A couple of years ago my son had some birthday money to spend. We were in the toy section of Tesco and he picked up a small box with a little, flexible man inside. The box said Stickbots. I had never heard of them before and we were intrigued. On the back of the box it gave instructions for downloading the Stickbot app. We were soon hooked!
The app allows you to create stop motion movies. This is much like the way in which programmes such as Wallace and Gromit are made. You place the stickbot in one position, take a photo, change his position slightly, take a photo, change his position slightly again, take a photo and so on. You can make him do all sorts of actions. The app then puts all these photos together into a movie and you can see you stickbot moving.
Not long after we got the first Stickbot I ordered a small set online. It came with a cardboard stage on which to place your stickbots and a tripod to hold your phone in and another character. The kids and I had great fun making little stop motion animations. The stage is green to create a green screen which is used in animation. Any background can then be added onto the screen through the app so you can make it look like your Stickbots are on the moon, in a city, etc. You can also add music to your movie through the app.
Last summer we rediscovered stop motion when my son took part in a stop motion workshop during a festival in our village. We spent some time on our trampoline in the back garden during that summer taking photos of the kids in all sorts of poses and then using free software downloaded from the internet to put all the photos together into little animations.
Most recently, on St Patrick’s Day last week, when we couldn’t take part in our local parade due to Covid-19, we built a parade out of lego and then used the Stickbot app to make our parade move. This occupied us for a few hours and was great fun!
You don’t need Stickbots or any fancy equipment to do Stop Motion. Just one of a number of free apps available to download and a camera. Action!
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