Best stop motion animation kit for 9yo
October 28, 2021 1:49 PM   Subscribe

My 9yo really enjoys making stop animation videos and would like to work with some slicker tools. The reviews on all the "best" kits are making me nervous. Do you have a set up to recommend?

I don't mind investing a little money in a program and/or camera that really makes the experience easy and intuitive. The problem with the main programs that seems to fit the bill, HUE Animation Studio or Stopmotion Explosion, seem (according to the reviews) to be riddled with outdated software and usability issues. But maybe it's just cranky reviewers? Anyone have either of these and can give their experience? Is there something better I should be thinking of? It would run on a PC.
posted by LKWorking to Technology (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

I would suggest you stick to a simple smartphone, a phone mount that can be fitted on a desk, probably with a goose-neck, and a remote trigger (probably Bluetooth, but wired would work too), and a good light or three... AND a good app for the smartphone.

The idea is to get the same shot without the shakiness of a hand-held camera. It makes keeping the camera stable between shots very easy. There are many good apps on the smartphone for stop motion stuff. Use a remote trigger as not to touch the phone and move the camera.
posted by kschang at 1:59 PM on October 28, 2021

Response by poster: Want to pop in just to note that I don't think we're looking for a phone situation, since he does not have a phone and we don't want to have ours commandeered for this. Looking for something that can work with a laptop or Kindle, though I guess if there really isn't a good kit out there that's something to consider.
posted by LKWorking at 2:11 PM on October 28, 2021

A Fire Tablet would work too, just needs a bit bigger mount. Make sure the app for stop motion is available on the Amazon App Store, unless you want to install Google Play Store on the tablet (which is a little more involved, but not hard, no rooting required)
posted by kschang at 2:20 PM on October 28, 2021

We specifically reserve old iPhones for hobby use around here. An outdated phone by a few cycles is not going to be a problem for this kind of task, and in fact a more beneficial form factor for a pre-teen to use. Our resident 10 year old uses an iPhone and “stop motion studio pro” to make Lego stop motion movies. Purchasing sturdier non rage inducing tripods, making little mini-dollies and buying decent lighting tools are much better bang-for-your-buck purchases to make videos look good. The software is fine, but he tends not to edit much (and importing to the family laptop is where most editing occurs with “real” video editing software occurs).
posted by furnace.heart at 4:13 PM on October 28, 2021 [2 favorites]

I know you said you don't want to use software meant to run on a phone but... iMotion has been great for us, and it's free. It's just for apple products, however.
It can run on a tablet or a phone. Perhaps consider getting an older tablet/phone combo and a cheap tripod and mount for the phone. Two devices are recommended so that one acts as the camera/capture device, and the other acts as a viewer and trigger.
posted by cleverevans at 4:17 PM on October 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

Another alternative... if you insist on PC only, is MonkeyJam (free software) and whatever camera you have that can put pictures into the PC. A webcam mounted on a steady platform (its own base or stable mount) should do. You capture stuff separately, THEN throw them into the software and edit them.
posted by kschang at 9:32 PM on October 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

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