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iStop Motion for iPad Review

iStop Motion for iPad Review

If you are a fan of stop motion animation and have always wanted to give it a go yourself then iStop Motion for the iPad may be a good place to start. While it is a stripped down version of the painstaking process that is probably too basic for creating the next Oscar winner (although there’s no reason why you shouldn’t try!) it does provide an easy and affordable introduction to the animation method and is very fun to use.

iStop Motion is very easy to use and you can jump straight in at start animating with it almost immediately. Using either the front or back camera on your iPad, you can capture shots either by tapping the screen or by setting up a time lapse, which means the iPad records for you at timed intervals, freeing you up to focus on animating. The frame rate has a default of 12fps which helps speed up the process and can be slowed down in playback to emulate the standard 24fps used in the industry but you can also change to this format for animating if you have the patience. Frames can be deleted or duplicated but the problem here is that any new frames can only be added to the end of a sequence.

What may be a problem for you is using the iPad both as a camera and an interface, especially since you don’t want to have to move your camera and interrupt your shot. For this reason if you are using the iPad alone then the time lapse is the best option for you, but there is another option. If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, you can connect it to your iPad, download the free iStopCamera append use this secondary device as the camera.

This frees up the iPad completely to keep you in control and, as long as you fix your makeshift movie camera in place, your shots will be uninterrupted. The process of animating is a slow one at the best of times however and you may get frustrated waiting for each shot to process, especially with the delay as it transfers from iPhone to iPad. Be warned that one second of footage can take up to 30B of space when saved uncompressed.

Finished animations are saved to the Camera Roll, at which point a soundtrack can be added. However editing tools are sparse and if you really want more in-depth control over sound and vision synchronisation, you would be better off using something like iMovie.

While it lacks the professional sheen of more expensive animation applications, iStop Motion is an ideal way to ease yourself into the medium. Creating animation is a quick and simple procedure and it will not take long to create your first mini masterpiece. If you have the hardware then the app is just $9.99 and will provide hours of creative fun. For a beginner’s animation app, the results are surprisingly effective.

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