Stop Motion Café App on iPhone 6 Review

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Continuing with our Smart Phone Stop Motion series, today we look at Stop Motion Café on the iPhone 6, which is available for FREE from the App store, and works on iPhone and iPad.

Getting straight into it, this is a relatively simple app that lacks a lot of the bells and whistles of some of the other apps we have been looking at for this series… That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a look though. There are no themed titles, no libraries of music to add, no sound fx and no frame-by-frame editing to add drawing, or change the colours, contrast etc and lastly there are no filters to add to your final video. It also lacks a focus and exposure lock, which would be very handy.

Using this on an iPhone 6 seems to be a little problematic, as it doesn’t seem to be optimised to work on the slightly larger iPhone 6 screen and seems it would be more suited on an iPhone 4 or 5. This only really causes a problem in the image capture section, where it cuts the bottom menu in half, but seeing as the controls in that menu aren’t that important it doesn’t make a huge difference.

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The animation features of the app are pretty good, including access to the flash, onion skinning (or ghosting as they seem to refer to it) as well as a frame counter, HD on/off and the ability to switch between iPhone cameras, allowing you to use the front or back camera as you need. It supports and can save multiple projects, which you can go back and do some basic editing on after you have finished shooting.

The editing, as I said, is simple… You have the ability to save out separate frames to the camera roll, as well as duplicate frames or delete them to get rid of any nasty mistakes you may have made. The video can be set at speed of between 1fps – 30fps, and once you are finished you can “Elaborate” your movie, which renders the animation and saves it to your camera roll in 720p HD.

Despite its lack of features, and the slightly childish look to the app, the image quality is better than some of the apps we have been testing and it is very simple to use, making it great for people who are just starting out in Stop Motion. There are better apps out there for the iPhone and iPad, but if you are looking for a quick, easy and simple Stop Motion app, then Stop Motion Café might just be for you.

Check out the test video below to see what we did with Stop Motion Café!

Lego Movie Maker Stop Motion App on iPhone 6 Review

legomoviemakerscreenThe Lego Movie Maker App, FREE from App Store on iPhone, iPad & iPod

Today we continue to look at Stop Motion Apps for smart phones and tablets, with this blog concentrating on the Lego Movie Stop Motion App being used on an iPhone 6.

With the release of the Lego Movie film in 2014 it isn’t hard to understand why Lego® wanted in on the Stop Motion App scene. Their official App, available for iPhone, iPod and iPad is FREE in the App store. It has a nice bundle of tools that you can use to create your animations, including 13 different title screens to choose from, allowing you to add the film name and director before you even start animating. The instructions section is simple but informative, showing you the very basics of stop motion as well as how to use the app and its various features…

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The animation features of the app are pretty good for a smartphone, with a the ability to be able to adjust the focus, activate the flash, overlay grids or onion skinning as well as a very neat little feature that allows you to snap your fingers to take the photos. This saves you having to touch the iPhone whilst animating, thus eliminating any camera wobble or movement.

Once you have shot your Brick Film, you can then use the editing facilities to delete or add frames, change the duration of individual frames, apply various filters like Black & White, Contrast or Vignette to the whole movie and even add graphic style “stickers” to separate frames. There are also a whole host of pre-loaded sound effects you can add to frames, with car sounds, birds, comedic boings and many more in the library. If you are feeling adventurous, you can also record your own sounds and use them time and time again.  To complete your movie, you can pick one of the 12 pre-loaded “Lego Movie” themed songs to play under your movie, all of which sound great and add some flavour to your film.

The biggest let down of this app for me was the available frame rates… We have been looking at a lot of Stop Motion Apps recently and most have a range of 1fps to 30fps… Most Brickfilmers will use a frame rate of anywhere between 12 to 24fps, but the Lego Movie app has a maximum frame of only 10fps, giving your final movie a slightly stuttery feel.

Overall, the picture quality is good with the iPhone 6 camera shooting at 8MP and the app exporting videos out at 1080p HD. You can save your movies into the Movie Gallery and then export them out into your Camera Roll on to your phone or tablet, where you can upload to YouTube from there. If this app had a better frame rate, I might actually use it myself, but again, this is a great entry level app that will be great for giving kids a start in animating Brick Films.

Check out the test video below to see what we did with it!