Not only has animation become a part of many a school art curriculum, but summer camps across the country are beginning to incorporate Claymation and stop motion production into their planned activities. While it is a wonderful and worthwhile hobby to introduce your child to, there are not many animation software programs designed specifically for children who have little technical knowledge of the editing process. It is a challenge to find age-appropriate tools that will encourage your child’s burgeoning artistic talent without overwhelming them with software that is difficult to understand.
2Animate! is one of the only animation editing programs designed specifically for children. Not only can they create films using simple line drawing and more complex colored animation, but they can also use a webcam or digital camera to film stop motion sequences and direct their own films! Kids can create their own files which they must later save, copy or open. Mastering these basic computer skills will allow them to work with more complicated software in the future.
A feature known as “in-betweening” allows your child to shoot only one frames of action, define how the graphic should look at the end of the scene, and then watch as the software creates the frames which occur in between the shots. They can also add, remove or copy frames throughout their film. A frame grabbing feature allows for more advanced editing options, so that an older child can review and extract individual frames to achieve a more polished look to their films. Files can be imported and exported in up to 15 different formats, including .AVI and flash (which can then be uploaded to a family website).
The large, easy graphic interface allows even the youngest child to get involved with the magic of animation. Big, chunky, colorful buttons and extra large frame sizes make for an attractive, attention-grabbing screen. As they draw or import files, one click of a green arrow will allow their ideas to be set in motion as they watch a film that took just minutes to create!
There are wonderful bonus features in this software which make it incredibly fun to work with. If they wish to draw pictures, there are fully-functional virtual tools which allow them to fill, shade, and paint pictures to their heart’s content. Your child can experiment with Green Screen, use 15 different effects filters to alter the look of their animation, and even design printable flicker books to share with their friends.
2Animate! is designed specifically for ages 3-11, and sells for $32.95. They offer a free trial period, if you would like to sample the software before making a purchase. This award-winning software is a fun and easy way for your child to express their creative flair, while exploring the wonderful world of animation.