Every now and then, we are sent something to review that really impresses us and the Zu3D Animation Kit was definitely one of those products. It is brilliant. Even the teenager, who is generally unenthusiastic about most things was quite keen to have a go.
The Zu3D Animation Kit contains a HD Webcam, a green screen, a background, plasticine to make your models and the software that you need to create your animations. The kit is designed for children, but it is perfectly suited to 'big kids' too. The teenager was the first one to test out the kit and I have to say that I was really impressed with his efforts.
This little video took him around an hour and a half to produce; which included making his character, creating the frames needed and then editing and adding music.
So how does the Zu3D kit actually work? Well the software is easy to download from the disk and once installed, you attach the HD Webcam to the computer via a USB port and you are ready to roll. The instructions on the disk are brilliant as they guide you through every step of the process; from creating your masterpiece, through to editing and adding effects and sounds.
Once you have have your character or characters ready to be animated; these can be made from the plasticine provided or you can use toys, you set up your mini theatre with the back ground and green screen and you are ready to start filming. The technique used is known as 'Stop Motion', which is where you make an object appear to move on its own by taking a number of frames in succession where the object moves a tiny bit in each frame so that when the frames are shown together, the illusion of movement is created.
R needed some help to get himself set up with this, but once he had been shown how to do it, he was away and quite happily sat and made his own little film. It doesn't quite have the finesse of his older brother's, but for an eight year old, he did really well with very little help. There aren't any sounds on this one, but it would have been quite easy to add them.
R spent about an hour messing around with this and he loved it. I am certain that he will use the kit a lot as he has a very active imagination and what better way to use it than to create your own animations. He also loves the thought of having his creations on You Tube which will be added inspiration.
We are really impressed with this kit and the possibilities are endless. I loved the fact that this meant R was busy creating something for a screen rather than being glued to one himself. More information can be found at www.zu3d.com where you can find an array of information, videos and tutorials. The kit is currently available to buy for £59.99.
We were sent a copy of the Zu3D Animation Kit for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own.