Do your kids love movies? Does your child secretly wish his Lego creations and other toys could spring to life? Then you may want to check out Stopmotion Explosion. Their Stop Motion Animation Kit would make a great addition to your child’s digital world. I know that my son was excited that our family was picked to review this product. Here is what we found…
A Little Bit About Stopmotion Explosion
Stopmotion Explosion is a company that works to bring animation to everyone. They have created an animation kit that includes everything you need to get started making stop motion videos. The kit includes a quick start guide, a comprehensive guide book, installation CD, and a 1080p HD video camera. The only things that you will need to provide is the computer, objects to video and your creativity.
Stopmotion Explosion also has a space on their site called, “Content Hub.” This is a place for users to share videos and how-to suggestions with other stop motion animators. If you get stuck while creating your next masterpiece, you can check out some of the videos to help you along.
A Little Bit About Stop Motion Animation Kit
If you or your child would like to begin creating stop motion videos, this kit has everything you need to get started, and for only $79.99. At that price, this kit makes an excellent birthday or Christmas present. The only thing that does not come in the kit is a character to star in the show. If you are interested, they do have one available on their site. Otherwise, you can really use anything you have around the house such as Legos, small toys, or even clay and play dough.
Everything in the kit is of very good quality. With our zoo full of grabby hands and curious animals, I was concerned about the durability of equipment. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the equipment is kid-friendly.
The camera is very solid and does not have a lot of tiny pieces that could get broken. It’s cord is thick and well attached so that the wires inside should not get crimped or frayed easily. The lens is easy to focus, and the camera has a built in clip to help keep it in place during filming.
While the kit does come with an installation CD, it is not necessary. You can download the necessary programming via the Stopmotion Explosion site. Once the software is loaded onto your computer, you are ready to begin reading the Stopmotion Explosion book or view some tutorials in the Content Hub. You will be making videos before you know it.
How We Used This Project
My son has a passion for Legos. In fact, he has entire worlds set up in various areas around his room. Maybe he will be a Lego creator someday. We will see. Anyway, he loves to create story lines and plots to go along with the worlds that he creates.
He was quite excited to be able to get the chance to bring these stories to life via animation. When the box came, he could hardly wait to open it up to get a good look at everything. Later that night, he got to work installing the software and learning how to make his videos.
It was not very long (maybe 30 minutes) before he had his very first video. While it was pretty rough and maybe not YouTube ready just yet, it was enough to keep him motivated to continue to learn more.
Great for hands-on learners…
My son is not the type to read a manual unless he has to. Instead, he tends to begin using the equipment, get stuck, and then reads the manual to help figure things out. I am happy to report that if you too have a hands-on learner, this kit should work for them too. Although reading the instructions first is advised, this kit works well for little tinkers who just like to play and figure things out.
The software that is included allows the user to snap still pictures that will later be animated into a moving video. You can choose the rate at which the photos advance which will also change the video speed. There is a bit of a learning curve with this if you want a smooth look to the end product. The software also allows for some editing and the ability to animate the characters to look as if they are talking.
Audacity is included with the software and is a sound editing tool. My son did not get past the animation, so we have yet to really dive into this program yet. However, it looks as if you can record and edit with this tool.
Overall, the kit is high quality and very comprehensive. I would think that this product would be great for those ages 10 and up. While younger kids may get a kick out of watching their toys come to life, they may not have the patience to make all the tiny adjustments and snap all the photos. My son was quite surprised just how many photos it takes to make a 10 second video. If your child has the patience, stop motion animation is quite rewarding in the end.
Video Take One
Below, you can see the video my son did right out of the box. As you can tell, he really didn’t know what he was doing. However, he still was able to make a little video little to no instruction which I thought was pretty awesome.
Video Take Two
With this second video, you can clearly see a lot of improvements. Still no sound or dialog, but he plans to work on this with time. As I mentioned, there is a learning curve to this, and he also plans to carve out a corner of his room dedicated as a studio. That way he does not have to take down his scenes each time we need to use the kitchen table.
Zach (age 16)
“This is a great product. It comes with everything you need, and is easy to use. I would recommend having one place to make your videos, because I had to keep tearing down my set each time we had to eat at the kitchen table. The book is very helpful to give you tips on how to make your videos look more professional.”
“I really like that my son has a way to make his time on the computer more educational. He is using this tool to help keep him more interested in his studies. This spring he is going to be learning about the various Native American tribes and he plans to create a video of some of the Native American tribal dances.”
Review Crew Thoughts…
You don’t have to take our word for it though. Other Review Crew families have also been working hard to bring you a great review. To check them out, simply click on the link below.