Make your own stop-motion Christmas story with the Sainsbury’s Story Studio app & animation kit
Sainsburys thought we might like to try this kit out, and being as we’ve been making stop-motion clips for years I thought it was pretty much a no-brainer. Though if I’m honest, I was a bit unsure as to what the £5 could really be worth spending on, being as we tend to do them with a camera and playmobil or LEGO for free.
But – frankly we LOVE this ‘Greatest Gift’ Animation kit, £5 (and yes folks, that also includes a £2 donation to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.). The box is a thick glossy durable thing that doubles as a brilliant set of Dave’s house.
Tucked way inside there are sheets of props, a few more sets and a brilliant Director’s Handbook which is packed full of handy hints for those who’ve never tried it before. You can learn how to create interesting characters, how to decide what type of stories to create, develop a storyline and how to get the best camera shots.
Or you can, y’know, just dump it all out on the table, pop out the cardboard figures, grab your mums phone and start making.
Either way works…
It was at the end of this first let’s-just-DO-IT go that we realised a few things.
Firstly, Get The App…
Seriously – just go download the Sainsbury’s Story Studio app.
Because using the app, the second attempt was a million times better. It just makes everything SOooo easy, and the editing is a breeze.
This is how your screen looks – simply line up your shot in the window and take photo, move piece, take photo, move piece, take photo. So so easy. You can also choose to add the ‘light’ button which utilises your phone’s flash for extra ‘stage’ lighting.
Once you’re done with the actual photo taking, you move on to the editing stage.
You can see from the screen there’s a few standard options that every child will feel confident adjusting for themselves.
Use the speed option to adjust the playback to make sure it’s showing exactly the way you wish. Filters work just like Instagram does, with some useful effects for different film types:
There are pre-set music options, which are fine but slightly limited for a more sophisticated taste. But to counteract that there’s the option of recording your own sounds to add to the movie.
Once you’re happy, add in some titles and credits, and… it’s a wrap! Simply share the file from within the app itself – you can send it via all the usual channels; social media, email, your GoogleDrive (or do what I did and just go straight to YouTube…).
So – want to see how 9yr old Bear did? Sure – here’s her first movie (the 10 second movie took her maybe ten minutes from start to finish, including all the editing):
Our Top Three Tips:
- Use blue tack for the cardboard figures – without it the constant falling over is immensely irritating
- Pressing ‘done’ and then going back to edit works the same as a ‘save’ function; use it regularly, because if you accidentally come out of the app you’ll lose everything you’ve done so far. Many tears and much rage will ensue.
- if you’re using the box as your set, propping up the flap which contains the book with a smaller book underneath to raise it off the table by a couple of centimetres means the walls will stay put when you blue tack them to the floor. Sounds complicated but you’ll understand as soon as you have it in your hands, I promise!
Honestly, this set is BRILLIANT. The app is so easy and simple that it has completely fired her enthusiasm and she’s creating storyboards for all sorts of projects. The backgrounds in the set have worked for all sorts of little movie projects, and there’s a new one being worked on right now (which seems to feature penguins, a bear and three puppies…). TOTALLY recommend either for a fun gift, or simply buy for the cupboard to be pulled out over the holidays – it’ll have kids absorbed for hours.
Get inspired watch Sainsbury’s Christmas TV advert.
Get your animation kit in store or online While stocks last, £5 with £2 of every sale is donated to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.