by Megan - Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - Permalink
Our old friend Selina Briggs is back with her famous robot, Jelly, and they are ready for action. For those unfamiliar with the Jelly Empire, we’ll give you a quick recap. The Jelly Empire is about a robot named Jelly whose ultimate goal is to take over the world – and everyone’s hearts – to create an empire! Jelly started off as a 2D illustration, and he has progressed into a 3D interactive figure in Selina’s iStopMotion animation videos. He can also be found among Selina’s growing collection of collectable designer toys, comics, clothes and accessories.
Selina’s latest videos feature Jelly wrestling in a winner-takes-all contest with six Luchabots (Jellybots painted to look like Luchadores – also known as lucha libres, a type of professional wrestler from Spanish-speaking countries). Fans were able to vote on the Luchabot matches to decide the outcome. Selina chose iStopMotion to make the Jellybots come to life because she believes it’s a great medium for toys.
“My original attempt was on a Nintendo 3DS, but the screen resolution was really low and there were no features,” she says. “I owned an iPad and an iPhone, so the next step was iStopMotion for the iPad. This definitely made for a huge change in quality!”
Using iStopMotion for iPad worked well for her short videos, but when the scope of these videos increased, she needed to find better means. That’s when she started using iStopMotion 3 for Mac. It’s been her go-to program ever since.
“I still use an iPhone 4S as my capture device,” Selina says. “I’m considering buying a high-end camera to up the quality further, but then again, I’ve just ordered an iPhone 5S, so I’ll see how that works first! I love the easy functionality of marrying the two devices.”
In the future, Selina hopes to move from resin to vinyl figures. She would also like to start taking her illustrations into the world of storytelling. Specifically, she’s looking into publishing a children’s book. Most recently, Selina kept busy prepping for New York Comic Con, which just took place from October 9th through 12th, where she was selling all the toys seen in her videos. She also just finished up a Jelly League promo (a parody of Justice League).
Check out the Jelly Empire channel on YouTube here for more of Selina’s work. And be sure to watch rounds one and two of the Luchabots Jelly Bot fights and the final round - above - to find out who wins!
by Megan - Monday, October 21, 2013 - Permalink
Are you going to MacTech Conference 2013? We are! Come see us November 6-8 at the Manhattan Beach Marriott in Los Angeles. It’s looking awesome so far! The speakers are incredible. The content is fantastic. The hallway discussions and interactions are the best. We’re even using BoinxTV to make the videos for the event again! The event’s registration is ahead of last year, and MacTech’s expanded hotel guest room block discounts are almost sold out.
It’s your last chance to register, and as a sponsor, we have a special surprise just for you! Register now using our special link and save an extra $100 off the already discounted early-bird price available now. That’s a total savings of $400 off the event!
The hotel discount block is selling out fast, and it’s scheduled to end this coming weekend. Pre-registration discounts are also almost over. Hurry and register now for a steep discount on us!
What: MacTech Conference 2013
Where: Manhattan Beach Marriott in Los Angeles, California
When: November 6th-8th
Who Should Attend: Technologists passionate about improving their craft. IT professionals. Consultants. Programmers and developers that focus on Apple technologies. Check out the sessions here! If you’re still not sure, check out MacTech’s “Why Attend” page here, or take a look at tweets about last year’s event here!
What’s New: New venue. Expanded schedule. Pre-conference workshops. More sessions. More certifications. More labs. New vendor forums. Want more? Check out the full list here!
Here is some info on how we recorded the conference using BoinxTV last year:
The BoinxTV Configuration
At the core of the whole operation was of course BoinxTV running on our MacBook Pros. We had the two cameras connected via Thunderbolt to FireWire adaptors, the presenters’ computer screen grabbed via USB and the sound captured via USB. All this media came into BoinxTV simultaneously and needed to be synced up and adorned with lower thirds, which included a MacTech logo and other graphics, all in real time, then recorded to disk.
To pull off this magic, BoinxTV uses a stack of Layers, each representing an object on screen. A switcher layer allows the operator (Bastian in our case) to switch between various video sources, another layer displays the MacTech logo, and a presenter screen layer creates the two-up view, with the speaker in the corner on top of his larger-than-life slides. Bastian controlled all of these layers through his control surface on the iPad. With the push of a button, a whole set of layers and myriads of settings per layer could be changed. All this happened while the speakers were giving their talks. Although MacTech chose not to broadcast this as a live stream, it would have been easily possible.
by Megan - Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - Permalink
If you’re even just a semi-regular internet user, chances are that you’ve seen an animated GIF in action. GIFs are the latest web craze – essentially they are short, silent clips of a sequence on an endless loop. They can be anything from a clip of a favorite television show of yours to an adorable animal doing something inexplicably hilarious.
Technology columnist David Pogue has a couple theories on why the GIF, after 26 years of existence, is in its prime now. Among his many ideas, he notes the technical limitations of smart phones and tablets as well as the fact that GIFs can play on almost any browser without a plugin as viable reasons for their popularity. There’s also the notion that limitations foster creativity, which we can see through Twitter’s 140 character limit and Vine’s 6-second video limit. Some of the most relatable forms of media seem to happen in the shortest amounts of time! David also mentions that GIFs shouldn’t be viewed as “stripped-down movies,” but rather as “live-action photographs” that far exceed the story-telling capabilities of the still image – a pretty interesting concept. Check out the rest of David Pogue’s commentary here.
Boinx’s iStopMotion has recently joined in on the GIF fun. With Boinx’s latest update (version 2.2 [more info] for the iPad and version 3.2 [more info] for the Mac), you can create the next animated GIF internet sensation using iStopMotion! With iStopMotion 3.2 for Mac, you can save any sequence of up to 200 frames as an animated GIF right to your hard drive. In iStopMotion 2.2 for the iPad, you can export the first 200 frames of our animation as a GIF and send and upload it either by email, iMessage, or DropBox.
“iStopMotion's new support for animated GIF export is a brilliant addition to an already fantastic product,” says Charlie Collier, iStopMotion enthusiast who has created professional work such as “Ballad of a Prodigal Son” (more info) and most recently created the above animated GIF of his now-famous twist-tie characters (more info). “This new feature is a great way for animators of all levels to share snippets of their work in a quick and easy manner. And with the raising popularity of animated GIFs in the internet culture, it will hopefully inspire others to do the same. I can say with confidence that I'll be using this new feature quite a bit!”
So, what do you say? Ready to start creating your own animated GIFs? iStopMotion for iPad is now available on iTunes for just 4.99 USD. That’s 50% off the regular price of 9.99 USD! If you already have the app, the update is free for existing users. iStopMotion for the Mac is now available from both iTunes and the Boinx website for only 39.99 USD, 20% off the regular price of 49.99 USD! But hurry … these special prices only stand until October 20th!
Get GIF-ing and start creating your own animated GIFs! Show us what you’ve got!
by Megan - Thursday, October 10, 2013 - Permalink
Unlike stop motion animation, where an object is moved in between still frames to create the illusion of animation, time lapse animation is a technique where frames are captured automatically of a process already in motion – a sunset, a busy city square, leaves changing color. Because the frequency at which frames are captured is much lower, the action appears to be moving faster (think of a flower budding in fast motion). For instance, if you took a picture of the sunset in front of you once a second, and compressed hundreds of images at 30 frames per second, it would seem like the sunset was playing in fast-forward.
Filmmaker Anthony Cerniello (more info) recently combined stop motion and time lapse animation to create a project that quickly became the most-viewed video on Colossal (more info), a popular website highlighting new artistic breakthroughs, as well as becoming a Staff Pick on Vimeo. His short film “Danielle” originated when he joined his friend Danielle at her family reunion last Thanksgiving. With the help of still photographer Keith Sirchio, the two captured pictures of all of Danielle’s cousins, from youngest to oldest. After scanning the photos into his computer, he selected the pictures of the family members with the most similar bone structure and made slight edits. Next, animators Nathan Meier and Edmund Earle helped the project along by using After Effects and 3D Studio Max to animate the photos from youngest to oldest, bringing them to life in the form of what looked like a slowly aging person. Nuke artist George Cuddy then edited small details such as hair and eyes, and the rest was history.
All of these pictures were put together and slightly animated between each frame to create subtle transitions, creating an amazing time-lapse effect and showing the decades-long aging process in just a few breathtaking minutes. Paired with the music added by Mark Reveley, the project is as eerie as it is cool.
Want to try your hand at shooting your own time lapse photography? Here are some tips:
1. Make sure you choose a subject that shows movement. Melting ice, a busy street, or a flower blooming are some good starting points to get you thinking.
2. Decide how much time you want to dedicate to shooting. It’s going to take a lot longer to shoot the change of the seasons than it will to shoot a sunrise, so plan accordingly!
3. Determine your frame capturing intervals. If you’re shooting something that will take longer to show movement, you might want to take a picture once every minute instead of once every second. If you want a more seamless shot, set your time intervals to a few seconds. With the time lapse featuring in iStopMotion for iPad, you can simply set it and forget it!
4. Use a tripod. When shooting a time lapse (or stop motion animation, for that matter!) it’s vital that you have a steady shot, so your footage doesn’t look jumpy. For professional looking work, use a tripod, or anything to keep your camera or iPad steady.
5. Add titles and other effects. Use editing software like iMovie or Final Cut Pro to add titles, music and any other effects you can imagine.
iStopMotion is super easy to use for time lapse videos as well as stop motion animation. Give it a try today and let us know what you think!
by Megan - Monday, October 07, 2013 - Permalink
We’re proud to announce that Boinx was recently named a finalist for White Bull Summits’s annual “Bully Award!” White Bull aims to help companies succeed, and their team of media experts, analysts, journalists, and seasoned executives serve to seek out companies on the cutting edge. They then connect them with one other to give them the best chance at success. We can certainly appreciate that, seeing as we try to inspire success, too!
The Bully Award is given to one of Europe’s brightest tech stars whose firm has demonstrated excellence in innovation and growth potential. This year’s 60 finalists were selected based upon a standardized analysis that was designed with the help of the top business schools in the world. The pool will be narrowed down to 30 winners at the Pathways to Exit Summit, which gathers together some of the industry’s top entrepreneurs, global investors, corporate development execs, and services firms who support the ecosystem. Pathways will take place on October 9th in Barcelona. Boinx’s own Oliver and Achim Breidenbach will be speaking at the conference, as well as assisting with a live stream broadcast using BoinxTV. It’s sure to be a fantastic night filled with talent and inspirational success stories.
The winners of the Bully Award will fall into one of three categories: “Yearlings,” which includes firms that seek or have received angel/seed rounds or equivalent, considered classic start-up companies; “Young Bulls,” which includes firms that seek or have received Series A financing, considered early stage companies (like Boinx!); and finally, “Longhorns,” post-Series A firms, considered growth stage companies.
Click here for a full list of the finalists for the 2013 Bully Award. We wish all of the nominees the best of luck, and we thank White Bull for honoring Boinx on their list!
by Megan - Tuesday, October 01, 2013 - Permalink
On September 9th, we launched our newest app, PhotoPresenter for iOSmore info). With PhotoPresenter, you can randomly pick photos and videos from your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch library and display them on a larger screen using either AirPlay or an HDMI/VGA adapter. It’s a must-have app for anyone looking for an easy way to share pictures from their iDevice without putting private photos on display for the world to see. We’re happy to say that after just a few short weeks on the market, we’re giving PhotoPresenter for iOS a fresh look for iOS 7, as well as some other pretty cool functions.
PhotoPresenter 2 for iOS introduces a few brand new features that greatly increase the app’s ease of use, including a new Laser Pointer tool. Just tap your finger to the feature in your photo you want to point out, and a blue laser pointer will appear on the big screen, directing your audience’s attention wherever you want. Also included in the update is the “Mouseposé” mode. Simply choose an area to appear in the spotlight, and the rest of your photo will be dimmed to showcase that important feature. If you’ve updated to iOS 7, have no fear. PhotoPresenter 2 has been completely revamped for the new look!
If you’ve already purchased PhotoPresenter, the update is free of charge. If you don’t already have the app, download it on iTunes for just 0.99 USD for a limited time only - but hurry, this price only lasts until October 6th, when the app will go back to its regular retail price of 1.99 USD. Get it now here. It’s the perfect tool to show off select photos to your family, friends, or clients without broadcasting your entire photo library!
PhotoPresenter has already made it into iTunes’ Top 10 Apps in a number of countries. And for good reason – users can show off their pictures with just three simple steps. First, hook up your device to an HDTV set or a projector with an HDMI/VGA adapter, or via AirPlay. Next, browse your library to find which pictures and videos you want to show your audience. Then click! Your selected media will be shown on the big screen while the rest of your photo library remains hidden.
by Megan - Thursday, September 26, 2013 - Permalink
Wired Educator, the go-to source for tips on the latest and greatest software in the educational realm, is getting back into the swing of things now that school is back in session. They are giving educators the inside scoop on the best school-friendly software to use for the 2013-24 school year, and luckily for us, Boinx is on the list! Click on over to their full “Back to School with Boinx” post, or read on for a quick synopsis of the post.
Wired Educator uses Mouseposé (more info) for classroom and auditorium presentations. Mouseposé allows the user to focus on a specific part of a photo, dimming the rest of the screen and putting a spotlight on the main feature. “If I am doing any type of demo, I am using Mouseposé,” Wired Educator says. “It is better than any other similar program. Want your presentation to look great and be effective? This is it!”
They also use iStopMotion (more info) to create memorable video introductions and highlights. “iStopMotion is an amazing stop motion animation application that is easy to use,” says Wired Educator. “To get my students’ and audience’s attention, I will create a short iStopMotion animation introduction or segment to spice up what I am talking about. You can actually see the wonder on people’s faces as it plays.” Wired Educator’s students use iStopMotion with their digital storytelling productions, and they come out fantastic!
“Boinx’s FotoMagico 4 (more info) makes all the pictures I take during the school year look like the most professional slideshow you have ever seen,” Wired Educator says on the popular media-showcasing app. Until they demoed the program, they didn’t think they needed a new tool for slideshows at school. But after seeing FotoMagico’s high tech transitions, sound, and amazing customizations, Wired Educator had one word: “Wow!” I guess there really is nothing better to keep a student’s attention than technology!
Wired Educator’s highest praise goes to BoinxTV (more info), the complete studio video broadcaster. They say that it’s a must-have software for schools, and that “it brings together all of the skills students are learning in English, math, and school in general to make something powerful – a professional production for your school.” Wired Educator suggests using BoinxTV for creating a school television program, educational webcasts, professional video of live events, and more. “BoinxTV makes your videos look AWESOME and the user interface makes it easy to use … have your school purchase this software and put it to use. It pays for itself with the first production.”
Looking for some ideas to add Boinx to your back to school lineup? Try these fun projects in the classroom to give your students a fresh take on new subjects.
• Use iStopMotion to create an educational stop motion film. Have your students animate processes in the subjects they’re learning, such as photosynthesis, a scenario that explains a math problem, a scene from a history book, or character development in an English novel.
• Have your students prepare a presentation of their summer adventures with FotoMagico. Learning a new language? Students can include titles in the language they’re learning and give the FotoMagico presentation in that language as well. Additional Boinx apps such as Mouseposé might even help the other students see the focus of the presentation better.
• Use BoinxTV to put on a student production. Students can put together a news report outlining a notable scene from a book as if it were happening present day or they can act out that scene themselves and broadcast it to their peers! BoinxTV is a great way for students to learn how to communicate effectively, work together, storyboard, and much more. The possibilities are virtually endless!
Do you have another idea that’s not on the list, or that you’ve tried out in the classroom with success? Let us know, and share your projects! Plus, check out the video above from the Chilmark School in Martha’s Vineyard to find out how they are using iStopMotion for iPad to not only teach children about film literacy, but the serious issue of bullying and how to stop it.
by Megan - Monday, September 23, 2013 - Permalink
Unless you've been taking a digital hiatus, you're probably aware of Apple's recent big announcements, including exciting new updates for iPhone users worldwide. Introducing the iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, and iOS 7: two brand-new phones and an improved operating system that aim to better everything we once knew about the smartphone. Here's everything you need to know about the latest additions to the Apple family.
The iPhone 5S has a new design that makes it 7.6 millimeters thin and 112 grams light, an incredible 18% thinner and 20% lighter than the iPhone 4S.
The most groundbreaking new feature of the iPhone 5S is the new touch identification passcode, located right on the home button. The surface of the button reads your fingerprint using a capacitive touch center so only you can unlock your iPhone.
It also boasts faster performance and graphics through its new coprocessor, A7 and M7. The A7 chip is designed around 64-bit architecture; it’s the first smartphone to ever incorporate such desktop-class processing power. The M7 chip makes the iPhone 5S even more efficient by offloading work from the A7 chip to result in using significantly less power, sparing battery life. In all, the new processing system makes the iPhone 5S up to 2x faster than the previous generation. That means it has 40x faster CPU and 56x faster GPU than the original iPhone. Incredible!
A 15% larger sensor has also been added to the camera. This allows the individual pixels of a picture to become larger, making for a clearer picture. The aperture has been increased to ƒ/2.2, giving the iPhone 5S 33% greater light sensitivity. Also a new addition, True Tone flash figures out exactly how much light your shot needs to give your picture the greatest quality yet. And for the first time, you can now shoot videos in slow motion.
The new iPhone 5S also comes with a fitted leather case that allows for easy access of the phone’s outer buttons. It’s available in six colors, infused in the leather with pigment-rich dye.
Apple is also releasing the iPhone 5C, a colorful addition to the iPhone family. The phone is a simpler version of the iPhone 5S that comes in five vibrant colors: green, blue, yellow, pink, and white. It’s made of sturdy plastic reinforced with steel that also acts as an antenna. Both the phone itself and the screen wallpaper are customized perfectly for those wishing to give their most-used accessory an exciting new look.
The new iOS 7 operating system has been simplified, removing any clutter and unnecessary ornamentation. This allows for the user to focus on what matters the most: their content. Check out some examples of the new interface here.
So, what does all this mean for Boinx? You’ll just have to wait and see!
by Megan - Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - Permalink
Brian Kolm first used iStopMotion in 2005 at the Bedford Gallery in Walnut Creek, California, for an event around one of their exhibits. An artist, designer, and educator, Brian selected iStopMotion because it was simple enough to use with kids in 2005. Since then, the program has been a constant in his life. He uses it to educate both adults and children at different events.
More recently, Brian has used iStopMotion at the Cartoon Boot Camps at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco, California. He has taught multiple classes in both pencil testing and stop-motion. These camps are a week-long art extravaganza where children can learn how to create unique forms of art. Brian’s most recent stop-motion class taught kids about time-lapse, paper cut-outs, puppets and objects, and of course, the basics of telling a simple story so a stop-motion idea can come to life. Take a look at what the students created with iStopMotion in 2012 above!
Brian also works with whiteboard stop-motion animation, a unique and mind-blowing take on the art form. The stop-motion video starts with a bit of animation drawn by an artist on a whiteboard, and as each new artist contributes with their own drawings, a sequence of moving whiteboard creations is formed. Check out a whiteboard stop-motion animation that Brian worked on with iStopMotion at the CAM-JAM artist events at the Cartoon Art Museum here!
During his second Paper Monster Party in May, Brian used iStopMotion’s iPad version for the first time. Artists of all levels and ages got to customize paper toys into monsters or superheroes, the theme in honor of the Superman 75th anniversary exhibit at the Museum. The creations were then animated in stop-motion form, resulting in a colorful, fun video packed with frighteningly creative monsters and big, buff, papery superheroes. Find out who wins the battle … check out the iStopMotion video!
Find out more about Brian Kolm and his extensive animation skills at his website, atomicbearpress.com. Be sure to take a look at his daily drawings, and get inspired!
by Megan - Monday, September 09, 2013 - Permalink
With hundreds of photos and videos saved in your iPhone or iPad’s media library, it’s likely that, when showing these images to a specific group, there are many files you’d like to keep out of the presentation. Enter PhotoPresenter for iOS, a brand new app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch from Boinx Software. And from now until September 15th, PhotoPresenter for iOS is on sale for just 99 cents, 50% off of its original cost of $1.99.
PhotoPresenter is perfect for the ad hoc show and tell session. Users need only to hook an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to an HDTV set or a projector with HDMI or VGA, or via AirPlay. They then browse the device’s photo library to find the media they want to display and click on the image or video to display it on the second screen. The audience sees only the image or video selected - nothing else - keeping the presenter’s personal media personal. Presenters can jump freely between media files, allowing them to show images on the fly without being restricted to any particular order. Have multiple images of the same subject matter and want to select the best one? There’s a preview mode for that.
PhotoPresenter for iOS is an app that can be used in many different scenarios. Regardless of whether it’s used for professional or personal reasons, it’s a great app many will find useful. Some hypothetical situations include:
• You recently went on a great holiday with your closest friends, and your grandparents would like to see some of the photos you took of the beautiful location. There were certainly some photos you’d prefer they didn’t see.
• You are showing your portfolio to a client or potential employer. You’ll need to choose specific photos and/or videos for them to view, and want to put your very best work on display.
• Imagine working with your team on creative concepts. An enthusiastic discussion keeps you jumping back and forth from one media file to the other; not being limited to a specific slideshow order is an invaluable creative tool that helps keep the discussion and ideas flowing.
Visit the FAQ page to learn more about PhotoPresenter for iOS. Have some awesome ideas for how Boinx can continue to develop this app to be its very finest? Simply fill out this short survey.
PhotoPresenter for iOS - Special Pricing for a Limited Time Only!
PhotoPresenter for iOS is available now for just 0.99 USD on the App Store; promotional pricing ends September 15, 2013, when the app will return to its regular retail price of 1.99 USD.