As we continue to look at Stop Motion Animation apps for smartphones and tablets, our next stop is the iMotion App from Fingerlabs and this time we test it on a 5th Gen iPod Touch, with a 5mp iSight Camera.
iMotion is available across the iPhone, iPad and iPod range from the iTunes store and can be downloaded for FREE for the basic version. To get the added extras like Manual Focus, Exposure, Onion Skinning and White Balance control is going to cost you £2.99, but at that price, it really is worth it.
With heaps of features, iMotion is definitely one of the better apps out there for animating on a smart device. It can shoot video in 720p HD or 1080p HD as either time-lapse photography or as stop motion animation, with 3 triggers for capturing the photos, those being manually, by clicking the onscreen capture button, remotely by connecting another iDevice with the iMotion Remote App running or via microphone. The videos can be made in either portrait or landscape mode, autosave as you go and can be set to variable frame rates to suit your animation techniques. In the full paid version, once your animation is done, a few extra tools allow you to add other photos from your camera roll or music from your Music library, or, if you are feeling creative, you can record your own sounds with the built in mic. Once you are happy with all of that you can export your finished animation out to your camera roll, or to the iTunes share, Facebook, Youtube or email.
Despite being a powerful little App for Stop Motion, I did find that iMotion lacked a few things that other apps have. Firstly was the editing capability. It seems that frames can only be deleted after the image capture process has taken place, and you can’t see the actual timeline of photos as you take them. That means if you make a mistake, or the camera focuses wrongly (like it can do with autofocus on) you have to wait until you have finished your animation to edit it out. Once you have finished an animation, you can go back and delete or add frames, but if you have moved the camera, this can get quite frustrating. There are no preset titles or theme music that are built into the App, although with the ability to import music and pics from the iPod itself, you could always create your own titles and songs in other apps and import them in to add that finished look to your animation. The manual capture on the iPod worked well, but you got the obvious camera wobble and I found the capture button to be in a rather inconvenient place, the middle bottom of the screen, which my camera rig got in the way of,making it difficult to snap those shots… So I tried the microphone trigger and struggled to get that working at all, so finally I looked at the remote control trigger via my iPhone running the iMotion Remote app… This worked really well, except there was no sound alerting me that the shot had been taken, which honestly did confuse me a few times, meaning I took the same shot 2 or 3 times before realising it had already been taken… In the videos below you can see both the manual capture and remote trigger being used for image capture.
All in all, iMotion is a pretty solid little app, that at only £2.99 for the full package you can’t really complain about. It is full of great features and regular use would help iron out some of the down sides as you got more and more used to working with it. I will definitely be keeping this on my iPod, just in case I am out and about and feel the need to animate!