iStop Motion for iPad 2 review: Create impressive stop-motion movies with your iPad
Stop motion animation is the process where you move objects or figurines a little at a time, taking a photo between each change, string all those shots together and see those objects magically move on their own. If you own an iPad or an iPad mini, you have in your hands a fast and easy-to-use portable stop motion editing studio. All you need is iStop Motion for iPad 2.
The first version was pretty spectacular, allowing you to take shots with ease thanks to a camera overlay which preserved the previous shot through the current one, helping you see what had already been moved and what needed further attention; you could also setup timelapse animations, and it included the ability to use another iOS device as a remote camera as long as you were within range of the same wi-fi network. There were enough editing options so you didn’t have to go anywhere else to shot, edit or share your creation.
Add audio to your project, move your it along the timeline, and fade it in or out
Version 2 brings a few welcome additions to your toolset. A truly useful one is the Navigator. Previously, your photos would display as thumbnails fanning out to the left and right. If you were creating a long movie, swiping through these to get to the right section you wished to edit was beyond tedious. Now, above this thumbnail display is a timeline which represents your entire film. Tap anywhere along it to be taken to that section instantly.
The other major addition is the ability to add audio to your projects. As a first step, this is a welcome addition, but you may find your options fairly limited. You can import audio from many different sources, including DropBox, Soundcloud and of course your iPad’s music library, but your song is displayed in its entirety. If your movie’s shorter than the song, the Navigator will end up being useless as your work could be in just a tiny part of it. When sharing your film, that extra audio will be trimmed, but it’s a shame you’re forced to see it in your workspace. It’s easy to make the audio fade in and out, and you can drag the song so it starts exactly where you want it.
You can also record a voice-over straight from your project
You can also record a voice over - although you’d have to choose between it and your music: only one layer of audio is allowed. Worse still, you can only work with one voice over. You can’t trim it and choose the best part from multiple takes, or create a dialogue for your animated characters. Instead, your voice-over has to start at the beginning and you’d better be word-perfect during your take as if you make a mistake, you’ll have to start over from scratch.
This is a fantastic app if you’re into stop motion animation. It’s easy to use and the set of shooting and editing tools are great. Although welcome, the audio feature feels too limiting to be recommended, and you’d be advised to export your film and work on the sound in another app.