When you think of animation, you think of hours of hard work to create simple second-long videos.
While wandering through Target the other week, I found the Crayola Easy Animation Studio.
It immediately caught my interest, and with it only costing $29, I figured I would give it a try.
Inside you will find – Manny the Mannequin (with a stand to clip him into), Crayola Twist crayons, a stand for your phone/tablet, and a book full of characters and backgrounds for you to colour-in. You will need to download a program on your smart-phone/tablet, but it’s free.
Inside the book –
I wanted to make something really cool, so I decided to make Captain Hammer from Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (2008). Unfortunately, I used other brand crayons as well, and I think that put-off the system, so always use Crayola crayons.
I’ll take you through step-by-step making an easy short animation.
STEP 1 – Character
Either colour your own character, or use one provided on the program.
STEP 2 – Background
You can choose a background from the book, use one on the program, or you can even take a photo of your house and your character can be there with you.
STEP 3 – Actions
There are a bunch of actions you can choose on the program, or you can use Manny to do it yourself. The program works by capturing images of Manny in positions, and filling in the blanks.
It works best if you keep the smart-phone/tablet still, and have Manny facing a window with light.
You’ll have to be patient while capturing the positions, as it needs time to figure out where Manny’s limbs are (through the symbols on his limbs). Here is what happens when it is having trouble:
To make your character wave, capture Manny in these three positions:
STEP 4 – Voice
You don’t have to do this, but you can record some audio. I record “Hello” in my best bear-voice.
STEP 5 – Save
It only takes a second to turn it into a video.
And voilà, here is my video: