Lately my boys have shown a ton of interest animation. They love to create videos with their lego guys and with globs of playdoh. And when they have such fun together, working together, I have to encourage it in an way I can. So I was thrilled to have the opportunity to review the book Stopmotion Explosion: Animate ANYTHING and Make MOVIES from Stopmotion Explosion, I had no doubt this was going to be something that would give them hours of fun and learning! Fun AND learning. Now thats a winner 🙂
The Stopmotion Explosion book contains over 290 pages that are full of example projects, hundreds of illustrations, and detailed step-by-step instructions for screenwriting, video editing, animating, audio recording and video processing software, no prior expertise required. And if you have no idea where to begin? Don’t worry – this book guides you to everything you need one step at a time. It’s a great resource for any wanna be filmmaker if you ask me.
If you aren’t familiar with the art of Stopmotion (I wasn’t) don’t worry. You will find, as I did, that you have seen a fe, unbeknownst to you. Chicken Run, Wallace and Gromit, Fantastic Mr Fox, Coraline and who isn’t familiar with The Nightmare Before Christmas? These are all made via Stopmotion! Cool eh?
I love how the from the very first page, this book is full of fun stuff! It all begins with the story of How Movies Work. They tell the most interesting story. Just to pique your curiosity a bit, how do horses hooves and painting have anything to do with film making? You would be surprised. I know I was! We also had fun learning all about the history of film; from the Thaumatrope to the Zoetrope. An amazing history lesson in moving pictures.
There are 17 Chapters in all each one covering a separate topic relating to filmmaking. These range from the creation of stories, to building a set, proper lighting and composition, sound and video editing. We start out simple, using small objects like silly putty or a lump of playdoh even, to practice animating. Throughout each chapter, don’t miss Check It Out; where additional information can be found on their blog, such as the Magnetic Modibot. Each one of the takes you to a separate tutorial to help you expand on your stop motion experience. And of course there are also How to’s throughout the book sharing tips for how to make things float (in one instance). Not sure how to write a script or even what to write about? They have that covered too!
My oldest son (along with his brother and sister who are 4 and 6) had so much fun watching all of the video tutorials and using their minifies, some little princess dolls and ponies and all kinds of other things creating story after story. There are countless lessons being learned through this; my oldest son is learning and exploring the wonderful world of photo editing and exploring all the photo effects available out there. Not only has this been an amazing learning experience (and will continue to be no doubt) but it has been something that has brought my kids together. It has been so fun watching them work together to create stories and scripts and build a variety of props for their videos.
I wish I could posts images and videos of all of the fun they had but at this exact moment we seem to be having some troubles uploading them to the blog. I am surely going to keep trying though because I admire all the hard work my three kiddos did to make their movies!
This book is such a wonderful resource!
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