iStopMotion

iStopMotion 3

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As a dad and a geek, I'm always looking for ways to interact with my kids and technology. It's probably a selfish thing but why not mix the two things I love so much?

For several years now, I've been using iStopMotion with my daughter. With it we make little movies with Lego, dolls, and whatever else strikes our fancy.

This most recent version from Boinx Software includes some really great improvements:

iPhone and iPad Support

No longer do you need to tether your camera to your Mac. Instead, you can now set up your iPhone or iPad and use its camera to take pictures for you. This used to be a huge problem for me since we use iStopMotion on an iMac and it was really difficult setting up our "shoot" anywhere out of USB cable length. Now we can have the computer in one corner of the room and are "set" at the other end of the room. This is really useful.

Final Cut Pro Export

The new version also lets you export directly to Final Cut Pro X straight from the application. If you want to get more serious about this stuff, this could be a big help. To be honest, we do most of our editing right in the application.

More

iStopMotion includes many additional features including Onion Skinning, which lets you see the animation before you capture the frame, and Chroma Key, letting you put your scene anywhere you want using green screen or, alternatively, inserting a live actor in your animation scene. There is also a tilt shift filter which can turn your scene into a miniature.

With the holidays coming up, a great use for this application would be to set up your iPhone on a tripod and point to your Christmas tree while you decorate it. Then have iStopMotion capture a frame every few seconds and at the end you have a really nifty time lapse video. We do this at the Sparks house and it's a lot of fun watching later.

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A Sad, Lonely Man and his Lego Yoda

At some point, my kids will get too old and too "cool" to be fiddling with stop motion video with their dad and then I'll just have to suck it up and admit I enjoy doing this for my own benefit. The good news is at that point, I can just jump into it whole hog and buy myself some really cool Star Wars Lego.

You can download iStopMotion from the Mac App Store for $50 or buy directly from the website. If you've ever had any interest in this stuff, you should really give it a try. It is a lot of fun.