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Making a stop-motion animation video with dolls or action figures is a lot easier than you might think, especially with iStopMotion for iPad ($9.99). There’s a Mac version too ($49.99 in the Mac App Store or www.boinx.com), but it’s more expensive and less convenient. It's a great project for parents and kids -- with these tips, you'll be animating anything in next to no time.
Launch the app and tap + to create a new project. Tap the large preview area, then tap the Camera icon to choose which camera to use. The back camera should already be selected, so tap the Settings button to its right. (If you get the free iStopCamera companion app, you could even use a camera on your iPhone or iPod touch!)
To manually set focus and exposure, choose either, then tap on the part of the screen the app should focus on and set the exposure to. The gear icon offers various display options—leave Show as it is for now. The wrench icon isn’t yet selectable. When you’re finished, tap Done.
It’s time to start shooting! Fix your iPad so it won’t move, place your objects, and tap the gray circle on the right to take a shot. Move your objects slightly between frames—you can still see the shot you just took over the current image, which helps you see what needs to be repositioned.
After taking a few shots, set the Show option (from Step 2) to only display the recorded image. You can now browse through the photos you’ve taken by swiping and tapping on them. You can delete or duplicate images with the wrench icon. To play your video, tap the Play button.
You need 12 shots for each second of footage, so this could occupy your kids’ attention for quite some time. All finished? Head back to the Gallery and tap the Share button to optionally add a soundtrack, save the clip to the Camera Roll, email it, or upload to YouTube or Dropbox.
iStopMotion can do time-lapse videos as well as stop-motion ones, but if you don’t have an iOS device, you can use your Mac to make time-lapse films, using the built-in iSight/FaceTime camera. Gawker can create 640x480-pixel time-lapse videos of the sun moving across your room, a giant mess being cleaned up, or any other long, slow process.
Gawler uses Mac's camera to take a ton of pictures, then combines them into a video.