Over the last month the boys are I have been having a brilliant time together reviewing the Hue Animation Studio.
It’s a kit aimed at kids, helping them to make simple stop motion animation videos.
The box proclaims “Coming with everything you need to make your own animated movies”. Well we put it to the test and they weren’t wrong.
On opening the box you’ll find a brilliant simple to use plug in and play webcam, 5 bars of modelling clay for model making, and an installation disk and download code for the Hue Animation Software.
I went ahead and downloaded the software as I have a Macbook Air with no disk drive. It was probably easier than using the disk, and downloading from the website ensures you always get the latest version of the software.
As soon as you start up the Hue Animation Software and plug in the webcam your ready to go. The software is incredibly simple to get to grips with, just a little clicking of all the buttons to see what happened and almost immediately we were making movies.
Thomas decided to be the director of our movie and made the decision to animate his Minecraft and Moshi Monster figures rather than making a model with the clay.
First thing he did was write up a storyboard of our movie. We downloaded and printed out a template storyboard from the Hue Animation website, and I would recommend doing the same. It’s brilliant to have your story down on paper before you start animating.
Even though we changed some things as we went, we had the main gist of what he wanted to happen planned out. You can get free backgrounds from the website too.
The amount of support on the website is great, there’s a section of tutorials to help you get started and with using effects. Their Facebook page is another great resource Or if you more of a visual learner they have some brilliant videos on the Hue Animation Youtube channel teaching you tips and tricks.
And this is the movie we ended up creating:
Thomas was absolutely thrilled with his movie, he thinks it’s amazing, and I was so proud of him. He came up with an original storyline, and we worked hard trying to get the frame lengths and text as he wanted. It was a very proud moment for him when he invited his friends around to watch it on Youtube. They couldn’t believe he had made it.
Coincidently saving the file ready for upload the Youtube is simply one click. extremely simple.
As I said Thomas was thrilled with his movie, however the perfectionist in me can see a few problems, and in the next movie were making I am trying to correct these.
Firstly you can see throughout the film that the light changes. That’s my fault really. The instructions do suggest using a static light source like a lamp, but we didn’t have a desk lamp to use. I’m going to get a small lamp to use for our movie making by next time.
The other thing was the blank background. We filmed our figures inside a shoebox so the colour would be all blank and I could then use Hue Animations ‘Chroma Key’ setting, to paste a background behind like a green screen.
Unfortunately it didn’t work out very well as some of the figures we used had white on them, so when we projected the background, it went over the figures too. Again this was my fault, I should have used a green screen but we just wanted to film as soon as we opened the box.
The shoe box worked well as a film set, but we are going to paint it green for next time.
For kids and parents looking to make some fun memories and fab movies the Hue Animation studio is just the ticket. I have no doubt that there is better movie making software out there available for much much more money, but with its £50 price tag Hue Animation is unbelievable value for money. Plus the software is so simple and user friendly, the kids can create movies all by themselves.
We had so much fun making our little movie, and Thomas learnt a lot too. I would most definitely 100% recommend it.
Information from the makers:
The Good Toy Guide approved Hue Animation Studio contains everything a budding animator needs to begin creating stop motion animation videos. Children can discover, imagine and create stop-motion animation through powerful, easy-to-use,animation software complete with Hue’s market leading Plug ‘n’ Play HD camera with built-in microphone and a unique flexible neck for unlimited positioning options.
The software (used in schools and at home) helps children to create simple visual adaptations using toys, modelling clay, play figures and stop-frame animation techniques. The process of animating with the Hue Animation Studio encourages children to learn a diverse range of skills in both a fun and stimulating way. They can create a story, create characters, make them from clay or plasticine, design and make sets, compose soundtracks or select appropriate recorded music to enhance a film.
Disclosure: We were sent a copy of Hue Animation Studio in order for us to give a full and honest review. All opinions are of course my own.