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Stop Motion Animation Kit Review by Meg Falciani

iCreate To Educate, Inc. (trading as HUE)
1321 Upland Dr, PMB 18269
Houston, TX 77043
United States
(415) 295-4143

“I wish I could create a video of my child’s learning, so I could play it back and see their ‘Aha!’ moment over and over.” Have you ever said that to yourself? What if you found a way to bring that “Aha!” to life with a video? The Stop Motion Animation Kit from Hue Animation Studio can help you do just that. This complete stop motion animation kit (US$69.95 excluding VAT) can help your student bring learning to life. The kit contains a plug and play camera, an activation code to download software, and a manual titled Hue Book of Animation: How to make movie magic. The software provides instructions, scripts, sound effects, and some props/backgrounds to get you started. All you need to add is your imagination, a computer (Windows 8/7/XP, Mac OS X 10.5 or higher) or an iPad/iPhone (downloadable app) and any props you want to use to make your movies.  

While getting started is as simple as loading software and plugging in the camera, the Book of Animation is as equal a resource as the technical gear. It begins with the requisite “How to Get Started” information that sets up the camera and software, but then becomes an instruction manual for videography, providing instruction for classic animation techniques: animating vehicles, runaway objects, and even how to create the illusion of flying. The book also provides links to sample videos to compare your attempts with; comparing your films with theirs will help you become proficient in animation techniques.  

It’s not all about recreating Hue’s sequences, of course. Once you’ve mastered the basic techniques, you can animate anything, making this a perfect multi-disciplinary activity, making it perfect for both individual homeschoolers and small groups (school based learning communities, co-op, etc.). You can animate anything from hand-drawn pictures to building bricks to your lunch! Research a topic (any subject), write a script (language arts), gather your props (art and even budgeting), and get started (arts, technology). I’d even add in there is potential for honing conflict resolution skills when others have what I’ll politely call creative vision differences.  

Our family thoroughly enjoyed this kit. Instead of writing yet another essay-style report, my children brought their lessons to life. One animated the life cycle of an animal, rather than creating a half-hearted 2-D drawing. Rather than the stress of being stared at to practice Spanish, animating mini-figures and props provided storyline for conversation.  When the focus was on making a movie rather than a lesson for the sake of learning that information, the process of learning became more fun.

The hardest part was getting started. While the hard/software is considered “plug and play,” getting proficient takes time. Creating stop-animation films does require the ability to pay attention to detail, and patience, because it takes hours of work to create only a few minutes of footage. The kit is recommended for students aged 7 and up, and I would actually lean closer to middle school and up for use. Although our younger children enjoyed supporting roles as playwrights, prop masters, and extra voices, I think the roles of animator and director are better suited to older children who may have the ability to finesse the subtleties involved in creating the finished film.

This kit from Hue Animation Studio really helps to...animate learning! It’s perfect for the aspiring animator who wishes to create stories for wants to create his own animation portfolio, the struggling student that would benefit from having a concrete project to create instead of yet another research paper, and everyone in between because it helps record that “Aha! I learned this!” moment of joy. Our family definitely recommends this product.

—Product review by Meg Falciani, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March, 2016