The Mac Guy: There's no shortage of animation software for artistic teenager
Web Posted: 11/27/2005 12:00 AM CST
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Dear Mac Guy: I am looking for a beginner graphic art, animation, drawing software for my 13-year-old son. I am so confused about what is out there. I received no help at the Apple store. Those people did not know their own software. My son can draw freehand quite well, particularly cartoon-style. Is there any software that you know of that might fit the bill, under $200 if possible? Who knows, you may be helping him be a future Pixar employee.
Dear Mom: There are several animation programs that will fit the bill for you. Take a look at the $69 Toon Boom Studio Express (www.toonboom.com)
. This is a starter version of their more full-featured Toon Boom Studio, but it is a great place to start. Toon Boom Studio Express lets you create or import artwork, add sound, animate and then export to common formats such as Macromedia Flash, QuickTime or Apple iMovie. You can download a free demo version if you register with Toon Boom's site.
Kudlian Soft's I Can Animate is another program in which you can use a variety of animation techniques including time-lapse stop-motion with video from an iSight or other Web cam. A downloadable demo is available from their site (www.kudlian.net)
, and the software retails for $49.95.
Yet another option is Moho from Lost Marble (www.lostmarble.com)
. Moho is a vector-based animation package that has the ability to animate characters such as puppets by manipulating their virtual bones. The program outputs to QuickTime or AVI movies or to Flash for inclusion in a Web site; and once again, you can download a demo and buy the full version for a reasonable $99.
I suggest you download all three demos and have your son check them out. One may fit his style or project better than the others. You really have nothing to lose. And I'll squint at the credits of Toy Story 3 looking for his name.