Review by Megan Leppla, Common Sense Education | Updated July 2014
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Stop Motion Studio

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Simple, straightforward approach to quickly creating basic animation

Subjects & skills
Subjects
  • Arts

Skills
  • Creativity
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
3–12
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (3 Reviews)

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4 images

Pros: Easy-to-use tools demystify the stop-motion process.

Cons: Featured-video community feels a bit disconnected from the app; it would be helpful to make the connection clearer.

Bottom Line: Simple tools and helpful tips allow kids to quickly start creating stop-motion videos.

Introduce students to basic photo and video concepts by exploring the app's various tools. Once they've mastered the tools, this could be an effective way to engage kids in content creation. You might encourage them to use it to share school projects such as making a stop-motion animation about seed germination, writing a book report, or recording an historical reenactment. The design focuses on the creation tools, so some kids may require prompts to get started. Featured videos provide great inspiration for those who need it, and may even encourage some kids to create work to share with a broader audience.

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Photo and video tool makes creating animations easy. Kids can select photos from their own library or record new images within the app. A basic set of tools, including overlay, grid, frame-by-frame preview, frame positioning, and fade, are included in the free version. Requires an in-app purchase to utilize the green screen, remote camera, and other movie effects. Getting started is easy, and helpful tips are provided throughout the app. A welcome animation provides some inspiration for kids, and a library of featured videos offers more great ideas. Option to share animations on a variety of platforms is available, but it’s unclear how featured videos are curated.

As kids explore the tools, they can experiment with various editing techniques: tap highly visible buttons to add audio, cut frames, add new images, change speed, and more. These creation tools help kids become deeply engaged with the content. The ability to animate images makes the experience fun and provides insight into the animation process. Kids can record what’s around them or construct an entirely new environment to capture through stop-motion animation.

The overall experience is a lighter version of more serious animation software, but the simplicity provides a comprehensible introduction for most kids. Those wanting to dig deeper can take their understanding of frame-by-frame capture to more advanced tools.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Fun, easy-to-use creation tools engage kids. Welcome animation and library of featured videos offer inspiration.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Data is stored in the project library, allowing kids to create a portfolio to display and assess their work.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

Kids can easily create a project and share their work on a variety of platforms. Help is accessible throughout.


Teacher Reviews

(See all 3 reviews) (3 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Michelle W. , Other
Other
Fort Mill Elementary School
Fort Mill, SC
Simple App for Creating Stop Motion Videos
I love this app as a creation tool. It allows kids a fun, creative way to tell a story. It challenged my younger students to think in sequence and allowed my older students to create some very detailed, intricate movies. I've done stop motion projects in the past, but they've never quite turned out this well. I give students a lot of choice when they are creating products and this will definitely be one option I will reuse in the future. I have had more students say they went home and downloaded this app than any other I've used this year. It's definitely a fan favorite this year. One main challenge that the students have faced is accidentally moving the iPad when taking the pictures. The button to capture an image is on the side of the iPad and pressing it tends to move that side of the iPad forward. It's something that the kids will be able to handle with some practice. Other than that, it's a VERY easy app for even my young kiddos to use!
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