Stop Motion Animations – MonkeyJam

A colleague has asked me to help with some ideas for how to carry out stop motion animation that they wish to get their students involved in and this has made me pause to evaluate the options with regards to stop motion animation. I firstly remembered the useful video below which I blogged about back in 2010.

We have used stop-motion animation in the Geography Department for a couple of years to encourage students to apply knowledge and understanding in the formation and development of coastal landforms and also in documenting the processes and features created at different plate boundaries in the study of plate tectonics. We have used plasticine for students to create and manipulate models and used flip cams to record stills which have then been stitched together in moviemaker. The results have been variable, there have been some great films produced, whilst others have been less successful. The method we have used in the past has been quite time consuming which has meant that some have been started and not finished, some have also been quite ‘stop start’ and lack the smooth look of some animations. I am therefore keen to look at how we can rationalise the process and what other software could be used. I am therefore going to have a look at MonkeyJam, a free stop-motion animation programme.

There are a number of basic tutorials available on YouTube for how to use MonkeyJam (see below) and by all accounts it seems very user friendly.

MonkeyJam seems to work well with a web cam as shown in the video, however this tutorial video from the BBC show how to use a digital camera and simply then import the images into Monkeyjam to carry out 2D animation; the beauty of the webcam however is the ability to capture straight into the Monkeyjam software.

There are some great examples of stop-motion animations on YouTube using lego figures – for example this short one on Free Running

I am looking forward to seeing what our students might be able to produce!

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