Thursday, March 4, 2010

ReadyANIMATOR demo via Skype

I just finished doing a demo of ReadyANIMATOR Compact via Skype. The demonstration was for a workshop at the educational technology conference called NCTIES that's held in Raleigh, NC every March. The session was led by Julie LaChance, Technology Facilitator at Northwest Cabarrus High School. She showed curriculum-based clay animated movies, then demonstrated her school's ReadyANIMATOR Deluxe.
After that I joined in via Skype and showed how to use ReadyANIMATOR Compact.
Part of the session included an explanation of cameras that are well suited to stop-motion animation. ReadyANIMATOR Deluxe is primarily designed for DV Camcorders, while webcams work best with ReadyANIMATOR Compact. Some of the new HD webcams work very well for stop-motion animation.

NCTIES provided a grant to Julie's school that made purchase of their ReadyANIMATOR possible.

If your organization would like a Skype presentation about how to create curriculum-based animation in your school or library, please contact me. My contact info is at:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

ReadyANIMATOR and Stop Motion Pro at 'Mary and Max' premiere

I recently brought ReadyANIMATOR to the Charlotte premiere of 'Mary and Max', the clay animated feature film by the Academy Award winning makers of Harvie Krumpet. The showing was a program of The Light Factory, one of only four non-profits in the U.S. devoted to the art of both photography and film.

In the lobby before the screening, I set up a ReadyANIMATOR and a laptop equipped with the animation capture software used to create 'Mary and Max'. The software is called Stop Motion Pro; it lets you capture frame-by-frame animation.

Within seconds of sitting down with ReadyANIMATOR and Stop Motion Pro, children who had never animated were creating their own stop-motion shorts. When I teach animation in schools, I find it's best to let children dive in and animate right away to get the idea of what can be done with animation. Later I have them do the writing and fabricating needed to make a curriculum-based animation. Many of the animation classes that I teach in schools are under the auspices of The Light Factory; the organization also has offered clay animation classes that I teach at their summer camp.

The students who were using ReadyANIMATOR didn't attend 'Mary and Max'. And for good reason. This 'clayography' is not suited for young children because of some racy cartoon occurrences. But adults who like films that break the Hollywood mold will love it. This is a quirky and often hilarious movie that gets us inside the heads of two unique individuals. 'Rotten Tomatoes' critics gave it a 90% rating. I can't wait to see their next movie, but it may be awhile. I heard this one took five years to create.