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Philbert
01-02-2012, 08:14 AM
My brother in law was telling me about ideas my niece has for short little animations involving dinosaurs. Really short simple things that could be put on YouTube. I know it sounds like a lot to do for a 10 year old, but I think I remember seeing some 3D software that was made for kids somewhere, but I don't recall what it was called, only that it had a very kid-like interface, looked the it was made of colorful play-doh. Anyone have any ideas?

PixelDust
01-02-2012, 08:19 AM
Are you thinking of Cosmic Blobs? Unfortunately, it seems to have been discontinued, according to http://blobfans.blogspot.com/

EDIT: I found some old copies at Amazon.com... (http://www.amazon.com/Cosmic-Blobs-Lab-Deluxe-Version/dp/B000IXWPOS)

Philbert
01-02-2012, 08:24 AM
Ah yeah, looking at this YouTube video of it I think that is what I was thinking of.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMcIgzJe1L0

Maybe there's something similar out there.

dwburman
01-02-2012, 09:09 AM
There are a few cartoon maker websites out there. One is http://www.xtranormal.com/, but there are others. I haven't used any of them, so I don't know if the UI is suitable for a 10 year-old.

Philbert
01-02-2012, 09:17 AM
Xtranormal might be pretty good, I was actually trying to remember the name of it the other day, thanks. She may not be able to get exactly what she wanted with dinosaurs but she might still be able to tell her story and have fun with it.

UnCommonGrafx
01-02-2012, 09:32 AM
clipart is going to get them started. For sure. I have such issues against the idea but I am coming around.
http://www.pencil-animation.org/
I like this one for the child that knows how to draw. Mind you, this is still in my above vein. haha, do it yourself.
Also great for sketching out ideas for 3d and otherwise.

Philbert
01-02-2012, 09:35 AM
That might be a little too advanced.

Greenlaw
01-02-2012, 09:59 AM
I started out doing stop-motion in the basement, in the backyard, and on the kitchen table when I was 10 or 11 using a super-8 film camera, modeling clay, toys and siblings. Obviously I don't recommend using a film camera like I did, but nowadays a basic digital still camera lets you do the same thing easier and inexpensively. (I wish I had that option back then!)

There are many options for compiling the frames into movie clips: almost any video editor, compositing program, and some video players like Quicktime will let you do this. Even Lightwave will compile frames to movies. If you do a search, you may find a free or open source solution for this.

There are a few more advanced software solutions for controlling capture like this one: http://www.stopmotionpro.com/ You can get the basic version for about $70. I think Toon Boom offers something similar. I personally haven't used these stop motion programs so you'll want to download trials to try them yourself.

I think stop-motion is a good intro to animation for kids because, unlike 3D, it's tactile and they can see results almost immediately.

G.

Philbert
01-02-2012, 10:17 AM
Yeah I suggested the Lego movie set. I think there's one that's made for making stop motion movies.

safetyman
01-02-2012, 04:59 PM
http://www.muvizu.com (Muvizu) is really fun to play with, but may be a little too steep to learn, not sure. Give it a shot.

Philbert
01-02-2012, 05:23 PM
Thanks I'll pass that on.

Greenlaw
01-02-2012, 07:30 PM
Yeah I suggested the Lego movie set. I think there's one that's made for making stop motion movies.
No need to buy a lot of expensive toys for miniature sets and props. For Hello Frankenstein (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qN2Z8kTND00&feature=plcp&context=C3e061dbUDOEgsToPDskJ2xUQwONQ_VN-d5ofDdGD0), my wife and I built most of the sets and props with things found around our house and garage. Our biggest expense was black Sharpie markers, a glue gun, and white foam core, which was probably all under $20. (Of course I'm just talking about practical stuff here not software cost.)

A lot of 'detail' was totally faked--the rock texture on the walls, for example, was just a tiled pattern printed as 'wall paper' on photo copier. The set and props took about a day to design and put together, and the entire production (excluding the opening shot, which was Lightwave) was shot on our living room floor with a 'cheap' Sony Handycam DV tape recorder.

G.

Philbert
01-02-2012, 08:30 PM
That's amusing, I hadn't seen that one before.

Lamont
01-04-2012, 02:38 AM
We're doing stopmotion for winter break project. And I think a 4~5 year old DSLR with a $60 50mm lens and the stock will be perfect to get someone young interested. And I think starting in 2D is the best way.

Lamont
01-04-2012, 02:41 AM
Alright, just watched Hello Frankensien. Funny because it was cats. And cats NEVER want to do anything but what they want to do.

Also, one cut the cat had paws, next he had hands!! Too funny!

wibly wobly
01-04-2012, 05:43 AM
It's not software and probably won't fit the bill for this current idea but, have you considered flip books?

Greenlaw
01-04-2012, 10:08 AM
Thanks! Hello Frankenstein was our first crazy project for Gothtober. I storyboarded it and mixed audio one weekend, we built the sets and props in a couple of evenings, shot the live in four more evenings, composited everything the next week of evenings, and did the cg the final weekend. As usual we delivered just in the nick of time for the event. (We dropped off the DVD at a local bar just hours before it went online...it was very 'secret agent' like.) Crew was just me, Alisa, and the cats.

Looking back, I'm not sure how we got this done because during the day Alisa was working on a commercial, and I was working on our first Call of Duty trailer at R+H putting in a ton of OT.

Here's a 'behind-the-scenes' reel for HF. Kids might be intrigued by seeing just how 'low-tech' much this project really was. (Not counting tracking and roto.):

Making Hello Frankenstein (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sO1E36vq9Ck&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL)

By the way, while I think Sergeant and Toullie had fun working on this film, I don't really recommend using cats in tabletop productions--I think we were incredibly lucky that our guys played along so well. Most kids will find inanimate objects are more predictable and manageable. :)

G.

Greenlaw
01-04-2012, 10:13 AM
It's not software and probably won't fit the bill for this current idea but, have you considered flip books?
My five year old daughter wanted to learn how to animate and my wife thought the flipbook would be a good intro. She showed her how to animate a bouncing ball and then gave my daughter a blank pad. My daughter immediately drew an entire cast of animal characters and a fairly detailed backdrop, and then got very frustrated by the fifth frame because the process was taking too long. Meltdown followed.

Just a fair warning. :)

G.

wibly wobly
01-04-2012, 11:07 AM
lol. that's a great story. a lot of people really have no concept about how hard or how long it takes to animate by hand. though, flipbooks are pretty cool toys when you have even a small idea about what to do.

JeffrySG
01-05-2012, 04:14 PM
http://www.toonboom.com/products/animationish/index.php

Have you looked into Animation-ish? It's made by the toonboom people. There's a demo as well.

Philbert
01-05-2012, 05:06 PM
I'm not sure if my sister is looking to spend $60 but I'll pass on Animation-ish.

Iain
01-05-2012, 05:19 PM
http://www.muvizu.com (Muvizu) is really fun to play with, but may be a little too steep to learn, not sure. Give it a shot.

That looks cool.
I'm going to play with that!

Cheers.

cresshead
01-05-2012, 06:25 PM
That looks cool.
I'm going to play with that!

Cheers.

sounds like it's free...is that right or a limited amount is free?

Titus
01-05-2012, 08:03 PM
Maybe some digital puppetry? there are a couple of projects using blender+wiimote:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94I4o2at9Ps&feature=player_embedded