We were recently sent the amazing Zu3D to take a look at.
You may not have heard about Zu3D, but if you have children I'd say from about 8 and over then this may just be the perfect gift idea, often Tweens are really hard to buy for, and find things which interest them, but Zu3D is simply amazing!
If your children have ever seen films such as Wallace and Gromit or Fantastic Mr Fox then they will have seen some fine stop motion animation in action, and Zu3D enables them to create their own master pieces with ease!
We were sent the Zu3D animation kit, which contains everything you need to get creating great movies. Included in the kit is a USB HD web camera which is on a sturdy bendable stand, a mini set with a Jungle back drop, a green screen sheet, some plasticine and the latest Zu3D software.
The creators of Zu3D have managed to create software which is so easy to use children instantly seem to know how to navigate around and within minutes Chloe, my 9 year old, was happily creating movies all by herself!
We did try the plasticine which was supplied but Chloe was frustrated with her models bending and moving when she didn't want them too, so opted to use her Sylvanian Family toys instead and this worked brilliantly, they are sturdy and stay where you put them. However Dad has loved making plasticine models and animating them and I am sure it will be something Chloe will progress onto.
Zu3D really does allow you to get to grips with the way the professionals use Stop Motion techniques when crating animations and there is no limit to how great your end film can become other than your imagination.
We are all really impressed with Zu3D it has been an instant success with all three of my children, although Mikey at 5 years old needs more help to create his animations he still can get a acceptable end result, Chloe however has really taken too it and I feel we could have the next great animator in our misdt!
If you still don't believe me, then take a look at this film which Chloe single handily created in her first run through using this software!
Then go and take a look at the Zu3D website and see all the great packages they have on offer, the full animation kit, like the one we received, costs £59.99 but there are cheaper alternatives, such as just purchasing the software alone for £39.99 if you already have a webcam to use and don't feel you need the backdrops and plasticine.
The minimum computer specifications required to run the software can be found here we installed it with no trouble at all and it runs very smoothly on our XP based machine.