Crayola Easy Animation Studio – Product Review

When you think of animation, you think of hours of hard work to create simple second-long videos.

Not anymore.

While wandering through Target the other week, I found the Crayola Easy Animation Studio.

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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.

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Inside the book –

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*Helpful Hint*
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

*Helpful hint*
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:

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To make your character wave, capture Manny in these three positions:

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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:

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Crayola Marker Airbrush – Product Review

Fun for the whole family? How often is that actually true? You’re either left with a sullen teenager or a screaming child. Crayola Marker Airbrush can actually be fun for the whole family.

Listen when I say I am in no way being paid by Crayola or anyone else. I just wanted to share my opinion.

Today I was feeling pretty crappy and tried to get my mind off it by walking around Target. With Christmas coming, of course there are a lot of new toys out. There were two that caught my eye: Crayola Marker Airbrush, and Crayola Color Alive Easy Animation Studio (latter review to come).

Let me give you the rundown:

Packaging And Pieces

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The box pretty much tells you everything there is to know about the product. Each pack comes with the Airbrush Sprayer, 20 blank sheets of paper, 8 Washable Markers (for designs on paper), 4 Fabric Markers (for designs on clothing – cotton recommended), and 4 Stencil Sheets.More detailed instructions are also inside.

It is great how much there is in there, but I still would have liked some more stencils, such as letters.

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Everything is very simple to use and there are only a few elements. You also don’t need batteries or to assemble anything, so you’re all set to go on Christmas morning.

How It Works

  1. The first thing you will do is decide if you want to airbrush a design on paper or fabric. My examples will be showing paper, with the only difference at the end (I’ll explain that later).
  2. Choose your colour. I chose a pinky/purple.
  3. Remove the lid from the marker and push the marker into the tip of the airbrush until you feel it kind of click. Don’t put the lid on the bottom of the marker. I did that and it messes it all up. Click the holder down so it’s all secure.Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 12.26.56 am.png
  4. Twist the lid of the air pump machine, pull the handle up, and push down. Keep lifting it up and pushing it down, about 20 times. You will feel the air pressure build up, and when it feels enough, twist it back into place.
  5. Pop out your chosen stencil, place it on the paper (or fabric) and spray.20151130_225249
  6. If you have airbrushed onto fabric, I have read that you should then iron it with the iron set to ‘cotton’, and then put it in the dryer for 30 minutes on its hottest settings.

 

So there you go. It’s a very easy and fun thing to do. You can create your own designs on paper, books, windows, walls, clothing, etc. You are pretty much only limited by your imagination.

I had a great time playing around with this and hope to get some more stencils and airbrush on some shirts.

Target had this one for sale for $29.

Let me know if you’ve tried this and what you thought of it.