Here is a growing collection of equipment and hardware that I have trialled in the class or would like to try!
Click on the pictures to go to the link.

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I Can animate software allows you to create stop motion animation movies with a number of advanced tools such as green screening. The software uses a plugged in video camera or webcam to record the animations. The raw animation footage can then be exported straight into iMovie and have special effects such as audio added.
I have used this with a range of age levels and found it to be a great way to introduce animation to a class. I Can animate allows children to really get a grasp of how to plan and develop a stop motion animation plus the software allows children to preview what they have recorded so far.
If you are interested in purchasing I Can animate the New Zealand dealer is Innes Kennard innesk@werc.ac.nz.He does a great deal on individual or bulk orders and he also sells Comic life.
I Can animate is also now available as an App on the Apple iTunes store. This will allow you to create stop motion animations using an iPhone or iPod touch.
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FrameByFrame

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FarmeByframe is free piece of open source software similar to I Can animate. I haven't used this much in class as we have I Can animate installed on most of our laptops.

STIKFAS figures

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What your children use to animate their animation projects can vary from Lego figures to paper figures. Stikfas figures are one of type of figure that can be used to create stop motion animations. I have tried lots of different types of figures and materials and have found Stikfas figures to be useful for some types of animation. These figures (with a bit of blue tack) are great for children to use as they will stay fixed in one pose which can then be moved to record a new shot. The only problem is getting hold of Stikfas figures! The company basically stopped making then in 2009. There are some sets available on Amazon but I managed to find Australian online store Figuresdirect.com.au that still sells and posts Stikfas figures.
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Spore creature creator

Spore creature creator is a free download for Mac and PC (just click on the Spore title below). This download allows your children to create their own creature and then have it perform various actions which can be recorded. The creation tools are very easy to use (basic drag and drop) and any movie footage the children make can be imported into iMovie for further editing. Click on the Spore title to access the free download.

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Sweet Home 3D

A tool I have used for numerous numeracy activities. This is open source design software which allows you to create scale 3D models of buildings. It is free to download and has an extensive library of extras such as furniture and plants to download also. Children can plan and design their own virtual room and then create a short walk through movie of their work.
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Blender

Blender is a open source cross platform software free to download. It allows you to create wire mesh objects that can be rendered and animated. It takes quite a while to learn how to use this software with a huge range of tutorials on the website and on Youtube. There are also examples of some of the award winning short films created using Blender on Youtube.
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