Smoovie Stop Motion - Animation

Category: Student Tools

Ages: 7-11 11-14
Price: iPhone/iPad - £4.99

Smoovie Stop Motion is a unique application that is a professional, innovative animation platform to be used by classrooms, families and animators around the world. The app brings stop motion animation to a range of ages with an intuitive user interface, simple software and in-app teacher resources. The platform includes instant playback, audio and video, onion skinning, scenes, film strips and much more. The app comes with no in-app purchases or adverts.

Screenshots

  • Smoovie Stop Motion - Animation-1Smoovie Stop Motion - Animation-2Smoovie Stop Motion - Animation-3Smoovie Stop Motion - Animation-4Smoovie Stop Motion - Animation-5

Teacher Review

Upon opening the application, the user is greeted with the Smoovie Platform which includes the following:

·      The date and time display.

·      The ‘+’ icon for creating a new project.

·      The ‘Play’ icon for playing movies.

·      The ‘Upload’ icon for sharing your movie.

·      The ‘Trash’ icon for deleting movies.

·      The ‘Educational’ icon for educational collaboration.

We would have liked to see a splash screen before entering the app.  

When swiping to the left the user is shown a welcome video highlighting the types of movies the app can create. We felt that although this short video was inspiring it would have been beneficial to see a ‘how to create a movie’ section instead as the app is not self-explanatory at first glance.

The above icons are easy to recognise and understand and we really loved the ‘Educational’ icon that linked us to sample lesson plans, stop motion animation techniques and printable resources. The developers can be congratulated on the content of this section. The ‘Lesson Plan’ resources provide examples for Maths, Geography, History, Literacy, Biology, Physics and Chemistry.  Each lesson plan has an extensive list of ideas that can be integrated into the classroom, however, we would like to see examples of stop motion video here.

The ‘Stop Motion Animation Techniques’ provides an insight into animating people, puppets, clay models, silhouettes and hand drawing. Again these are simply ideas for the lesson with no actual video examples. However, they are very useful.

The ‘Printable Resources’ section is an excellent resource for teachers wishing to plan stop motion movies. The examples provided include storyboards, set design, character profile, scene script and props list. These are an invaluable resource that we highly recommend for teachers to fully explore prior to the students using the application.

It is noted that there is also a contact point here via email to the Smoovie Teacher Support services.

So how easy is it to create a stop motion movie?

Stop motion enables you to take a picture of a subject and move it and then take another picture and so on, before stringing the images together to make a movie. Using the simple interface of Smoovie will make the object/subject look like it is moving or animated.

Pressing the ‘+’ icon on the opening screen will create a new project.  A new scene will automatically be created which you can then title.  The question mark icon displays an overlay explanation of the controls which is helpful. The camera can be reversed or turned off using the relevant controls. There is also an undo button and an option to record your own audio or add music from your Music library. The developers may consider another feature such as adding text or speech bubbles in this application.

Once your subject is in place take a picture. You can use the onion skinning slider in the bottom right to see the position of the previous image to gain better positioning. Create another scene using the ‘+’ icon and take another picture once you have moved the object once more. The key to stop motion animation is small movements of the objects, multiple photos and positioning. That way the animation will be smooth and not jumpy. If you would like to view the scenes as a movie, then turn off the camera using the icon at the top of the screen and press play to see your work. Here you can change the rate of the frames from 1.0 frames per second (slow) to 30 frames per second (fast), and that’s it! The movies can be shared via other platforms and the application has the ability to record your own voice straight into the project, copy and paste from other apps such as Paper 53, Keynote and Photos.

What we like about Smoovie is the simplicity of the interface that can be picked up very easily after one demonstration. There are many applications for stop motion animation and this is by far one of the easiest to use making it suitable for a wide age range. We would like to see more examples within the app possibly a gallery of videos created by users. We would also like to see a user tutorial that can be used by teachers to explain the application and controls. Having said that Smoovie is an excellent application and comes highly recommended by the Educational App Store.

From the Developer

Smoovie is a professional, innovative animation app that brings the creative power of stop motion to classrooms, families and animators around the world.

Simple and intuitive to use, it has all the features that pupils need to be as creative as they like without having to struggle with over-complicated software. And as a final touch, audio recording means that pupils can add their very own narration, giving their projects even deeper learning value.

Pupils and teachers are our priority, and our in-app teacher resources give easy access to downloadable PDFs, example lesson plans and stop motion animation ideas … everything you need to get your class up and running!

KEY FEATURES AND BENEFITS

Instant Playback - No rendering means you can instantly play back your work each time you make a change to your project, without having to wait.

In-app Teacher Resources - Download and print right from inside the app. Storyboard, scene script, character profile, set design and props list templates. Example cross-curriculum lesson plans and stop motion animation techniques all ensure you have enough resources to get your pupils planning their projects and animating in no time.

Onion Skinning - Possibly the most important feature of a stop motion animation app. It helps the animator to perfect the tiny adjustments required between frames and create the illusion of smooth motion in the finished movie. The live camera feed is made semi-transparent and superimposed onto the previous frame taken, so it's easy to see where to place your objects for the next shot.

Record your own voiceover or import a soundtrack - Pupils can plan and record their own audio right into their project, or browse the iPad’s music library to choose the perfect soundtrack.

Scenes - Arranging content into scenes is a fundamental part of the professional film-making process, and Smoovie is the only stop motion app that lets you do this. Each scene has an independently adjustable playback speed (from 1 to 30 frames per second) allowing you to vary the pace and mood of your animation. You can add new scenes, cut unwanted scenes, capture new action into existing scenes and drag scenes around to change the running order - all with full undo support so you're safe to experiment.

Frames Filmstrip - With a quick swipe gesture you move from the scene list to the virtual filmstrip which contains all the individual frames of the project, arranged by scene. Another fundamental part of professional film-making is the ability to edit projects right down at individual frame level. Cut, copy and paste frames, drag frames from one scene to another and even copy frames from other Smoovie projects, all with full undo support.

Create, copy and paste from other apps - Open up a whole new world of creative possibilities for making content for your animations. Copy and paste content from the Photos app, create titles with Keynote or turn sketches from your favourite drawing app into cartoons.

Extend the creativity - Smoovie makes it easy to export your animations to be used as content for other apps. You could write your own soundtrack in GarageBand or add some opening effects in iMovie.

Share - Export your animations to the Camera Roll on your iPad and use any of the share options available to you there, or transfer to your Mac or PC. And if you've got Apple TV, you can display your masterpieces on television with AirPlay Mirroring.

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