iStopMotion – ($39.95 USD – DV version/ $349.00 USD – HD version)
Have you always wanted to make those animated movies made with clay or pipe cleaners? Camcorders are great for family films, but for a Claymation style stop motion movie you are going to need some extra software. That’s where Boinx iStopMotion comes in. You can try out iStopMotion with Boinx’s fully functional demo. Itâ€™s available on http://www.iStopMotion.com.
iStopMotion is just what an OSX program should be: powerful, yet amazingly simple. It has just a few important controls, and it lets you do the rest.
Operating iStopMotion is easy. Create a new project, connect your camcorder to your computer via firewire, and start taking frames. Try making a little man out of clay and move it a few millimeters with each frame. After you’ve taken a few seconds of video (the number of frames will depend on your frame rate chosen), render your movie and enjoy. Once saved as DV, it can easily be dropped into iMovie for editing.
iStopMotion can do even more though. It features overlays so you can see where your new frame is in relation to the previous frame, which is very helpful for precise motion. You can enable voice features and control the program by saying the words “Take Frame!”
I have had a couple of stability issues with iStopMotion. It has crashed, but as long as you save your work there shouldn’t be a problem. The latest version of iStopMotion is compatible with Tiger, so you won’t have a problem there. My last gripe is Boinx never returned my technical support email, though I finally just remade that certain movie clip I was having problems with.
iStopMotion comes in 2 major versions, DV and HR. The DV license costs $40 and supports resolutions of up to PAL/NTSC. The HR version allows resolutions as big as your camera can handle.
iStopMotion gets 4/5 stars from me, mostly for price. $40 is a lot to pay for a lightweight program, and $350 is very pricey for some extra resolution and audio features. Still, if you try the demo and get hooked like I have, iStopMotion looks like it is the best and easiest stop motion program around.
While you’re at it, check out the other programs from Boinx (http://www.Boinx.com). I haven’t tried any, but they appear to be innovative and useful.