Frankly, a MacBook Air with iMovie and Garageband and an iPhone (coupled with a decent microphone) is an enormously powerful and affordable digital video production house. What about more esoteric forms of content creation? Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and there is stop motion animation made easy on the Mac.
Some forms of digital video creation take time and effort. It’s not all drag and drop friendly like iMovie.
Stop motion animation is one segment of multi-media creation for which I’ve maintained some distance.
Why? It’s hard work. And tedious. And it takes time.
That said, if you have the right app stop motion animation can be created quickly, easily, and in a way that’s actually fun, not tedious.
My experience with iStopMotion for Mac is as a newbie to the art, but not to video production or the Mac.
Add an iPhone or a DSLR to the mix and stop motion animation becomes real.
Telling stories, creating animated action frame-by-frame is drop dead simple in iStopMotion.
There’s an option for Canon DSLR Live View, and with onion skinning you can see the animation before you capture the frame.
200 frames can be exported into an animated GIF (for some reason, animated GIFs have been resurrected). Anything on your Mac’s screen can be captured as an element in the animation.
There’s built-in chroma key so you can have animated characters roam about in front of any landscape. Even your iPhone or iPad camera can be the source of video with the free iStopMotion Remote Camera app.
The key to making an animation is the capture of single frames, which iStopMotion does almost effortlessly from any standard Mac source. Finished animations can be saved as movies, or exported to iMovie or Final Cut Pro X to add more sound, edit, and drop in titles.
Yes, the animations you can create can be professional level, hence the non-amatuer price tag, but for those who want a career in multi-media, stop motion animation is one segment that’s now easy to get into.
iStopMotion is nicely done but takes some work for iMovie lovers to wrap their head around. Animation isn’t merely a string of very small movie clips. It requires some thought.