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This is a fantastic little animation software package aimed specifically at children. It is made my Kudlian Software and can be purchased from Amazon at the very reasonable price of £13.95. It does require you to have a webcam to be able to use the software.
This is how it works:
On opening the programme there is a screen in the top left hand corner of the window which shows you what your webcam is seeing. This image can be flipped and rotated to suit the viewer and is useful if your image appears the wrong way around depending on where you have placed the camera. Underneath this is the storyboard where all the images you take are placed. In the right hand corner of the window are various functions for playback and a drawing screen which you can use to add to your animation.
The camera view can be set to be duel layered and this means you can see the shot you just took as the same time as the one you are about to set up. This allows you to judge how far to move your figures for the purpose of animating them. To take the shot all you have to do is click the camera button. Deleting it is also an easy matter of right clicking on the shot you want to delete in the timeline at the bottom of the window.
There is a big play button at the bottom of the camera view screen so you can watch your animation back at any time. There is no sound.
Once you have created your animation it is easily saved and can then be exported to Windows Movie Maker for the addition of sound and special effects such as a title and credits. This is slightly fiddly and moderately annoying that it cannot all be done in the same package, but worth putting up with for the ease of use of the whole programme.
I taught my nine year old daughter how to use it in about five minutes and she was using it independently within about fifteen minutes. She then taught her older sisters how to use it and between them they have had hours of fun making plasticene models and little films in which they have adventures.
If you are interested in seeing how it works Kudlian offer a free five day trial which can be downloaded via thier website.
Capture frames using DV camcorder, webcam or iSight
Time lapse recording function
Chroma key compsiting
Mac OS X 10.3 or later or Windows XP SP2/Vista
256Mb Free Memory
Screen Size 1024 x 768
Camera: USB Webcam, iSight or Firewire DV Camera
Internet connection for downloads and updates