How to Create Stop-Motion with Animate It! iPad App

Stop-motion animation can be created with Animate It! iPad app, so it’s easy to incorporate animation assignments in an iPad classroom. Stop-motion animation on iPad allows students to explore their storytelling ability and creativity.

1

Develop an idea, and build your scene complete with props and objects that move.

Be creative! Use a variety of props and materials. Paper, LEGOs, plants, plasticene . . . whatever is available to set up your scene.

  • Plan how your objects will move, and make sure you’ve built your objects out of material that can move in the way you’ve intended.

  • If you need objects to move through the air, think of a way to move them with string or wire.

  • To add titles and comments, just take photos of colorful, handwritten pieces of paper. You can have titles appear a letter at a time by taking photos of the message as it develops.

  • Set your scene in a spot with even lighting. The camera has a hard time dealing with shadows and glare.

2

Start a new project by tapping the + icon on the top-right corner of the opening screen.

The animation screen appears, with a timeline at the bottom. You're ready to start filming your animation.

3

Set up your camera and take a picture by tapping the camera button on the right side of the toolbar.

Your picture will appear as a frame on a filmstrip along the bottom of the screen.

Animate It! shows you a ghosted copy of your previous photo onscreen to help you adjust your objects for the next photo. This helpful feature gives you a precise idea of where your last frame is and guides you in placing your objects.

4

Continue moving your objects and taking lots of pictures that tell your story.

Most users underestimate the number of images needed. Remember, you’re taking every frame as a photo. Even at a fairly slow rate, you’ll display between four and eight images per second. Move your objects in reasonably small increments.

5

Review and edit your stop-motion movie.

To delete and move frames, touch and hold a frame to move it to a different position, or move it out of the timeline to see it “vaporized.” Tap the Undo button to erase your last action.

Review the last five frames by tapping the Review button. Adjust the camera’s exposure, white balance, and focus settings, and switch between front and rear cameras if your device supports these features. Tap the Review button and then tap the editing screen. The menu buttons will appear onscreen.

6

Tap the Play button.

The animation starts playing at normal speed.

7

Tap the Settings icon on the top-right corner of your screen and select Project Settings; on the Project Settings menu, use the sliding bar to adjust your playback speed.

Even at the slowest playback speeds, your animation may sometimes move too quickly. In the middle of the toolbar, you’ll see a button with two frames and an arrow. Highlight any frame and tap that button to duplicate the frame. Creating copies of your frames is a simple way to slow down the animation in areas where it moves too quickly.

8

Tap the Export button on the toolbar and select an export size.

Animate It! will create the final video and place it in your photo gallery.

One of the features sorely missing in Animate It! is the capability to add a soundtrack. Take your final video to a movie editing app such as iMovie, and you can add a soundtrack there. Note that another stop-motion animation app, Stop Motion Studio, does allow you to add music or record your own sound. It doesn’t, however, have the ghosting feature which is so helpful in building your animations.

Time-lapse photography is when you set up a camera to take a series of photos over a period of time and then turn them into a video. It effectively allows you to accelerate a slowly changing scene and watch it in a fraction of the time.

Animate It! includes a time-lapse feature that allows you to set the capture time (for example, every 30 seconds), the duration in minutes, and the number of frames that you want to capture. The time lapse will automatically stop once the required number of frames has been captured.

Time lapse can be a wonderful way of documenting a changing scene. (Think sunset.) You could set up the iPad and take photos of the actions of a turtle or lizard in your classroom overnight. You just need to set up your iPad in a safe spot to record the action taking place.

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