Animation-Ish (Classroom Edition)

Article excerpt

Company: FableVision Educational Publishing, 16 School St., Dedham, MA 02026. Phone: (888) 240-3734; Internet: www.fablevision.com.

Price: $59.95--single copy price, CD-ROM or download. Volume discounts are available.

Audience: K-12 students.

Format: Animation-ish is a computer program for Mac or Windows designed to help students create animations from drawings.

Minimum System Requirements: Windows systems: 800 MHz Pentium III, Windows 2000/XP/Vista (XP re-area, quires Service Pack 2), 256 MB RAM, 100 MB hard disk space, 24-bit color display capable of 1024x768 resolution, and a video card supporting Direct 3D or OpenGL.

Macintosh systems: PowerPC G5, Mac OS X 10.4.x, 256 MB RAM, and 120 MB hard disk space.

For both platforms: An internet connection (preferably DSL) to explore the Lessons section and the free Apple QuickTime Player version 5 and Adobe Acrobat Reader. Both can be installed from the program's CD-ROM. Drawing tablet hardware is useful but optional.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Description: Animation-ish is an easy animation program designed to have students working quickly with animations. The program enables students to create animations for websites, presentations, projects, movies, and greeting cards to be shared at school or online. Animation-ish offers simple-to-use tools, a very engaging design, and multiple levels for increasingly complex animations.

Reviewer Comments:

Installation: This program is easy and intuitive to install. The installation simply requires a few minutes and the answers to a few standard questions. Installation Rating: A

Content/Features: Animation-ish is the creation of Peter H. Reynolds, The New York Times' best-selling author/illustrator of The Dot and Ish and illustrator of Someday and the Judy Moody series. The program has a delightful look and a charming interface that makes the software easy to use, from the beginning levels to the more complex features.

Simple line drawings can be used to create animations, enabling young students to understand the basics and learn to use the program with a relatively short learning curve.

The opening screen offers three levels of complexity (Wiggledoodle-ish, Flipbook-ish, and Advanced-ish), a link to internet-based teacher lessons, and the Project Vault.

Wiggledoodle-ish, the simplest level, helps students create a basic three-frame animation (also called a cycling animation). The students can draw a doodle, click Next to trace over it, and repeat the process one more time. The first doodle can be imported; users can click Play and watch it move, wiggle, or shimmer.

Flipbook-ish adds the ability to create more complex animations by giving students the option to add as many frames as desired; rearrange the frame sequence; cut, copy, and paste; and change the speed of the animation. Motion sequences can be created for export as movies.

Advanced-ish adds a number of features that let users work with two levels of animation--an animated character can operate in the foreground, with a separate animated background.

The additional features include Timeline, Timeline Marker, Duplicate, Exposure, Transform, Add/Subtract, and Keyframe buttons, as well as a Grabber tool. Also included are more colors in a larger Paintbox and an Art Library. Students who start animations in Wiggledoodle-ish or Flipbook-ish can continue to work on them in Advanced-ish.

The basic tools in all three levels include a Brush and Brush Size tool, as well as a Paintbox for color selection. …