Here’s the latest installment in what’s sure to be a series of stop-motion Lego movies. Enjoy!
My son (10) walked around the corner this afternoon asking about an app (Koma Koma) we had downloaded on our iPad a few months ago but never really dug into. I think I deleted it. He had an armful of Lego and wanted to make his own stop-animation movie.
So, we re-downloaded it, set up a little studio on the kitchen table, and within seconds we were filming his very own stop-animation Lego short. It’s easy to use with four simple functions: capture, play, delete, and save to gallery. This is literally so easy a 4th grader (probably even a 1st grader) could run it.
The app records one frame at a time and gives you a cool “onion skin” overlay after each capture which allows you so see a translucent image of the previous frame and line up the next shot. We kicked our production up a notch by importing the movie into iMovie; adding titles, sound effects, and credits; and exporting to our Facebook page so family and friends could view it. We found we needed a few more sound effects that weren’t available on iMovie (robot lasers, explosions etc.) so we recorded them on Garage Band along with some dialogue for the characters. Check out our finished product here (hosted on Google Drive).
Now, admittedly, 43 seconds did take us a good amount of time to produce (about 2 1/2 hours) mainly because we wanted to add sound, titles, etc. and I was refreshing my iMovie skills as I went, but a basic movie can be produced in as few as 5 minutes. Anything can be a character: toys, modeling clay, paper cutouts, leaves and twigs. What was amazing to me was how riveted my 10 year old was throughout the entire process. He mapped out the scene and dialogue with attention to details. He manipulated the app with no problem. He absolutely loved picking out the sound effects and recording the extras. Titles and credits were the icing on the cake, “We’re making a real movie!” he shouted. This is a great example of how immersed a kid can get in a project with an end goal in view and the potential for sharing their work with a broader audience.
The only feature that would make this app better would be the ability to record audio in real time on top of the video. A simple soundtrack function would make this a complete app for one-stop video production. There’s probably a simpler way to add sound than involving iMovie and Garage Band, when I find it I’ll update this post. In the meantime, download the app here and read more about it here. Have fun with your first production.