App Store, make sure you do not overwrite the existing application file and use the setup assistant of the beta version to request a time limited demo license key for your tests.
iStopMotion 3 requires at least OS X Lion v10.7.4. OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.4 and later is recommended. Note: This is beta software. The purpose is to provide you with an early version to get your feedback. This version of iStopMotion is not production quality. New features and improvements include:
- Screen Capture Source can now be set to full screen size via popup menu.
- Fixed crash when multiple images were imported at once.
- Live View is now available for specific DSLR cameras by Canon or Nikon. If you think your Canon or Nikon DSLR should be supported, please let us know using the Provide Feedback command in the iStopMotion menu.
- This beta version is only available in English.
We hope you enjoy our new beta version, be sure to keep an eye out for news on when it's officially released!
by Megan - Thursday, January 16, 2014 - Permalink
Today, we’re seeing slideshows everywhere, be it in business presentations, promotional videos or simply just as a fun way to share memories. Daniel East of the Apple Daily Report recently tried out FotoMagico and found that it was the perfect solution for his many slideshow needs.
“The latest version of FotoMagico from Boinx Software is an easy and fun way for users of any experience level to create great slide shows with professional results,” Daniel says.
Daniel enjoyed working with FotoMagico so much that he gave it an Apple Daily Report rating of 10 out of 10! He went through a couple of his favorite features as well as giving great overview of the rest of the program.
“There’s a lot to enjoy about FotoMagico 4.1 and you may find yourself experimenting in the beginning,” he says. “There are so many improvements and updates from previous versions that make this product a great value and a lot of fun to use. For any level of user, the output quality is HD and the familiar, intuitive interface will save you time in the process.”
by Megan - Tuesday, January 14, 2014 - Permalink
Florida’s Tampa Theatre was built in 1926 as a movie palace. Gorgeous and historic, Tampa Theatre is the perfect setting to teach children about the basics of visual storytelling through film. The Tampa Theatre Film Camp is a collaboration between the Tampa Theatre and the Florida Center for Instructional Technology at the USF College of Education. Founded by FCIT Director Roy Winkelman and long-time Tampa Theatre Community Relations director Tara Schroeder, the camp launched in 2004. Since then, a number of educators have jumped on board as camp counselors, from teachers who graduated from the USF program and pre-service teachers currently enrolled at the College of Education, to college students studying filmmaking who have come through the camp themselves.
At the Tampa Theatre Film Camp, young people learn about visual storytelling through film and teachers are taught how to integrate technology into their classrooms, all while promoting community interest in the historic Tampa Theatre. The camp began holding a stop motion animation week during its third year using Boinx’s iStopMotion app. They loved it so much that they never looked back.
“We looked at several different programs, but iStopMotion was the obvious choice because of its simplicity,” says Allison Papke, one of the educators who lead the stop motion animation week at Tampa Theatre each summer. “It’s a powerful tool that is easy to use. After a few minutes, no one thinks about the interface. They are free to concentrate on their creations.”
Allison says they regularly teach groups of eight-year-olds to use iStopMotion and typically, they’re really good within the first session. “The onion skinning is an excellent feature because it allows the campers to see how much they have moved the object before taking the next picture,” she says. “Also, accidents happen at camp and sometimes an entire set may get bumped. The onion skinning allows it to be reset to how it was.”
The students at Tampa Theatre Film Camp love seeing objects come to life through their stop motion animations. They also love being able to easily use many other tools in conjunction with iStopMotion, like GarageBand and iMovie. Allison thinks that techniques such as stop motion help students to expand their knowledge, too.
“Stop motion allows students to film things that couldn’t happen in real life, such as walking Legos or stuffed animals,” she says. “They have also done ‘people-mation,’ which allows them to do things that they wouldn’t be able to do in real life. Animation allows students to be creative because, unlike live action filming, the sky is the limit!”
Tampa Theatre Film Camp’s stop motion week is loaded with fun. On Monday, students practice animating with cut paper animation and white board animation. On Tuesday, they advance by practicing with clay and object animation. Wednesday is the day their final animation begins to form. Students share their ideas with the whole group and then form small groups of three or four, where they decide on a medium or mixed media. Then, they write the script and create the storyboards for their animation. They also begin creating the backgrounds and characters. The students spend Thursday animating their movies. On Friday, they record voiceovers and add titles, music, transitions and special effects in iMovie. At the end of the day on Friday, the parents come for a sneak preview of the finished stop motion animation movies.
Like any good film camp, Tampa Theatre holds a Film Camp Festival every year to premiere the movies created during the camp. It serves as the premiere for over 40 original movies, including both live action and stop motion animation. It’s a great place for students to get credit for all their hard work and get a taste of the success and satisfaction that comes with being a filmmaker!
“My advice to aspiring filmmakers is to watch movies with a critical eye, paying careful attention to shots and angles, costumes, setting and dialogue and applying these techniques to your own movies,” Allison says. “Don’t be afraid to try new things, and don’t ever stop making movies!”
Check out Tampa Theatre online to learn more about the theatre or to sign up for the next Tampa Theatre Film Camp! You could be the next one showing off your work at the Tampa Theatre Film Camp Festival!
by Megan - Thursday, January 09, 2014 - Permalink
Apple’s built-in Apple TV app for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad is a great way to show off pictures you’ve taken with your iPhone or iPod Touch, but as J.R. Bookwalter at Mac|Life says, it can be a bit tricky to manage your images on screen exactly the way you want them to appear. And if you want to separate your personal pictures from professional pictures during a business slideshow for example, there’s no way of really hiding those goofy selfies you took last weekend. Boinx’s solution to avoid an embarrassing situation? PhotoPresenter for iOS, which gives users complete control over how their photos are displayed during business meetings, instructional demos or even when simply showing off pictures from a recent vacation to friends.
“[PhotoPresenter] offers iOS device owners full control over how photos are displayed using a clutter-free, drop-dead simple user interface,” J.R. says in his review. He explains how PhotoPresenter for iOS allows you to access any picture on your camera roll, albums and photo streams and with just a simple tap, send it straight to a TV with either wireless AirPlay Mirroring or through an HDMI or VGA adapter. It’s as easy as that: just tap and go!
“This method allows you full control over the presentation and display photos in a non-linear way, which comes in handy for those who store work and personal photos in the same place,” J.R. says. “PhotoPresenter also includes another privacy option: Tapping a small icon in the upper right corner of any image thumbnail pulls up a preview of that photo for your eyes only, which is a great way to choose from similar poses without awkwardly displaying them all to your audience.”
The bottom line? PhotoPresenter does a bang-up job of doing exactly what it promises, J.R. says. Try it out for yourself today!
Read the rest of J.R.'s review to learn about more fun and useful features from PhotoPresenter for iOS!
by Megan - Monday, January 06, 2014 - Permalink
Artist and image-maker Fabric Lenny has had an interest in stop motion animation for as long as he can remember. “I love the magic involved, the wizardry of bringing inanimate objects to life,” he says. “I love the work of Ray Harryhausen and the early work of Aardman.”
Lenny chose to work with iStopMotion a number of years ago, and it’s been his go-to program ever since. He particularly likes the stability of the software, its simplicity and its intuitive logic. “It just lets you get on with animating,” he says. “I think the iPad version provides an exciting opportunity for more children to access stop motion animation in the classroom.”
Lenny loves using stop motion to help young animators reach their full potential in the classroom. Recently, he worked with a Y3 class at Reinwood Junior School in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom, where the students made artwork in response to the popular children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are. The students let the wild rumpus start by creating their own monsters through a variety of artistic techniques. They used iPads to create digital drawings and storyboards, and eventually, they put together a short iStopMotion film starring their wild creations.
“I am really interested in the collaborative nature of filmmaking, and I love to work with large groups of children to realize a project,” Fabric Lenny says. “I love to combine relatively low-tech materials such as cardboard and marker pens with the digital tech of iPads, DSLR cameras and Macs. I use the replacement method of animation a lot when working with groups. That way there is lots of making to be done and everyone can get involved in character making.”
Lenny thinks stop motion is a great way to help facilitate learning in the classroom. He says that it’s a great tool to support the teaching of literacy, which includes character and narrative structure. He also thinks that stop motion offers opportunities for team working and collaboration.
“Like any art form, the key to stop motion is enjoyment,” Fabric Lenny says. “Make sure you have fun with your animation. Make things that make you smile, and keep it simple!” Wise words!
What’s up next for Fabric Lenny? Well, he recently won a commission to make a creative pixilation animation in a local museum, to which we offer our great congratulations! Check out his website to keep updated on all of his latest and greatest artistic work.
Try your hand at creating a stop motion animation from your favorite children’s book. It’s a great way to make reading fun and, for parents, the perfect after-school activity. We’d love to see your best ideas come from the page to real life.
by Megan - Thursday, January 02, 2014 - Permalink
The Animation Chefs recently held a contest to animate Rudolf's nose. They announced the winners on Christmas Eve - prizes included four iStopMotion for iPad app codes! Did you win?! Watch the video above to see some of the best animations from the contest and to find out who won. Read the full story here, and be sure to join the Chefs for the inside scoop on upcoming projects, contests and more. 2014 will be a big year for these guys - you don't want to miss a thing!
On behalf of Boinx, we hope you all had a wonderful holiday and a happy New Year. Here's to 2014 - let's make it the best year yet!