For hobbyists and weekend filmmakers, playing around with stop motion and timelapse image capture is an enticing way to create memorable movies. On the Mac, the most user-friendly and accessible app for these projects is iStopMotion from Boinx. Starting at US$49 for the basic Home version, iStopMotion makes it easy to animate your furniture, Legos, kitchen items or anything else you happen to have lying about.
In the 2.5 version of the product, released this week, Boinx has added one marquee feature that's going to be showing up in a lot of timelapse projects: tilt-shift. You've probably seen some spectacular videos using this effect, which simulates the fine control over focus that was traditionally available only with specialized lenses on still cameras.
When the selective focus effect of lens tilt is applied to timelapse footage, the scene appears to be acted out in miniature (check out the work of directors Sam O'Hare and Keith Loutit for great examples). It took Jim Clark weeks of effort to create 30 seconds of tilt-shift music video footage a few years ago, but now you can do something similar on a tabletop.
Boinx has also added compatibility with new Canon still camera models and a 'Send to iMovie' option in this version. In the Express and Pro versions of the app, color correction options are now included. Express, at $99, includes several additional features such as rotoscoping, a soundtrack and continuous capture; Pro, at $499, adds the option of full high-definition. Compatible cameras are listed here, and I've had good results with both an old iSight and an IPEVO p2v USB camera. You can see a video demo of 2.5 in the second half of this post.
If you're a pro animator or effects artist and iStopMotion isn't powerful enough for your needs, you may want to check out Dragon Stop Motion; it's designed for professional work, with an interface and feature set to match. The $275 app can control lighting, shoot in 3D and more; it even comes with its own USB keypad for fast access to key commands. Happy animating!
Here's the video demo of the tilt-shift feature in action:
Brand new Tilt Shift Filter, enhanced support for Canon DSLR and HDV cameras and easier export to iMovie round out Boinx's new iStopMotion 2.5 release
Puchheim, Germany – November 18, 2010 – Boinx Software, a multi-award winning developer of cool software for the Mac platform, today announced the availability of iStopMotion 2.5, the company's popular stop motion animation application. Headlining the new update is the innovative combination of a brand new Tilt Shift Filter with stop motion animation and time-lapse recording. A popular effect among photographers aiming to capture a "miniature-scale model" effect, Tilt Shift is perfect for stop motion animation's small movements and individually photographed frames. This unique pairing of Tilt Shift with stop motion and time-lapse recording software allows animators to expand creative expression, manipulating the depth of field of their images so that life-sized locations or subjects appear miniature in size. "By adding the new tilt shift effect to stop motion and time-lapse movies, an animators creative expression can take a giant leap forward," comments Oliver Breidenbach, CEO, Boinx Software.
iStopMotion 2.5 Product Updates
Additional product updates include full support for new Canon DSLR camera models and HDV camera support in iStopMotion Pro when Logic Studio® or Final Cut Studio® is installed. Version 2.5 boasts a new 'Send to iMovie' functionality in the file menu, for quick and easy export of your stop motion animations to iMovie 8 or later. Enhanced color correction functionalities in iStopMotion 2.5 Express and Pro allow users to adjust the atmospheric settings of a shot, right at the time of capture. Breidenbach further comments, "This release emphasizes our commitment to empowering the creative user, from Kindergarten to movie studio. The combination of new Tilt Shift functionalities with our flexible stop motion animation and time-lapse recording software is like a triple treat for animators of all levels – the results are out of this world!"
To view an example of iStopMotion 2.5's new Tilt Shift functionalities click here: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1740948881713 <http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1740948881713>
Availability and Pricing
iStopMotion 2.5 is available now at http://boinx.com/download/#istopmotion <http://boinx.com/download/#istopmotion> . The updated to version 2.5 is FREE for all current owners of a valid iStopMotion 2 license. A built-in assistant will guide users through the process of acquiring the proper license. iStopMotion 2.5 Home is available for $49, iStopMotion 2.5 Express is available for $99 and iStopMotion 2.5 Pro is available for $499 via Kagi. (Price quoted in US$ excl. sales tax or VAT as applies. Check the Kagi Store for quotes in local currencies). For all purchase options see http://boinx.com/istopmotion/buy.
Boinx iStopMotion is the leading solution for stop motion animation and time-lapse capture, and won the O'Reilly Mac OS X Innovators Award in 2003. iStopMotion 2.5 is available in three flavors: Home, Express and Pro. The Home edition is for the casual user, the typical family where the parents want to have fun with the kids while providing them with a productive, creative and educational experience. The Express version appeals to the animation aficionado, who wants the features of the Pro version except those only needed in a professional production environment. The Pro version is for the professional animator who uses iStopMotion in a production workflow, creating animations for commercials, music videos or in HD resolution.
About Boinx Software
Boinx Software Ltd. is located in Puchheim, near Munich, Germany. Boinx Software develops award-winning animation, video production and photography software for the Mac platform and iOS devices including the iPhone, iPad and iPod. Boinx iStopMotion is the leading solution for stop motion animation and time lapse capture and won the O'Reilly Mac OS X Innovators Award in 2003. Boinx FotoMagico, winner of two Apple Design Awards-"Best Mac OS X Leopard Graphics and Media Application Runner-up 2008" and "Best Mac OS X User Experience Runner-up 2006," is a presentation tool for professional photographers. BoinxTV, winner of the "Apple Design Award 2009," is a revolutionary live production software that turns any Mac into a TV studio. Boinx PhotoPresenter, winner of the Apple Design Award 2005 "Best Mac OS X Student Product," is a quick slideshow tool with a variety of pre-built templates. Boinx Mouseposé is the indispensable mouse pointer-highlighting tool for users developing presentations, training or demos. "You Gotta See This!" is Boinx's very first iPhone 4 app that works off of 4th generation gyroscope technology to create amazing 360-degree photo collages. PhotoBox, Boinx's first iPad application, provides photographers with an on-the-spot analysis of the technical quality of their photos and VGA connection capabilities for viewing photos on the big screen.