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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Three Free Tools for Creating Stopmotion and Timelapse Videos

Creating stopmotion and timelapse videos can be a good way for students to tell a story that they have developed. Stopmtion and timelapse videos can also be helpful when teachers are trying to help students see how a lengthy process like osmosis works. While good stopmotion and timelapse videos can take a long time to create, there are some tools that can make the process a little easier. Here are three stopmtion video creation tools that are worth trying.

JellyCam is a free program for creating stopmotion movies. Using JellyCam you can create stop motion movies using images from your computer or images that you capture via your webcam. Once you've selected images you can quickly arrange them into a sequence. After the sequence is set you can specify how many images you want per frame. A soundtrack can be uploaded to your video. JellyCam uses the Adobe Air platform. If you don't have Adobe Air Runtime it takes just a couple of minutes to install.

Stop Frame Animator from Culture Street is a neat tool for creating animated stop motion movies. Creating your animated stop motion video is a simple drag and drop process on Stop Frame Animator. To get started creating your stop motion video select a background scene then drag your characters into place. While you have nine background scenes to choose from, the only characters you can use are wooden manikins. You can position the manikins' arms and legs in every scene. After choosing your scene and characters you can add some other props like chairs and beach balls. And if you want you can add sound effects and music to your video by selecting them from the Stop Frame Animator gallery.

OSnap is an iPad app (available in a free version and in a paid version) that you can use to create stop motion and time lapse videos. The app is quite easy to use. To create a video with the OSnap app you simply need to start a project and take a series of still pictures using your iPad’s camera. Then adjust the number of frame per second to edit your video. If you want to, you can add a sound track to your video by selecting audio files that are stored on your iPad. You can go back and edit your videos by removing images and from the project at any time. Completed projects can be stored on your iPad, uploaded to YouTube, or shared via email.

A note about Sam Animation. When I sat down to write this post I intended to include a review of Sam Animation. Unfortunately, when I went to the Sam Animation website it was down and I don't know when or if it will return. I hope it returns because it is a great program for creating stopmotion videos.

HelloSign for Gmail Allows You to Put Your Signature on Attachments

A few months ago HelloSign released a Chrome web app that allows you to apply your signature to any document in your Google Drive account. This past week they released a Gmail plug-in that allows you to apply your signature to any document sent to you through Gmail. This convenient tool allows you to fill out and sign documents in Gmail. This eliminates the need to print, sign, and scan documents that you need your written signature or initials. See how it works in the 47 second video below.


Applications for Education
I love little productivity tools like HelloSign enable busy teachers to quickly take care of administrative tasks and spend more time focusing on the thing that love about teaching, actually teaching.

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