Bud has been getting interested in animation recently ever since we had a discussion about how some of his favourite cartoons were made. He was particularly intrigued by how the stop motion ones (think Wallace and Gromit) were made when I told him they filmed them with tiny movements, so I was thrilled when we were given the chance to review the Hue Animation Moshi Movies kit.
Not only did we end up making our own movie (Hollywood here we come!), but it turned out to be a great opportunity to encourage Bud's creativity, planning and oh yes - patience!!
We received the Hue Animation Moshi Monsters kit for free, but all opinions included in this review are our own.
So first to the kit. What we got were instructions, some cardboard backdrops, USB cable, CD, webcam and plasticine (modelling clay). We got the Moshi Monster kit, but Bud decided that he'd rather use some of his toys to try out our movie making capabilities. It's worth saying that you need your own computer to make this work, our laptop doesn't have a disc drive, but the software was easily downloaded from online.
So, what did we do? Bud picked the backdrop and a couple of toys and he set to work. It was super, super simple, basically you move the characters, press the space bar then make the next tiny movement, press the space bar and so on. It's worth saying at this point that Bud is 5 and he picked it up super fast.
However, one lesson he had to really learn was patience!! Getting the concept of making only tiny movements between each picture took a while. The first movie we made (the one the photos are of) is, well, not so hot!! Very juddery and the characters seem to jump all over the place, but it didn't take him long to get it. What really helped is that the previous shot stays as a shadow on the software so you can see how much you've moved things - this turned out to be invaluable!
Here he is hard at work!
After we'd had a good test of how the webcam and software worked Bud really let his planning and creativity flow. This is what he wanted to film - the dinosaur and the blob!! He planned it all out himself and then talked me through it.
And this is the finished product, I hope you enjoy. Bud did all of it himself except for the explosion and the sound effects, that's the fun I had one evening!! I don't think we'll be hitting Hollywood just yet, but Bud was thrilled with the results and has plans for his next movies!
In terms of the product, what did we think? Hue Animation is marketed as:
Hue Animation hopes to inspire young movie makers, encouraging children to be more creative; thinking up their own storylines and bringing the lovable monsters to life.
The all-in-one kit includes the Hue HD camera, easy-to-use stop motion animation software, features and backdrops and is available for £49.95. The software can also be purchased on its own for £19.95.
Did it live up to expectations? Absolutely we definitely got to exercise our creativity and make our own storylines, and I say 'we' as to be honest I probably enjoyed this as much as Bud did!
It's a great project for an adult to do with a child, it brought out the little bit of techy geek in me and I enjoyed following Bud's creative lead. That's not to say he couldn't have done it on his own, it was super simple and he could have, but I'd like to think we had more fun together!
Interested in finding out more check out Hue Animation on their website (this includes their shop which ships to UK, US and Europe, and lots of help, tutorials and extra downloadable backdrops) their Facebook page and Twitter account.
I'm definitely inspired to try out some more animation. We're going to do some more movies, and I'm hoping to make a flick book with Bud, but what else could we do?? Any suggestions are most welcome in the comments. Thanks!