Thursday, December 9, 2010

Monkey Jam for animation

Take a 15 euro webcam, take a box of Plasticine and you are Stephen Speilberg! Well maybe not. But here is an example of what you can do:
claymation animation example
Monkey jam is a free program for doing frame by frame animation, which can be a series of post it notes, a step by step guide to a calculation, or whatever. Its quite simple to use, and after about forty minutes with the program the group I was in had quite a respectable minute of animation in the can. Very silly movie about a cat. For the technically minded we were shooting at six frames per second which is about as slow as you can go, while keeping up the continuous motion illusion.
There is a reasonable video guide here: MonkeyJam Tutorial which will give you a feel for what is involved and there is also a pdf format guide to using the program here:
pdf Guide to using MonkeyJam
Educational uses
This is good material for a class project or group work as it gives the students a great sense of achievement seeing the movie rolling. Its results can be imported into MovieMaker, if you want to combine them with live footage shot with a video camera.
I’ve used it to produce animations for use in class. A simple example for maths is here 
Divide by a fraction example
This shows the kind of simple resource which can be built. I would use this in class by running and pausing it te explain each stage as we go along.

MAC versions: Monkey jam can be run using virtual PC however the MonkeyJam author suggests Frame Thief, as an equivalent for stop-motion animation. I Can Animate, has also been suggested by Cormac Cahill for a Mac platform, its a little more expensive at £45. Site license and educational pricing is available.

No comments:

Post a Comment