Remember stop motion movies? They were all the rage way back in the middle of the last century.
Claymation dinosaurs ruled long before computer generated images took us to Jurassic Park. Honestly, I thought stop motion anything died years ago. Yet, thanks to a Mac, iPhoto, and digital cameras, stop motion video is better, easier, faster, and less expensive than ever.
Lights, Camera, Action!
My latest movie making toy is Smoovie. It’s an inexpensive Mac app that makes stop motion movies. Wait. Doesn’t that sound difficult and time consuming? Yep. Except that it’s actually easy, fast, and fun.
Stop motion is time lapse cinematography. Think of it as a bunch of still photos or images glued together and played back in sequence to look like actual motion.
That’s what Smoovie does but it takes advantages of what you already have to create some dynamic movie scenes in minutes using tools you already have.
Start with your Mac, iPhoto, and a digital camera. In true time lapse tradition, take hundreds of photos of a scene, movement by movement, one photo after the other. Stuff all the photos into iPhoto and Smoovie does the rest with a click.
Here’s an example of what can be created in just minutes using Smoovie.
The way that stop motion video is accomplished is rather simple. Take photos, one after the other in the sequence you want. Drop them into iPhoto. Drag the photos from iPhoto into Smoovie and the scene is done.
Add more scenes to create a complete movie. This is one of those apps you need to see in action to understand how the complicated and time consuming is reduced to drag and drop and click effort.
Smoovie is so simple to use that even children can get in on the action and create simple, animated scenes and movies within minutes using an inexpensive point and shoot digital camera.
Even your Mac’s iSight camera can be used. Smoovie’s built-in editing tools allow the playback speed to be altered. You can even add music or sound from iTunes.
Upload the movies to YouTube with a click. Save the movie in iTunes so it can be displayed on AppleTV or on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
The only real negative with Smoovie is that time lapse scenes—the stop motion of many different still images, one after the other—requires some upfront thinking and planning. It’s important to know the sequence of each photo. Smoovie simply automates the process of stitching the images, or frames, together to form the movie. It’s plenty of fun and inexpensive.