Category Archives: Review

Teach With video is a blog to help teachers integrate digital video projects in the classes they teach. The podcast provides tips for classroom management, unit and lesson design, and various resources to help teachers guide students toward the successful creation of curriculum-based videos.

Stop Motion Animation With iStopMotion

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Today I had the opportunity to try out iStopMotion ($9.99). This is by far the best app I have seen for creating stop motion movies. It is very intuitive and easy to use. I think that most people would be able to teach themselves quite easily. The one feature that makes this app worth the money is the onion skinning of the last photo taken. This semi-transparent view of the previous image allows the user to precisely place the objects being animated in respect to their previous position. (see below)

Onion Skin

I’m looking forward to using this app with students. Below is the animation I created today.

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A couple of weeks ago at the Learning 2.0 conference I went to an iPod photography workshop by Dave Caleb. This was an outstanding session, and I came away with ideas for being a better photographer, and new apps for my iPod. My favorite app from the workshop is Pro HDR. When there is mixed light in a scene, Pro HDR will take two photos, with different exposure for the amounts of light. Then it combines the photos. The photos below were taken this past weekend during my neighborhood photo safari with my wife.

Normal iPod Camera

iPod with Pro HDR

See more examples of what Pro HDR can do for your photos. This is a great app, and really worth the $1.99.

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Two Fun Video Apps

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A while ago my son started playing with Action Movie FX (Bad Robot Interactive, Free). This app will add various effects to your video. The app comes with four effects including Missile Attack, Car Smash, Demolition Rock, & Rough Terrain, & there are more available for purchase. One thing I don’t like about this app is that you must use video that you record in the app. You can’t use videos from your camera roll. Guess which one my son used in the video below.

The second fun video app is Vintagio (MacPhun LLC, $2.99). Vintagio adds silent film effects to movies in your camera roll, or allows you to film original material withing the app. You have choice of effects, quality, soundtrack, and playback speed. The video below is the Vintagio version of the video above.

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Movie Trailers in iMovie ’11

I recently installed iLife ’11 in my computer and decided to give the iMovie ’11 new Movie Trailers feature a test run. I attended my first Korean baseball game last Friday and I shot a very small amount of video with my camera. The process of creating the trailer was very simple. There is an outline where you can fill out the information (text) that will appear in the trailer, like the name of the studio & release date. Then there is a storyboard where you can click on the clips you want and they pop right in to the storyboard. A nice feature is that on the storyboard there are suggestions for the type of clip that should be inserted.

The trailer I created is less than stellar for various reasons. Unfortunately, I had very little footage and couldn’t include the types of shots recommended. Most of mine are long shots. I think that would have helped my trailer to be much more interesting if I would have had a variety of types of shots, including close ups and also a variety of what I was shooting.

Features I think would make the software better:

  • Option to add photos into the trailer (with Ken Burns effect)
  • Adjustable clip lengths

All in all the movie trailers is a  great feature in iMovie ’11 and I am sure we will be seeing a lot of student projects that use them, not to mention many home movies.

Below is my first trailer using the new feature.


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